I’m in lots of mommy support groups and clubs where school registration seems to be a hot topic. Everyone has their own side of the story and what to do or not. As a newby mom myself, it is really hard to know when is the appropriate time to start looking at schools for the kids. I want to take this time to share my experience with you and let you know what I’ve learn.
It may be different for your Country, but I live in California and this may apply to some of you. I’m still learning with my mamahood ways, but I’ll share to everyone what I know now.
1. Do you research of schools you may want your child to potentially attend
- do note that private schools and public schools have different registration dates
- private schools may have early registration dates and deadlines for “early decision” making for those who know that the school is their priority
- private or public both take parent involvement very seriously; you are going to be a sense of community so what you put forth is what you will get out. Your essentially your daughter/son’s role model
- TALK TO THE SCHOOL yourself. Don’t just listen to other parents because you need to feel the school yourself. Your kids are going to go there for quite a few years and you want to make sure you have a good feeling
- trust your guts and instinct. If you don’t feel something is right even when people tell you that the school is #1. It may not be the #1 school for you
- every public school has a “Balanced Score Card” that is to be shared to the public, it is a reporting to allow parents to know where funds are disperse and why in such ways
- API and school ratings can give you a general idea of how the school performs to get the ball going and to give you a clue if that the school you want your child to attend. Simply plug in the name of the school on this website and see what you find.
2. Mentally prepare your child for school
- before they even start, tell them about school
- give them the good and bad so they will be prepare
- respect their ideas
- try to identify their interests
- look for common grounds or aspect of the school that relates to your child
3. Do your logistics early on
There are usually the general few forms that are necessary when applying for schools. I’ve applied to several private and public. This is what I found we should have handy
- proper identification of the parent and guardian: driver license, state license or passport
- proper identification of the child you are registering: birth certificate, adoption form, passport
- all clinician shots record: We use to have a record in the yellow “immunization card”, but technology made everything fancy so some hospitals have forms for you to fill out and request shot records. I personally have Kaiser for the family and it takes 3-5 business days to have forms to be filled out. So time yourself, don’t wait till the last minute to get your shot records or any forms the school may need.
- Usually 2 valid address verification documentations: water bill, PGE electricity bill, car registration, mortgage statement, rental agreements are solid pieces to have handy. It doesn’t hurt to have them all, just in case some schools don’t accept one, you do have the backup documentations in hand so time is not wasted and you won’t have to make another trip
- print a copy of your application form. Make 2 copies, 1 for you and 1 for the school
Other things to keep in mind about picking a school
Private schools are accessible to everyone even if you lack funds
Always ask if the schools have financial aid or scholarships, lots of parents don’t know that you can fill out a universal application online . Ask about volunteer work and other ways of accommodation. The schools know that we all just want the best for our kids, so communicate with them and see if you can work something out. Don’t let $$ be the blockage of obtaining a education path you choose for your daughter/son. The worst they can say is “no”, but at least you tried your best.
If none of the school works out, there is always the option of home schooling your child. Register yourself as a “private school” and get the right resources and guidance at your district educations office. You can look into materials online as well, there are bunch of resources that can guide you.
This is a good resource network to learn more about Home Schooling. Click Here to read more.
Inter-district school transfer
Lots of family may or may not have heard about this one. Before I become a mother myself, I didn’t know that my child can attend schools in other school districts as long as the parent works at the district. For working parents like myself, we may have long commutes and the school hours may just not work for your schedule. You can look into the schools around your work place and apply for a “interdistrict” permit. Each school district is different, but you can definitely go to your own school district and the district that you want to attend to obtain more information. I’ve heard stories where the school districts tell you to go back and forth to get information. Do yourself a favor, take note of when, where, who, what etc. as documentation and record keeping so you can hold people accountable. Click on this link to learn more about District Transfers.
Interdistrict Transfer/Reciprocal Agreement
An interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement is when parents/guardians wish to register/admit/enroll their student(s) at a school other than the designated school that is in their attendance area outside of their district.
California Education Code sections 46600–46610 permits parents/guardians to request an interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement. The fundamental basis for this provision is the signing of an agreement between districts. Interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement must be approved by both the student’s original district of residence and the district to which the student seeks to transfer to. Both districts must approve the agreement before it becomes valid. The agreement may extend for a maximum of five consecutive years and may include terms or conditions. It is within the authority of either the home district or the receiving district to revoke an interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement at any time for any reason the local board or district superintendent deems appropriate.
If a request for an interdistrict transfer/reciprocal agreement is denied, the student’s parents/guardians may file an appeal to the county office of education in the student’s district of residence within 30 days of receipt of the official notice of denial of the transfer.