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Clayton school enrollment moved to avoid long waits

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Clayton County school officials are moving student enrollment to the district's 60 schools in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the first day of the last school year, when parents stood outside the Family Resource Center in long lines to enroll their children.

As the sweltering sun loomed overhead on Aug. 7, 2007, tempers began to flair and parents criticized the school system for making parents go to one location for enrollment.

Enrollment for the 2008-09 school year will take place at the schools from 8 a.m., to 4 p.m., each weekday through the beginning of the school year. If a parent has children who will be enrolled in multiple schools, such as an elementary school student and a middle school student, the parent will have to go to each school to enroll the youths.

In Clayton County, Aug. 7 is again the first day of school for students.

"Last year, we became reacquainted with the fact that people will wait until the last minute to enroll their children in school," said district spokesman Charles White. "We felt that by returning it to the schools, they would feel more comfortable and they would not have to wait in the sun. Plus, at each individual school, the lines will be shorter."

Parents can find out which elementary, middle or high school their children would attend by logging onto the school system's web site, www.clayton.k12.ga.us, and looking for a school locator link in the rotating images on the district's home page.

Once a parent has clicked on the link, he or she will be asked to identify the first letter of the name of his or her street. A scroll bar will then appear listing every street in the county which begins with that letter.

If more than one Clayton County city has a street with the same name, such as "Church Street, " two letters will be listed after the street name to identify the city. For example, "JB" stands for Jonesboro, "LJ" stands for Lovejoy, and "RV" stands for Riverdale. Once the street has been selected, a list of elementary, middle and high schools whose attendance boundaries include that street, will appear.

If a parent does not have access to the internet, he or she can call the closest school for assistance, or they can call the district's transportation department at (770) 473-2835. Each branch of the Clayton County library system has computers with internet access, also.

To enroll a child in a Clayton County school, the following documents will need to be shown to school officials:

· Two proofs of residency, such as a valid mortgage or lease agreement; a copy of a residential sales contract; current utility bill, or a receipt to get utilities connected.

· A copy of a certified birth certificate.

· Documents verifying guardianship of the child, such as a divorce decree which grants physical or sole custody; a placement order issued by a probate court, juvenile court or the Department of Family and Children Services.

· A Georgia certificate of immunization, Form 3231.

· A Georgia Certificate of Eye, Ear, Dental, Form 3300.

· Withdrawal form from the child's previous school.

· A copy of the child's discipline record, if he or she is being enrolled in grades 7 through 12.

· The child's Social Security card.

· Other items may also be requested during the enrollment process, such as an IEP for special education students; gifted/talented records; an unofficial transcript for class scheduling purposes, and a report card.