A. Proof of student’s date of birth
1. Districts may require some form of proof of birthdate to ensure that child is “school age” (5 on or by 9/15 and under age 21)
2. Nothing gives a district the right to require that the proof be a birth certificate
3. Therefore, reasonable alternatives include an adoption record, certified statement of physician, or anything reasonably reliable
B. Kindergarten, first graders
1. Iowa Code § 282.3 unequivocally states that a child must be five on or before 9/15 to enter Kindergarten and must be six on or before 9/15 to enter first grade.
2. There is an Iowa Attorney General’s Opinion (#79-7-3) stating that neither the DE nor the local school district has discretion to disregard this law.
3. One resolution is to enroll the child when legal to do so in Kindergarten, and – if appropriate to do so in the district’s opinion and only the district’s opinion – promote the child to first grade as soon as warranted.
4. The statute provides one exception to the requirement that a child be six : if the child moves in from another jurisdiction where the child completed kindergarten already, the child may be enrolled in at means no exceptions – it doesn’t matter that the child moved in from another state where the child has been in kindergarten most of the year already.
C. Social Security Numbers. The DE does not require SSNs of students. Neither should
schools and school districts other than on the free/reduced price lunch application.
D. Legal Names. Per rule 12.3(4), students must be registered using the child’s legal name (not, for instance, stepfather’s surname).
1. Do NOT accept only a post office box for an address unless it is known for certain that the family resides in the district. Districts have a right to know who is truly a resident of their district.
2. In cases where one parent has a No Contact Order protecting him/her from the other parent or from a third party, accept the P.O. Box, but make sure that the parent registering children is a resident of the district. The protected party could, for instance, let the building principal know her street address in return for a guarantee that her child’s records will only reflect the P.O. Box.
3. If all else fails, explain that Iowa Code 282.6 mandates that a district charge tuition of non-resident pupils. A district may assume non-residency until proper residency is proven. That should produce some street addresses.
There is no such thing as a “registration fee,” so avoid using that term. The chart of allowable fees is at http://www.iowa.gov/educate/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1438&Itemid=2434.