Enrollment in Virginia Public Schools
Information necessary for pupil enrollment in public schools
In order to enroll a child in a public school system in Virginia, state law requires a parent or guardian of a child to provide certain information to the child's school division. The required information is listed below:
1. Birth Certificate
An official certified copy of the child's birth record must be provided. (A photocopy of the child's birth certificate will not meet this requirement.)
At the time of enrollment, the child must be five years of age or reach his/her fifth birthday on or before September 30th of the school year.
Information on obtaining a certified copy of a birth certification is available at the Virginia Department of Health website.
If a certified copy of the child's birth record cannot be obtained, the person enrolling the child must submit a sworn statement setting forth the child's age and explaining the inability to present a certified copy of the birth record.
2. Street Address
Documentation of the street address or route number of the child's residence must be provided. If no street address or route number exists for the child's residence, a post office box number must be provided.
If a child has no regular, fixed residence but resides within the school division in a temporary shelter, institution, or place not ordinarily used as a residence, the school division may determine that a street address, route number, or post office box number, cannot be provided. The school division may accept an alternative form of address that it considers appropriate.
3. School Entrance Health Form
A School Entrance Health Form, MCH 213F, completed by a licensed physician, licensed nurse practitioner, or licensed physician's assistant regarding the child, must be presented at the time of enrollment. The three-part form includes Part I-Health Information Form, Part II Certification of Immunization, and Part III-Comprehensive Physical Examination Report. The report must indicate that the child has received a comprehensive physical examination performed within the twelve months prior to the date the child first enters a public kindergarten or elementary school (K-5). The physical examination report must include "Recommendations to School" and other information as required by school division policy.
The health departments of all the counties and cities must provide the physical examination for medically indigent children without charge, upon request.
The Comprehensive Physical Examination is not required of any child if it violates the family's religious beliefs and the child's parent or guardian states in writing that the child is free from any communicable or contagious disease and there is no visual evidence of sickness.
Documentation (Part II of the School Entrance Health Form MCH 213F) indicating that the child has received the required immunizations must be provided. The required immunizations include:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (DTaP, DTP) – A minimum of 4 doses. A child must have at least one dose of DTaP or DTP vaccine on or after the fourth birthday.
- Hepatitis B Vaccine – A complete series of 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine is required for all children. However, the FDA has approved a 2-dose schedule ONLY for adolescents 11-15 years of age AND ONLY when the Merck Brand (RECOMBIVAX HB) Adult Formulation Hepatitis B Vaccine is used.
- Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) – Effective October 1, 2008, a complete series of 3 doses of HPV vaccine is required for females. The first dose shall be administered before the child enters the 6th grade. After reviewing educational materials approved by the Board of Health, the parent or guardian, at the parent’s or guardian’s sole discretion, may elect for the child not to receive the HPV vaccine.
- Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) Vaccine – A minimum of 2 measles, 2 mumps, and 1 rubella. (Most children receive 2 doses of each because the vaccine usually administered is the combination vaccine MMR). First dose must be administered at age 12 months or older. Second dose of vaccine must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.
- Polio Vaccine – A minimum of 4 doses of polio vaccine. One dose must be administered on or after the fourth birthday.
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, & Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) – A booster dose of Tdap vaccine is required for all children entering the 6th grade, if at least five years have passed since the last dose of tetanus-containing vaccine.
- Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine – All susceptible children born on and after January 1, 1997, shall be required to have one dose of chickenpox vaccine administered at age 12 months or older. Effective March 3, 2010, a second dose must be administered prior to entering kindergarten but can be administered at any time after the minimum interval between dose 1 and dose 2.
Minimum Immunizations Requirements for Entry Into Child Care and School is available at the Virginia Department of Health website.
Any child whose immunizations are incomplete may be admitted conditionally, if the parent or guardian provides documentation at the time of enrollment, that the child has received at least one dose of the required immunizations and has a written schedule for completing the remaining doses within 90 days.
No certificate of immunization shall be required for the admission to school of any student if (i) the student or his parent submits an affidavit to the admitting official stating that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with the student's religious tenets or practices; or (ii) the school has written certification from a licensed physician or a local health department that one or more of the required immunizations may be detrimental to the student's health, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstance that contraindicates immunization.
5. Social Security Number
The child's federal social security number must be provided upon enrollment or within 90 days thereafter. However, a child may not be excluded from school if a social security number is not provided. The division superintendent or a person acting on his behalf may waive this requirement if he finds that an individual is not eligible to obtain a social security number in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Education or if the parent is unwilling to provide such number. School divisions may assign a student who receives a waiver an alphanumeric number as a substitute for the social security number.
6. Expulsion Statement
When a student is registered, the parent must provide a sworn statement about whether the child has been expelled. The statement must indicate whether the child has been expelled from attending a private school or another public school in Virginia or a school in another state for an offense involving weapons, alcohol or drugs, or for willful infliction of injury to another person.
7. Enrollment of Homeless Students
Project HOPE ensures the enrollment, attendance, and the success of homeless children and youth in school through public awareness efforts across the commonwealth and subgrants to local school divisions.