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​Student Enrollment FAQ

The following Questions and Answers are provided to assist parents, school districts and charter schools in the student enrollment process. This information is based on applicable school law and regulation and reflects procedures outlined in the recently revised Basic Education Circular (BEC) on Student Enrollment.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) revised its Student Enrollment policy and procedure in accordance with recent changes in federal and state law. School districts and charter schools were requested to publish enrollment policies and procedures which conform to the new BEC on their websites.

School law and regulation provide basic protections to ensure that students receive the education to which they are entitled, and that school districts and charter schools enroll those students who meet residency requirements and applicable requirements which apply to non-resident students. These Q&As provide basic answers to frequently asked questions in simple terms and are not intended to replace the Student Enrollment BEC or create any additional requirements. When in doubt as to the law or regulation, please consult the BEC, Chapter 11 Student Attendance Regulation and the PA Public School Code.



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​Who can enroll a child in school?

What can a school district ask the person enrolling a child to prove in order to enroll a resident student? A “resident student” is a student who lives with his or her parent(s) in the school district.

Are there any other enrollment requirements for a resident student?

What kind of proof of age, residency and immunization status may a family be asked to provide?

Must a school district enroll a child within a certain time period?

Are there any documents a school district may never require as a condition of enrollment?

May a school district inquire into the immigration status of a child?

Must a school district provide extra help when the person enrolling the child has limited English skills?

Are there different enrollment rules for students in foster care or a child living in a residential setting located in the school district?

What are the enrollment requirements for a child who is living with a district resident when the child’s parents do not live in the school district?

May the school district require the person enrolling the child to prove that she has custody of the child?

​May a youth ever enroll himself in school?

Are there other circumstances when a student may enroll herself in school?

If a student is under age 21 and has a Graduation Equivalency Diploma (GED), may he enroll in school and work towards her high school diploma?

If a student is re-enrolling in a district following a delinquency placement, may the school district place the child in an alternative education program for disruptive youth?

May a child who is placed in the foster care system remain in the same school or school district even if her foster parent placement changes and she moves to a new school attendance area or new school district?

What about children who are awaiting placement in foster care?

What happens when a dispute arises regarding the enrollment of a student?