Enrolling In A Tuscaloosa County School: General Requirements
- The Alabama compulsory attendance law requires all children between the ages of 6 - 17 to attend school.
- Enrollment to PRE-KINDERGARTEN is open to all children four (4) years of age on or before September 2nd* who are residents of the school zone in which they reside.
- Enrollment to KINDERGARTEN is open to all children five (5) years of age on or before September 2nd* who are residents of the school zone in which they reside.
- Enrollment to FIRST GRADE is open to all children six (6) years of age on or before December 31st who are residents of the school zone in which they reside.
*While the Code of Alabama states that the enrollment birthdate is September 1st, an Attorney General's opinion states in effect that under the common law one's age is computed by including the day of birth so that a given age is attained the day before the birthday anniversary. [Ala. Code 16-28-4 (1975)] Interpretation based on Attorney General of Alabama October - December 1963, Volume 113, page 20.
ALL STUDENTS WHO SEET TO ENROLL IN A SCHOOL OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM FOR THE FIRST TIME MUST PRESENT TO THE PRINCIPAL THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS (Policy 5.10):
- an official birth certificate or other document for age verification purposes in kindergarten and 1st grade (examples: U.S. or foreign birth certificate; religious, hospital, or physician’s statement; baptismal certificate; adoption record; previously verified school records; or other record acceptable to the school principal). Failure of the parent/legal guardian to provide a birth certificate will not deny, nor delay, a student’s enrollment.
- proof of residence of the parent(s), legal custodian(s), and/or legal guardian(s)s to show residency in the school zone. Falsification of residency is prohibited by Alabama Law [Section 13A-10-109]).
- recent report card or release from last school attended. The school principal shall determine grade placement of students from a private or non-public school or from home education based on state regulations and Tuscaloosa County Board of Education rules regarding transfer of credit as well as other factors including test data, age, and previous school records.
- copy of current immunization form. Immunization certificates, required by Alabama law, must be presented to the principal before a child can enroll in public school unless the child is determined to be McKinney-Vento or qualifies for ESL. Certificates are available from local physicians or local health departments. Only students presenting a Certificate of Medical Exemption or a Certificate of Religious Exemption are excused from this requirement.
- valid social security number. Providing a social security number for school enrollment purposes is completely voluntary and failure to do so will not deny, nor delay, a student’s enrollment. The use of a social security number is solely for the purpose of identification of a student in our student management system. A unique identification number can be assigned by the local school system for any student whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) do not wish to provide that information.
- proof of custody or guardianship when warranted (see section regarding establishing residency)
- verification from principal of transferring school that the student is not currently suspended or expelled. Regardless of age, when a student facing some type of disciplinary action is withdrawn from school prior to receiving the punishment, said student (and his/her parent/legal guardian) should be informed that prior to admission/readmission to any Tuscaloosa County school, the disciplinary action would have to be completed. This includes any suspension, work assignment, or referral to the Superintendent or Board of Education for a hearing and applies to students re-enrolling in the Tuscaloosa County School System or who are enrolling from another school system.
- complete enrollment/transfer form
- exceptions may be granted as provided in Alabama statutes and federal law.
STUDENTS OVER SEVENTEEN YEARS OF AGE
- Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, students up to age 19 who are on track to graduate can no longer be denied enrollment in county school systems solely based on their age. School personnel will complete a transcript audit with the student to determine the student's standing with credits and needs to meet graduation requirements.
- Based on the IEP team's decision, students with disabilities may return to the school district up to the age of 21 to address transition services (only applies to students working towards essential and alternate achievement pathways).
- In Alabama, students are not required to attend Pre-K and funding is not provided as it is on a comprehensive basis for kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Tuscaloosa County School System places a high value on Pre-K programs and will continually strive to provide and expand Pre-K services as possible. As such, opportunity for enrollment into Pre-K classes in the Tuscaloosa County School System is on a limited basis.
- A child whose fourth birthday is on or before September 2nd shall be eligible to apply for admission to the Pre-K Program.
- Completion of a Pre-K application does not guarantee that a child will be enrolled, but instead places the child on a list for the school's random selection drawing, per Office of School Readiness (OSR) guidelines.
- Priority will be given to students who live within the school's attendance zone. Should there not be sufficient interest to fill open Pre-K class(es) within the school's attendance zone, students within the entire Tuscaloosa County School System may be considered.
- Eligible special education students (ages 3 - 5) will be served according to their Individual Education Program (IEP).