GENERAL ADMISSION OF STUDENTS
The public schools in each school division shall be free to each person of school age who resides within the school division. Every person of school age shall be deemed to reside in a school division when he or she is living with a natural parent, a parent by legal adoption,
...or when the parents of such person are dead, (and the person is living with) a person in loco parentis, who actually resides within the school division...
Code of Virginia, Section 22.1-3
EXCEPTION: CHILD WHO IS NOT LIVING WITH NATURAL OR ADOPTIVE PARENTS WILL BE DEEMED TO BE A RESIDENT OF THE SCHOOL DIVISION ONLY UNDER THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES.
...when the parents of such person are unable to care for the person and the person is living, not solely for school purposes, with another person who (i) resides in the school division and (ii) is the court-appointed guardian, or has legal custody...
...or when the person is living in the school division not solely for school purposes, as an emancipated minor.
Code of Virginia, Section 22.1-3
ADMISSION PROCESS FOR A CHILD IN THE CUSTODY OF A FAIRFAX COUNTY RESIDENT
In order to petition Fairfax County Public Schools to grant residency status to a student, the guardian must contact Student Registration at 703-204-6744 before the standard registration process can take place. Only students being enrolled by a natural or adoptive parent may be enrolled directly at the neighborhood school.
Documentation of Family Circumstances: The inability of both natural parents to care for the child must be documented.
1. A personal written statement must explain the nature of the family hardship. The reasons should be very specific as to why the student cannot be cared for by the natural parents.
2. Independent verification or substantiation of the family circumstances from an appropriate professional or agency must be provided by the petitioner, for example, proof of incarceration, doctor's statement, investigative statement by child protective services.
Request for Residency: The school district's form requesting residency status must be completed. The form is available from Student Registration.
Documentation of Legal Custody: When the signed statement of family circumstances has been approved by Student Registration, the prospective guardian must petition the court for custody:
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
4110 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 104
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
- A custody order signed by a judge is required for enrollment, but provisional approval from a Student Registration official should be secured prior to going to court. A student will not be enrolled on a non-tuition basis, despite custody orders, if the family circumstances do not warrant the granting of residency to the child.
- A custody order from another state, signed by a judge, will be recognized; but permission to enroll is still necessary.
- A power of attorney, a petition for adoption, or a notarized statement of guardianship are insufficient.
IMPORTANT: Having guardianship through a custody order is not sufficient by itself to enroll a child in school. The family circumstances will also be considered in the approval process.
Note: Fairfax County Public Schools has implemented procedures for the identification and enrollment in school of homeless students. Parents and guardians of families experiencing homelessness may 571-423-4332 or the neighborhood school for enrollment assistance.
Joanne Chen, Coordinator
Robin Sheare, Web Development Specialist
August 15, 2011