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Frequently Asked Questions

ENROLLMENT

Are there time extensions and waivers allowed for documents required for enrollment?  YES

Any child enrolling in Kindergarten or Grade 1 shall present the required evidence of age upon enrollment.  Any child in Grades 2 through 12 not in compliance at the end of sixty (60) days from enrollment shall be suspended until in compliance. {37-15-1}

Can students who are 18 years or older enroll themselves in school?  NO

Whenever any minor child seeks or applies to enroll or gain entrance to any public school in this state, and the child is not accompanied by an adult or is accompanied by an adult who is not the child's parent or guardian, if a legal guardian has been appointed for the child, or legal custodian, the school official or officials or teacher to whom the child applies or reports for enrollment or admission may delay consideration of the enrollment or enlistment of the minor child and require the child's parent, legal guardian or legal custodian to accompany the  child and apply for enrollment and admission into the school for and on behalf of the minor child. {37-15-11}

Can a district stop enrolling students during the school year?  NO

Mississippi compulsory school attendance law requires all students between the ages of 6-17 years of age to be enrolled in a public, private or home school educational program. {37-13-91}

What does the school have to do when a student arrives and has never been in school? ALLOW ENROLLMENT

Mississippi compulsory school attendance law requires all students between the ages of 6-17 years of age to be enrolled in a public, private or home school educational program. 

What information should the school request from parents/students upon request for enrollment?

Each local school should have an enrollment policy that is aligned with the State Board of Education’s Residency Policy.

How should school districts deal with a student, who has previously dropped out of their school and is seeking to re-enroll?

If the student is beyond the mandatory age, the district is not mandated to re-enroll the student. If the student does meet the requirements to re-enroll, the district should consider the student’s age, his/her proximity to meeting graduation requirements.  Depending on the amount of time a student has been out of school, the district should use a method to determine the student’s grade placement.

Can a district withdraw a student discovered to be living outside the district?  YES

The superintendent or his/her designee should communicate/correspond with parent and give them proper notification of any pending action.

 

WITHDRAW STUDENTS

Can a school withdraw a student based on a telephone call?  NO

Telephone conversations do not allow schools to have documentation in writing, nor do they allow schools to verify the identity of the caller.

Can a school withdraw a student for lack of attendance?

School districts have the authority to withdraw a student after he/she has acquired 20 consecutive unexcused days.  The district must ensure that any student of compulsory school age has been referred to the school attendance officer in accordance with the compulsory school attendance law.

District administrators or designee have the authority to communicate with parents regarding a possible withdrawal and subsequent re-enrollment when it is established that the student is going to miss an extended, consecutive amount of time.

What information needs to be reported when a student withdraws prematurely and drops out of school?           

Under section 37-13-91, the school district must report the student to the school attendance officer. 

Note: Student in grades 9th-12th who stops attending school or does not return to school at the beginning of the school year is considered a dropout unless the district of ownership can obtain official documentation that the student has transferred to another educational program.

Can a district withdraw a student discovered to be living outside the district?  YES

The superintendent or his/her designee should communicate/correspond with parent and give them proper notification of any pending action.

Can a school withdraw a student from the student roster?

A district can drop a student from the student roster.  However, since the school attendance officer has to be notified at 5 and 12 unlawful days, the district should not drop a student prior to the 20th consecutive day of non-attendance.

What is the student withdrawal date?

The student withdrawal date shall be the last day of attendance or the day the school district obtains documentation validating the student no longer resides in the attendance area.

Records

Who may legally request a copy of student records?

Parent/guardian and eligible students may request copies of school records.  Others may gain access to records through subpoenas, judicial orders or with written authorization from the parent, guardian or eligible student. 

What documents may be considered proof of guardianship or custodianship?

Adults acting in the role of guardian or custodian may enroll a child upon providing proof of guardianship or custodianship which may include the following:

  • A valid court order;
  • The most recent tax return naming the child as a dependent (return must be the form submitted to the IRS):
  • Health insurance coverage for the child;

Any public aid documents covering the child.

Can a school withhold sending records on a student that has outstanding debt?  NO

NONCUSTODIAL PARENT

Can a non-custodial parent demand that their name be placed on the student’s emergency contact card?  NO

Emergency contact information is controlled by the custodial parent.  If there is a situation in which there is a parent disagreement/separation and custody has not been established, then the enrolling parent retains the right to establish the emergency contact information.

Can a non-custodial adult (non-parent/guardian) enroll a student in school?  NO

Only a parent or legal guardian may enroll a child in school

Can a parent, living in another area or jurisdiction request student records?  YES

A parent is not required to have physical custody of their child to retain legal, custodial rights to information about the child.

Can a non-custodial parent request grades and other school correspondence in regard to their child?  YES

Unless there is a legal document that precludes a biological, non-custodial parent, he/she is entitled to their child’s grades and information.

Can a biological parent, considered to be the non-custodial parent, enroll their child that is now living with the non-custodial parent?  YES

The non-custodial parent must obtain legal custody (through the judicial system) for the child. The non-custodial can have the custodial parent complete a “Power of Attorney” document which provides the non-custodial parent with enrollment and signature privileges.


FOSTER STUDENTS

What should a school district require from students that are wards of the state and do not have immunization records upon request for enrollment?

School districts should work with state/local agencies in their efforts to enroll students.  The students may have been removed from the home quickly.  Because the students could likely be homeless, schools should work with the caseworker to ensure a smooth transition.

What should a school district expect from the Department of Human Services in regard to that agency establishing enrollment?

The Department of Human Services cannot gain custody without a custody order signed by the courts.  This court order would give them legal guardianship as it relates to the child.


HOMELESS

Can a homeless student be allowed to remain at their school of origin, even if their temporary residence is located outside of that student’s attendance area?

By federal law, schools must allow homeless students to remain in their school of origin.  Schools may contest that placement and attempt to have the student attend their school of “temporary residence”, but the student must be allowed to stay in their school of origin until such determination is made.


HOMESCHOOL

What documentation is required to validate a student transfer to home school?

The proof shall include a certificate of enrollment signed by the parent, guardian or custodian.


Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     Phone: (601) 359-5743     Fax: (601) 576-3504

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