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Enroll or transfer to public schools in the USA

If you want to enroll or transfer to the schools in the United States at the Kindergarten through grade 12 level, the very first step is to understand the United States education system.The children attend elementary, middle and high school.

Here is the chart which explains,

Private and Public Schools.

Private and Public School differ basically from their funding and administration. As public schools are funded by the state or nation. Private Schools are funded by the students’ tuition. 

Prepare your School transfer documents

The document list may vary depending on the school districts. Make sure to do research. I would suggest to contact the school directly or visit their website for information. Here the general documents list needed for school transfer,

  • Transfer Letter from previous school
  • Immunization Record
  • Birth Certificates
  • Proof of Residency (may be lease agreement, utility bills etc)
  • Official transcripts.
  • Finally talk to school officials in the state where you are planning to live.

Placement Test

Be sure to check for placement test standards at your school of choice. Every state has  different regulations and standards on this. 

Check out the test guide.

English Language Proficiency Assessment

If your child is not a native English speaker, the school may conduct an assessment on the English Proficiency to make sure to place him/her on the right level. Be sure to do research.

Know about SEVP certified School.

A SEVP-certified school is a college, university, seminary, high school, private elementary/middle school, academic program that has certification to enroll F /M non immigrant students. 

Here is the link to the SEVP certified school list page will be a good resource to look up and find the right school.

SEVP certified public secondary school(grade 9-12)

 An F-1 or M-1 student  can attend all public schools for the maximum period of 12 months.

They cannot spend a year at one public high school and then transfer to another public high school; however, you can transfer to an SEVP-certified private school to continue toward a diploma.

An F-1/M-1 student may not attend schools(graded k-8) that are SEVP certified.

For information visit Grade 9 to Grade 12 Public Schools page.

Private Schools

Unlike public schools, regulations place no limit on the length of time an F-1 student may attend a private, SEVP-certified school.

General Tips to ease the mid-year transfer.

A mid year school transfer for your child can be successful if you are supportive and ease the transition by keeping the communication open. Being prepared upfront can make transferring  mid-year much less stressful. Good Luck!