FCS Enrollment Policy
NOTE: Information on this page can be found in Board Policy JBC.
Fulton County Schools shall serve all eligible students in grades K-12 that reside within the Fulton County School District boundaries according to state law, State Board of Education rule, and local board policy.
Enrollment Eligibility Requirements
- General Education: Students may enroll in the general education program as long as they have attained the age of five (5) by September 1 and have not yet attained the age of twenty (20) by September 1, or have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent. Students who have dropped out of school for one quarter or more are eligible to enroll in the appropriate general education programs unless they attain the age of 21 on or before September 1.
- Special Education: Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) developed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may attend public school through the age of 21 or until they receive a regular high school diploma.
- Students Moving to Georgia: Students who were legal residents of one or more other states or countries for a period of two years immediately prior to moving to Georgia and were legally enrolled in a public kindergarten or first grade accredited by a state or regional association or the equivalent thereof, are eligible for enrollment in the appropriate education program if the child attains the age of five for kindergarten or six for first grade by December 31 and the child is otherwise eligible for enrollment as prescribed in O.C.G.A. § 20-2-150.
- Primary Dwelling/Homestead: The dwelling where the student primarily resides is located within the Fulton County School District and appears on the tax rolls of Fulton County;
- To constitute an eligible dwelling for enrollment, the dwelling must be the actual permanent place of residence of the student and must constitute the home of the student’s family (or guardian, caregiver, foster parent, etc.), per the definition of “homestead” in O.C.G.A. 48-5-40.
- Permitted Out-of-Zone Enrollment: The student resides out of FCS boundaries but has been approved to enroll through the FCS transfer hardship process or any other FCS-approved program or agreement;
- Foster Students: The student resides with a foster parent whose primary dwelling/homestead is located within the Fulton County School District;
- Homeless Students: The student is a homeless child, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act 42 U.S.C. §11431 et seq., and is located in FCS boundaries now, or was enrolled in an FCS school prior to becoming homeless;
- Residential Placement: The student is placed by the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) in a residential facility located within FCS’s boundaries; or
- Otherwise Eligible: The student is otherwise eligible to enroll under relevant state law, rule, and local policy.
Persons that May Enroll Students in FCS Schools
- The student’s legal parent(s);
- The student’s legal guardian(s) upon transmitting to a school a copy of the court order granting guardianship;
- The student’s kinship caregiver(s) who resides within FCS boundaries upon transmitting to a school an executed kinship caregiver affidavit described in O.C.G.A. § 20-1-18;
- The student’s grandparent who resides within FCS boundaries who obtains a properly executed power of attorney for the care of a minor child, pursuant to O.C.G.A § 19-9-120, et seq.;
- The student’s caregiver upon transmitting to the school a copy of the special power of attorney, relative to the guardianship of a child of a military family;
- A student who is an adult or emancipated minor that is otherwise eligible to enroll may enroll him/herself; or
- The relevant state agency may enroll a student who is under the physical or legal custody of the DHS or DJJ or a student placed by the DHS, DBHDD, or DJJ in a residential facility located within the LEA’s jurisdiction, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-133(b).
- Before enrolling a student, the principal or designee shall verify the following:
- The student’s address meets the residence requirements of this policy or the student is permitted to enroll through one of the other exceptions listed above; and
- The student is residing with a parent or legal guardian/other person having control or charge, or is a foster child, emancipated minor, adult student, or homeless student.
Proof of Residency
- Proof Required: Persons enrolling a student shall submit two proofs of residency from the school systems’ approved list of verifiable residency documents: one from the approved utility list and one from the approved residency list, upon initial enrollment in Fulton County Schools and when there is any address change. Schools will retain a copy of documents in student’s permanent record folder. Schools will follow the records retention guidance found in the following policies: outlined in EHB Records Administration.
- Provisional Enrollment: If the provision of proof of residency, age, or any other requirements is delayed, the student will be provisionally enrolled for a period of 30 calendar days. The 30-calendar day period starts on the 1st day of enrollment. At the end of this 30-calendar day period, if the two required proofs of residency have not been provided, the student will be withdrawn. By the 20th day, if no proof of residency has been provided, a withdrawal letter will be sent to the enrolling person notifying them of the imminent withdrawal of the student if no documentation is provided.
Additional Residency Verification
The Superintendent or their designee will conduct additional systemic residency verification at different intervals to ensure enrollment accuracy. The list below includes the types of systemic residency verification that can be conducted:
- Entry to Elementary, Middle, and High School: All students entering Kindergarten, 6th grade, and 9th grade in Fulton County Schools will be required to submit proof of residency as outlined above prior to the start of the aforementioned grades.
- Mid-Point of Enrollment: All students entering 2nd grade, 7th grade, and 10th grade will be required to submit proof of residency as outlined above prior to the start of their enrollment in the aforementioned grades.
