At the Schoolhouse Door - Back to School Edition: How to Deal with Registration Troubles

August 24, 2012

Back to School Edition:
How to Deal with Registration Troubles

As students prepare to go back to school, it is important for you to know what information you will need to register a student in a North Carolina public school. We have put together a comprehensive list of what documents you need. See our How to Register a Child for School page.

There are certain classes of students who are sometimes prevented from enrolling. Schools can require information, but they cannot stop a student from enrolling based on immigration status, guardianship or homelessness.

Immigration Status

Your student may not be denied enrollment based on your immigration status or the status of your student.

It is a violation of state and federal law to ask about your immigration status or the status of your student when trying to enroll the student in school.

The law was amended in 2011 and states what specific documents will be required to enroll your student:

"a certified copy of any medical record of the child's birth issued by the treating physician or the hospital in which the child was born, or (ii) a certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a church, mosque, temple, or other religious institution that maintains birth records of its members."

This does not mean that other records can automatically be rejected or cannot be used to enroll your student in school.

Caregiver Adults

You do not have to obtain a court document and you not need to consult with an attorney to enroll a student. You can find the list of necessary documents here.

Homeless Students

A federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act requires states to provide homeless students with free and appropriate public education. Schools must remove any obstacles to enrollment.

Homeless students must immediately be enrolled in school even without proof of residency, birth certificates or immunization records.

Students who are homeless must be provided transportation by the school district even if the student is temporarily living out of the school district.

All school districts must have a Homeless Education Liaison.

For more information on the rights of homeless students, you can visit the webpage of the Homeless Program on the North Carolina Public Schools website.


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