Kindergarten and Other New Student Registration FAQ

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    When will ACPS begin kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year?

    Kindergarten registration will now begin online on Wednesday, May 20. It was originally due to start on Friday, May 15, and this date has needed to be pushed back a few days to allow time to ensure we are able to have detailed processes in place to provide excellent customer service. Our goal is to make this process as smooth and efficient as it possibly can be, so these additional five days will allow us to iron out any issues we may have faced with transitioning our registration process to be entirely online.

    How do I register my child for kindergarten?

    This year, our process for kindergarten registration is a little different. Due to the Governor’s stay-at-home orders that are in place until at least June 10, we are making the process 100% online. Kindergarten registration is divided into two parts. 

    • Completion of the 2020-21 new student registration form.
      As of Wednesday, May 20, online registration forms for the 2020-21 school year will be available on the ACPS Enrollment webpage.
    • Verification of residency and other documentation.
      This is usually done in person at a school. Given the stay-at-home order and the uncertainty around when schools will be able to reopen, we have transitioned this second step to an online process. The ACPS Enrollment webpage will include a listing of the registration and enrollment email contact at each school and you will be provided further instructions upon submission of the online registration form.

    How do I submit my documents?

    We are in the process of finalizing this and will update the ACPS Enrollment webpage when we have the new information.

    How can I be sure that this process is secure?

    Upon completion of the online registration form, families will receive directions on how to upload their documents in a secure manner. This information will also be displayed on the ACPS Enrollment webpage.

    Are the online forms available in Spanish?

    Yes. You can complete the entire enrollment process in Spanish or English online.

    Are the online forms available in Arabic and Amharic?

    The online forms are not accessible in Arabic and Amharic. However, there are other options:

    1. Contact the school registrar at your zoned school and they will assist you in filling out the forms. 
    2. Contact the Office of English Learner Services as 703-619-8022, or email eloffice@acps.k12.va.us, and an EL office registrar can assist you with completing the forms.

    Is the ACPS process different from the registration process used by other school divisions?

    All school divisions differ slightly in their registration processes. However, at this time, divisions across the region are aligning their processes to ensure that we are working together to find the best options available during this crisis. ACPS has been collaborating with other school divisions to ensure our processes are in step.

    Why not wait to register students in the summer or fall once the Governor’s stay-at-home order has ended?

    Firstly, we do not know when the Governor’s stay-at-home order will end, nor do we have an exact date for when schools may reopen. Secondly, we need to be able to assess student enrollment numbers so that we can plan class assignments, bus routes and many other operational factors for the fall.

    In addition, the Virginia Department of Education has made it clear that school divisions must continue to register students. This is a basic state requirement that was temporarily adjusted at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Now that the pandemic is continuing longer than the three weeks we initially thought, it would potentially harm students if they were not able to register in public education. Therefore, we are devising new ways to ensure we can continue to register students.

    Can any student register now?

    ACPS is open for enrollment for any student resident within the City of Alexandria. Where possible, given the late stage in the school year, ACPS is encouraging students to stay enrolled in virtual classes with their former school division. However, when this is not possible, we will enroll them. Students needing to enroll for the current school year should visit the ACPS Enrollment webpage and fill out the 2019-20 New Student Registration form. Students with a primary home language other than English may contact the Office of English Learner Services at 703-619-8022 or email eloffice@acps.k12.va.us for assistance in completing the online forms.

    What if my child is an English Learner student or has a primary home language other than English?

    The Office of English Learner Services can provide assistance in registering your child for school. Please call 703-619-8022 or email eloffice@acps.k12.va.us and provide the following information: 

    • Parent/Guardian name
    • phone number
    • Address
    • total number of students needing to be registered
    • student name(s)
    • Student birthdate(s)

    The Office of English Learner Services will contact you to schedule an appointment time to assist you in completing the online registration forms, determining grade placement, transcript evaluations, and providing information about EL assessments and instructional supports.

    All ACPS registrars and staff also have access to Language Line and can use this resource to help families enter their information directly into PowerSchool, our student database, over the phone.

    How are we enrolling families who cannot register online?

    We are in the process of establishing a phone line or central email that people can contact with any registration questions. More details will follow on this shortly.

    Can I fill out the forms on my phone?

    All forms can be filled out on a phone, laptop or any other device.

    What do I do if I want to enroll my child for a special program?

    All enrollments begin with filling out the online registration form. Based on your answers and comments your school will assist with enrolling in special programs such as Special Education.

    Will you still have some version of Kindergarten Prep this summer?

    K-Prep is currently scheduled for August 18-21. We are still working through what this may look like if our buildings are not open at that stage. We are asking parents of new kindergarten students to save the date and we will let you know more as it gets closer.

    Is the Dual Language Summer K-Prep Program still being offered?

    This program, usually held at Mount Vernon Community School, will follow the same plan as K-Prep at traditional schools. If we cannot hold K-Prep in our buildings, it is likely we will not be able to hold this program that takes place in July. We are looking at alternatives for all of these programs.

    Are there ways my rising kindergartner can prepare for school?

    Although we do not have the traditional open houses planned, there are other ways you and your prospective student can learn about your elementary school. Take a look at the school’s social media accounts, contact the PTA, or even email the principal. And please, if you have friends who are joining the ACPS family for the first time, be sure to forward this information to them. We look forward to welcoming them.

    What happens if my child is applying for a program such as the modified calendar at Tucker, the Dual Language programs at Mount Vernon or John Adams, or a K-8 school such as Patrick Henry or Jefferson-Houston?

    All registrations begin with filling out the online registration form for your zoned school. Your school will help you fill out any transfer requests for our programs.

    What if a lottery is needed?

    This timeline allows time for a lottery, should one be necessary. Your online application is all that is needed to be included in the lottery.

    Lotteries are usually carried out on July 1 and all parents are notified about their choice of school shortly after that. We don’t want you to have to wait any longer than you would normally to hear if you have got a place at your choice of school or not for the coming school year.

    How do I register my Pre-K student?

    Pre-K enrollment began April 15 for parents who had previously called in and set up appointments or filled out paper or online forms. The first part of the process can be handled over the phone. If you have a child who is eligible for the Virginia Preschool Initiative, please call 703-619-8026 or email vpiearlychildhood@acps.k12.va.us and a member of staff will contact you. 

    Are there any exceptions for the requirement for physicals since many people can't get an appointment with a doctor at this time?

    For now, Virginia schools are not waiving the requirement for a physical exam within a year prior to enrolling in a Virginia school. All physicals will still need to be completed prior to a child starting school in the fall. You can get records from your doctor to submit for vaccinations. These can be done once the Governor's stay-at-home order has been lifted.

    Please be aware these guidelines are being revisited by the Virginia Department of Education and more information will be coming regarding these requirements.

    Does my child still need to have a TB test and immunization information to register for school? 

    Yes. You can fill out the paperwork online, but all requirements for registration (residency verification, immunizations) still apply. Immunizations and TB tests will still need to be completed prior to a child starting school in the fall. These can be done once the Governor's stay-at-home order has been lifted. You will need to provide your doctor with the 4-page Virginia School Entrance Health Form (PDF), provided in the enrollment packet, if they do not already provide it for you.

    Please be aware these guidelines are being revisited by the Virginia Department of Education and more information will be coming regarding these requirements.