- Ad Hoc: prompted whole-school review based on concerns related to overcrowding, a high number of reports of fraud, and/or Board request.
- Individual Student Concern: If the school becomes concerned that a student may have changed residences and no longer lives in the school’s attendance zone, the school will conduct its own due diligence, including:
- Reviewing the student’s educational record, tardies, attendance, and/or bus riding records;
- Contacting the student’s parent or legal guardian for more information; and/or
- Consulting with the school’s social worker.
Residency Verification Processes
Residency situations can be referred to the school district residency verification staff for further investigation. At the discretion of the residency verification staff, residency verification and investigation can include, but is not limited to:
- Review of vehicle registration card;
- Review of voter’s registration card;
- Review of property tax bill;
- Conduct public record search;
- Conduct a home visit conducted by residency verification staff and/or designated school staff
- Conduct structured observations of address of record by Residency Verification staff or designated school staff; and/or
- Other measures as necessary and appropriate.
The District may use certified mailings, the Locate, Assess and Connect Protocol and/or other methods to initiate residency verification processes.
Upon discovery by District or school staff that a student does not live within their enrolled school’s designated attendance zone, the student will be provisionally enrolled for a period of 30 calendar days. At the end of this 30-calendar day period, if the two required proofs of residency have not been provided, the student will be withdrawn. By the 20th day, if no proof of residency has been provided, a withdrawal letter will be sent to the enrolling person notifying them of the imminent withdrawal of the student if no documentation is provided.
Other Enrollment Documentation Requirements
- Social Security Number: All students are requested to furnish their social security number (Georgia Code 20-2-150) subject to the following conditions:
- No student shall be denied enrollment for declining to provide or apply for a social security number
- Public notice shall be given in any language prevalent in the School District that social security numbers are requested, but not required, for enrollment.
- A student's social security number shall be considered a confidential student record.
- Waiver forms shall be available to parents and students for declining to provide a social security number.
- Social security number applications shall be available to parents and students.
- The parent or guardian of a student enrolled without a social security number may be asked to voluntarily provide a social security number.
- Immunizations: All students must have a valid Georgia Certificate of Immunization (DPH Form 3231) or other required documentation pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-771. (See Policy JGCB– Immunizations for details.)
- Certificate of Ear, Eye, Dental, and Nutritional Screening: This certificate (DPH Form 3300) must be presented the first time a child enrolls at any grade level, including prekindergarten. Students transferring from another Georgia public school system are exempt from this requirement. For students transferring from any school system other than a Georgia public school system, the documentation must be received within three months. If this form is not received within three months, the child will be withdrawn and not permitted to attend school until the requirement is met. Children may register prior to completion of this examination, however, the Certificate must be on file within three months.
- Proof of Age: Students entering the school district for the first time must submit proof of date of birth to be copied by the school for placement in the permanent record folder. The school will accept evidence in the order set forth below that shows the student’s date of birth:
- A certified copy of a birth certificate, certified hospital issued birth record or birth certificate;
- A military ID;
- A valid driver's license;
- A passport;
- An adoption record;
- A religious record signed by an authorized religious official;
- An official school transcript; or
- If none of these items can be produced, an affidavit of age sworn to by the parent, guardian or other person accompanied by a certificate of age signed by a licensed practicing physician, which states that the physician has examined the child and believes that the age as stated in the affidavit is substantially correct.
- Provisional Enrollment: If any of the required enrollment documentation is not available upon enrollment, the student will be provisionally enrolled for a period of 30 calendar days. The 30-calendar day period starts on the 1st day of enrollment. At the end of this 30-calendar day period, if the required documentation has not been provided, the student may be withdrawn. By the 20th day, if the documentation hasn’t been provided, a withdrawal letter will be sent to the enrolling person notifying them of the imminent withdrawal of the student if no documentation is provided.
Change of Residence
- The parent/guardian shall notify the school immediately if any change in the student’s residence occurs.
Students Enrolled by Other Persons Having Control or Charge of a Student
This person must be an adult at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor at least sixteen years of age residing within the boundaries of Fulton County who is not the parent or guardian of a child or children but stands in loco parentis (i.e., to assume the duties and responsibilities of a parent such as providing food, shelter, clothing or medical care.) The student must live with the enrolling person full-time for one of the following reasons:
- The student is living in a foster home, group home, or other institution or care facility that is located in the county;
- The parent or legal guardian of the child lost or abdicated the ability to care for the student;
- The parent or legal guardian is unable to ensure the student will attend school for reasons, including, but not limited to:
- The death of a parent or legal guardian; o A serious or terminal illness of a parent or legal guardian;
- The physical or mental condition of the parents or legal guardians are such that proper care or supervision of the student cannot be provided;
- The incarceration of a parent or legal guardian;
- The inability to locate the parents or legal guardians;
- The loss or uninhabitability of the student’s home as a result of a natural disaster;
- A period of active military duty of the parents or legal guardians exceeding 24 months; or
- Other circumstances approved by the school district residency verification staff.
