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ParentsGetting started in MCPS (The Basics) → Enrolling Your Child in School

Determining Eligibility for Enrollment

All children living in Montgomery County have the right to attend the public schools. A child is eligible for enrollment if he or she is 5 years old by September 1 and not age 21 on the first day of school. According to Maryland law, every child between the ages of 5 and 16 must attend school.

A child whose birth date is between September 2 and October 15 may be considered for early entrance to kindergarten.

Additional Information 

What School Does Your Child Attend?

Most students must attend the school that serves the area in which they live. To find out which school serves your address, call 240-314-4710 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays or check on the school assignment locator.

Additional Information 

  • School boundary maps are available in the reference section of every Montgomery County library, and can be purchased at:
    • Division of Long-range Planning
      2096 Gaither Road
      Rockville, Maryland
    • Public Information Office
      Carver Educational Services Center
      850 Hungerford Drive, Room 112
      Rockville, Maryland

How MCPS Organizes Schools

All Montgomery County public schools are organized into clusters. Each cluster consists of one high school (which provides the cluster's name), and the middle and elementary schools within its attendance boundary. Each grouping of four or five clusters is supervised by a community superintendent. In addition, three consortia allow students living within the attendance areas of the member schools to choose their middle or high school, based on their interests and program offerings at each school.

Additional Information

What You Need to Enroll

Registration takes place at the school your child will attend. All new students or students who are reentering MCPS after withdrawing must provide proof of age, legal identity of the parent or guardian, residency, and immunizations. Examples of acceptable verification documents are available online. If your child has attended school elsewhere, you also need to bring the most recent report card. Parents of students who have received special education services should bring a copy of the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Additional Information 

All students entering MCPS must present a Maryland Immunization Certificate 896 or a printout from a doctor's office. This form becomes part of your child's permanent health record. A list of immunizations required for enrollment, the Immunization Certificate, and additional information on immunizations can be found online. A physical examination also is required for students entering Maryland public schools for the first time or transferring from a private school.

Additional Information 

International Student Admissions

The following students must begin the enrollment process at the Residency and International Admissions office (RIA):

  • Students who were born abroad but who are living or intend to live in Montgomery County and who are registering in MCPS for the first time or who have not attended MCPS within the last two years.
  • Foreign students with a permanent residency abroad who are seeking admissions into MCPS.
  • U.S. citizens returning from abroad should call RIA for enrollment information.

Additional Information 

Homeless Students

Students are considered homeless if they lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence. School placement decisions are made on the basis of the best interest of the student.

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Home Schooling

Maryland recognizes home schooling as an alternative to public school enrollment and has regulations that must be followed if parents chose this option.

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Transfers/Change of School Assignment

Students are assigned to public schools based on their place of residence or in accordance with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and are expected to attend their assigned school. However, changes from one school to another are permitted for students who are exempt or who are granted a change of school assignment based upon unique hardship.

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