Public education for children is free and mandatory in the United States. Though state laws vary, you should enroll your child in school within 30 days of arrival. The enrollment or registration process can vary widely by state and may happen at the school or district office. During registration, schools collect important information about your child, including their name, birthdate, previous learning records, proof of residency, and vaccination records. You may also be asked to complete a home language survey. All this information is private. Schools should notify you prior to sharing this information with anyone.


To prepare for the registration process, gather the following documents and information:


  • Proof of residency and current address (utility bill, rental agreement, etc.)
  • Health and vaccination records
  • Proof of name and age (birth certificate, I-94 Form, passport, etc.)
  • Any education records or school transcripts


As a parent or caregiver, you can access translation and interpretation services at any meeting with teachers. In addition, public schools provide language support to families that request it, and school programs, services, materials, and activities should be communicated in multiple languages.


A sponsor or local resettlement agency can help you navigate the required steps in your school district’s enrollment process. 


Learn more about education in the UnitedStates on the Settle In website: