Special Registration Situations

Nonparents, divorced or separated parents, homelessness, foster care, and foreign exchange students

Nonparent Registrations

Only students who are physically residing with one or both parents in Fairfax County are eligible to attend Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).  According to the Code of Virginia 22.1-3, a person wishing to enroll a student who is not the parent listed on the birth certificate, must provide documented proof that the parents of the student are unable to care for the student due to extreme hardship (such as death of parent, incarceration of a parent or assignment of parent to active duty military duty).  

For these situations, please contact the Student Registration Welcome Center at [email protected] or 703-204-6769.

Divorced or Separated Parents

Divorcing parents often have questions about their rights to information, decision-making and access in the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). The Parents’ Rights in Fairfax County Public Schools is a summary of those rights, which apply to all parents including legal guardians and parents who are married, separated, divorced, or have never been married.  For more information, consult FCPS Regulation 2240 , the principal of your child’s school, or the school’s webpage. Appropriate court orders denoting physical/legal custody issues will be placed in the student record. Please present any court documentation to the school at the time of registration.


FCPS is committed to providing support for our students who are experiencing homelessness. We have programs in place to make certain that these students have the resources necessary to obtain a successful education.  

FCPS has a homeless liaison responsible for ensuring that homeless children are identified, enrolled, and receive equitable access to high quality education and support services. Parents should contact the homeless liaison at 571-423-4332 for assistance.

Please refer to the Information for Homeless Families contacts and resources.

Foster Care

Any student who is placed through the Virginia Department of Social Services, must follow the provisions mandated in the Fostering Connections guidance. The social worker must contact the school registrar and the Foster Care Liaison prior to the change of placement so that a Best Interest Determination meeting may be conducted. The information should be submitted to the school registrar.  

Once the determination has been decided, the Foster Care social worker and/or foster parent must make an appointment at the local school and present legal documentation and proof of residency in Fairfax County.   

If the student is placed through another state's Department of Social Services, an Interstate Compact Agreement must be arranged.  Information may be obtained from the Registration Services Technician at [email protected]

Foreign Student Exchange Programs

FCPS recognizes that foreign exchange programs provide international students an opportunity to study abroad and to gain a global perspective while providing an enriching experience for all students.   

Approved Foreign Student Exchange Agencies 

Only students working with Foreign Student Exchange Agencies approved by FCPS will be considered for enrollment. Exchange organizations should contact the Student Registration Welcome Center at [email protected] to indicate an interest in placing exchange students and to provide an advance notice of their intent to place. 

Guidelines and Procedures for Foreign Student Exchange Agencies 

FCPS Regulation 2236 provides information for Foreign Student Exchange Agencies. These guidelines and procedures are established to promote rewarding cultural exchanges and to ensure that foreign exchange students in Fairfax County adhere to local expectations.

I-20 Applications

In order for a foreign student to obtain the necessary Form I-20 from FCPS, the following criteria must be met:

  • The State Department requires the family to reimburse the cost of education to the public school. Tuition is to be paid in full with a U.S. certified check at the time the I-20 application is submitted. The current tuition cost can be found from FCPS Notice 2206.   
  • The student must demonstrate strong academic performance and provide all high school transcripts. 
  • The student must provide current Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) results.  
  • The sponsor must be a legal resident in Fairfax County, and the high school of attendance is assigned according to the sponsor’s address. 
  • The  I-20 form is valid for one year only (non-extendable). 
  • Eligible students must be in grades 9-12. Students are not accepted for grade 12 after a foreign exchange year and are not eligible to graduate from FCPS. 

More information may be obtained from the Registration Services Technician at [email protected].

Kindergarten Registration

Age 5 on or by September 30

General Registration Requirements

Grades 1st through 12th