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Being new to the USA presents a lot of challenges for expatriates, one of which is looking for the right school for your children.California School Registration

The U.S. can offer a very good public education. The U.S. system ranks in the top 25 school systems in the world. California is home to nearly 600 schools ranked among the 2014 U.S. News Best High Schools.

When looking for a house or apartment, be sure to check that the area is located in a highly ranked school district. Be aware, though, that cities with the best school districts can have higher rental rates and real estate values.

Getting registered at a school is quite simple and stress free. You simply go to the school’s front office with the right documents. Within a few hours, you are all set.

Below is a list of documents that parents or guardians are required to show by most California school districts. Bring all originals and copies of the following:


  • Completed copy of online or printed registration
  • Child’s original or certified birth certificate (or a passport or certified baptismal certificate)
  • Child’s immunization records for the following immunizations:
  1. Polio
  2. DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis)
  3. Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
  4. Varicella (Chicken Pox)
  5. Hepatitis B

NOTE: State laws require that children be vaccinated before attending school.

  • Child’s grades, progress report or transcript (does not apply to new kindergarten enrollments)


Parent or guardian:

  • Parent/guardian’s current government identification (ID, driver’s license, or passport)
  • A property deed (or most recent property tax bill) or a current rental agreement with the following:
  1. Parent/Guardian name, students name(s), name of owner or manager and telephone number (sub-leases will not be accepted)
  • PG&E, power and telecom (electricity), water or garbage bill ONLY (no cable or Internet) to show proof of residency

As an expat, you have enough to do to settle in to a new city; school enrollment can be one of the easier steps in your move. Just be prepared with the documents needed and your school enrollment process will be as easy as A-B-C.

Need more advice? We offer support on schooling, day care and pre-schools. See more helpful tips on moving with school-age children and download our handy guides.

About the author

Jon Villasanta

Born in the Philippines, Jon has been with Crown for 11 years. He is Crown’s 2012 Top Sales Achiever, B Branch, North America. Jon has previously lived and worked in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong and has been in the US since 2006.

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