The enrolling party must have control and charge of the student 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. The request to enroll the student cannot be primarily related to attendance at a particular school in the School District, nor may the request be for the purpose of participating in athletics at a particular school, taking advantage of special services or programs offered at a particular school, or for any other similar purpose.
If the person presenting the student for enrollment is not that student’s parent, guardian, or an authorized representative of a state agency, the school will require the enrolling person to fully complete a Kinship Caregiver Affidavit or Power of Attorney, if applicable. After completion of the Kinship Caregiver Affidavit/Power of Attorney and the provision of appropriate proof of residency in the school attendance zone in which the student seeks to enroll the school will enroll the student.
Such persons shall have the same rights for information and involvement as a parent or guardian in matters related to student records, IEP and 504 plans, and medical treatment, subject to the provision of the Power of Attorney document and Kinship caregiver, subject to the limitations provided in O.C.G.A 20-1-16.
The Fulton County School District is not responsible for making determinations regarding visa and immigration status. Schools shall enroll students who meet all age, residency and enrollment requirements. Schools will not inquire about the student’s or the family’s legal status.
Students with Previous Discipline Action
Any student seeking to enroll in an FCS school who has a prior discipline action (expulsion, long-term suspension, etc.) from their previous school whether public or private.
These students shall:
- Submit the student’s discipline record to the school and the Office of Student Discipline during the enrollment process for review. Records should include the following:
- All available records from the public/private school documenting the reasons for and duration of the suspension or expulsion;
- Any other conditions regarding the return of the student to the public/private school; and
- All available academic, discipline and attendance records from the public/private school.
- Await the Office of Student Discipline’s decision. Students/families should not attempt to enroll directly in the alternative school if they have a pending disciplinary action.
The Office of Student Discipline shall:
- Review the student’s academic, discipline, and attendance records from the prior school;
- Solicit additional information from the student upon their review of the student records, as needed;
- Order continuation of existing disciplinary order or fulfillment of the discipline order;
- Issue a behavior, academic, or attendance contract for the student, if necessary; and/or
- Determine the student’s placement at the home school, alternative educational setting, or otherwise after their review of the student records. The Office of Student Discipline reserves the right to determine the most appropriate education setting depending on the severity or circumstances of the previous discipline record which may include refusal to enroll a student who is currently subject to suspension/expulsion until the discipline order of the previous school has expired, unless the offense was not an offense for which the School District would impose suspension/expulsion.
Section 504/IDEA Rights
- Nothing in this process shall infringe on any right provided to students under IDEA or Section 504.
Procedures for Student Placement by DBHDD, DJJ, or DHS
To ensure a successful transition for students placed by DBHDD- Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, DJJ- Department of Juvenile Justice, or DHS- Department of Homeland Security, the following procedures will apply:
- Case Management Consultation: A Case Management Consultation (CMC) is a consultation by a school social worker in conjunction with the case worker for the student to discover whether any transition problems exist and whether any services are necessary for a child placed by the DBHDD, DJJ, or DHS. The CMC process will be utilized each time a DBHDD-, DHS-, or DJJ-placed child seeks to enroll in a FCS school.
- CMC Process:
- Each school principal shall designate a school social worker or other staff member to act as case manager. The case manager shall be the point of contact for state agency personnel providing five-day advance notification of planned enrollment of a child pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 20-2-133.
- Upon notification that an agency-placed student will be enrolled in a school, the case manager shall consult with the student, Division of Family and Children Services caseworker/DJJ counselor/state agency representative, the parent/guardian/foster parent, and the Director of Student Discipline or designee, within five school days to determine whether transition or other services are necessary for the student.
- The student should be immediately enrolled in accordance with State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1-.28 Student Enrollment and Withdrawal.
- All documentation and records shall be reviewed by Office of Student Discipline
- Placement is determined by Office of Student Discipline in either a home school or alternative setting. Any placement made pursuant to an individualized education program team shall take precedence.
- The transition plan is created for the student by the case manager/SEL Social Worker or designee which may include any of the following:
- Tour and orientation session
- Introduction to buddy or peer to facilitate transition
- Assistance with course selection
- Referral to SST process
- Referral to special education
- Other services as needed, e.g., social services, counseling, community collaboration, parent/guardian meetings, etc.
- Documentation of all CMC activities shall be maintained by the case manager in the student's file and shall include the following:
- Student's name
- Consultation dates
- Identification of transition or other services needed
- Recommended course of action (list of services, referral)
- Monitoring of student progress
- Date that services are determined to no longer be needed
Georgia has adopted the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (Senate Bill 227; O.C.G.A. 20-17-1, et. seq.) which impacts provisions of this policy. See Policy JG, Opportunities for Military Children, for detailed information.