A Simple Document Checklist for K-12 Online School Enrollment
Okay, so you’ve done all your homework on online schooling—from researching the latest trends in blended and online learning to what to expect in a virtual classroom to the reasons why so many families choose an online school. With most schools opening enrollment in March, it’s a good time to start gathering the documents you’ll need to get your child enrolled in plenty of time for the 2014–2015 school year.
At Connections Academy, we know that switching to a new school is a big decision. So, from our own detailed, school-specific checklists, we’ve developed a general list to help you get started—wherever you choose to enroll. While requirements vary by school and state, this general list will give you an idea of where to start, what questions to ask your enrollment advisor, and whether you may need to start early to obtain any missing documents.
Proof of Age:
You’ll need an official document confirming your student’s age. Most schools will accept a copy of either an official birth certificate or a passport. If you’ve misplaced the birth certificate, you can request a copy from your state vital records office. Fees vary from about $10 to $30.
Proof of residence:
Some schools accept students from across the state, while others may only serve students in a certain district or region. So, you’ll need to submit one or more documents that confirm that you live in the area served. Typically accepted proof of residence includes:
- Utility bills (gas, electric, water, etc.) dated within 60 days of the enrollment date and that include your name and service address
- Mortgage statements or lease agreements
- Driver’s license
- Voter registration card
- Property tax bill
Student’s Proof of Immunization:
Just like brick-and-mortar schools, public online schools require proof of immunization or, where allowed by state law, a statement showing that your student is exempt from immunization for health or religious reasons. Common forms of proof accepted by online schools may include:
- Immunization booklet
- Official school record or written statement from the former school district
- Written statement from a medical office that the required immunizations have been administered or that a required series is in progress
- Health-care provider or health department printout
- Enrolling school’s Immunization Record/Statement of Exemption
Not sure when your student’s next vaccination is due? Here’s a helpful list from the Immunization Action Coalition.
Because a certain number ofprospective online school students have been homeschooled, your online school of choice may have record forms or requirements designed specifically for homeschooled students. For example, with some variations by state, Connections Academy schools provide helpful reporting forms, such as:
- Prior Academic History Form for grades K–8
- High School Homeschool Credit Form for grades 9–12
For students who have previously attended public or private school, you will generally need your student’s most recent report card if he or she is entering grades K–8, or a transcript of all courses, grades, and credits attempted or completed if he or she is entering grades 9–12.
Depending on the state in which you reside and your student’s individual circumstances, you may also be asked to provide:
- A custody order or statement of guardianship
- A recent Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and exit documentation
- 504 Plan
- Gifted and talented documentation
- State Test scores
- Proof of vision screening
Again, enrollment documentation and eligibility requirements vary by both school and state. But, armed with this general list, you should be ready for a faster, less stressful enrollment process.
If you are still exploring online school for your child, you may be interested in reading some of our previous posts that help guide you in making the right school choice for your family:
- Is Using an Online School at Home Right for Me?
- 5 Questions to Ask When Considering a Virtual School
- Choosing a Virtual School: Start with ABC
- Virtual School or Blended Learning: Which Option Is Right for Your Student?
If you’re ready to get started at a Connections Academy school, you can download our own detailed enrollment checklists. And, please let us know your questions in the comments below.