Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - Eligibility & Enrollment

Where do I start with enrolling my child in school for the first time?

If this is the first time your child will be enrolling in any school, call the school and ask what you must bring with you to enroll your child. As a minimum, most schools require the following documents: birth certificate; proof of custody/guardianship (documentation which determines where the child resides and who has decision-making authority); proof of residency; and record of immunizations (DHMH Form 896).

What do I do if my child is transferring from one school to another?

Call the school your child last attended and ask the school to prepare a Maryland Transfer Form. Tell them the last day your child will attend school and ask if you may pick up the Maryland Transfer Form, or if it can be mailed to you or brought home to you by your child. The Maryland Transfer Form will contain all the information you need to enroll your child in the new school.

Call your child's new school and schedule an appointment. Be sure you bring the Maryland Transfer Form. The appointment will ensure that time is set aside to speak with you and to answer any questions you may have. Also ask what items you need to bring with you to enroll your child in the new school.

Why is proof of custody/guardianship required?

Proof of custody/guardianship is required to identify who is legally responsible for the child and who can be contacted in case of an emergency. This tells the school who can make educational decisions for the child. Each local school system determines which documents will be accepted as proof (i.e., a court order; a separation or divorce decree; or a birth certificate which identifies the parents). Call the school and ask what documents are acceptable.

Why is proof of residency required?

The residence of the parents/legal custodian/guardian determines the child's right to attend the local public school. Acceptable proof of residency is established by each local school system. You should call the school where you plan to enroll the child to find out what will be accepted as proof of residency. Generally accepted documents are: current rental lease; current utility bills containing applicant's name and address; or a current property tax bill.

Does this procedure include children in Kinship Care?

These requirements include formal Kinship Care (when a child is removed from his/her family and is placed with a relative by a State child welfare agency) and appropriate documentation as stated in Questions 3 and 4.

Why do I need to bring proof of age?

Proof of age is particularly important the first time a child enrolls in school. It helps determine which services and programs are available to the child. The mandatory attendance law applies to children between the ages of five to sixteen.

A birth certificate and other documents as determined by each local school system may be used as proof of age. A copy of your documentation will be made by the school and attached to your child's record. Call the school to see what document other than the birth certificate will be accepted as proof of age.

Why do I need to bring immunization records?

All children need to have an up-to-date copy of immunization records to be enrolled in, and to attend, school. If your child's immunizations need to be updated and you can bring written proof of an appointment within 20 days to obtain the immunizations, you may temporarily enroll your child pending receipt of the required immunizations. Your doctor or health clinic can provide the DHMH 896 Form, or a computer-generated form, for you to take to the school.

Immunization requirements for children can be found by clicking on this link:

Why do I need to bring the current Individualized Education Program (IEP) for my child who receives Special Education services?

This will ensure that your child receives, at the new school, the appropriate special education services and related services which were specifically developed for your child. It will also provide the school with the dates for the annual IEP review of your child's program as well as any re-evaluations that may be required.

Do I need to bring the most recent report card and/or withdrawal grades?

This information is very helpful in matching up a continuing program for your child. It tells the school what courses your child was taking and may indicate the instructional level. For elementary children, it may indicate the reading or math series with which your child was being taught. For high school students, it may indicate credit earned and/or graduation requirements which have been met.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Maryland State Department of Education's Pupil Personnel Specialist, at 410-767-0300.

For more information, call 410-767-0600 in the Baltimore area or Toll-Free at 1-888-246-0016.