Tools for School

Enrolling a Child in School in Georgia – What You Need to Know

child coloring

All children living in Georgia have the right to register to go to public school on the day an adult tries to enroll them.

In 1982, a landmark judgment, Plyler v. Doe, reached the Supreme Court where it was decided that the Equal Protections Clause requires local school districts to ensure that all children in the United States have access to K-12 education.

Do you have a child between 6 & 16? If so, Georgia law requires the child to attend a public or private school or a home study program.

See the law outlined, here.

  • A parent may enroll a child.
  • A third-party adult having physical custody of a child for a legitimate purpose may enroll the child in school without obtaining legal guardianship or custody over the child.
  • The third-party adults with power of attorney for care of the child, non-custodial parents or other persons having physical custody of a child of a transition military family are permitted to enroll or withdraw the child.
  • Public schools shall accept immigrant/non-visa-holders who meet age and residency requirements and shall not inquire about their legal status.
  • The adult is not required to provide their child’s Social Security Number in order to complete the school enrollment/registration process.
  • Rather than giving a Social Security Number, the adult may fill out a Statement of Objection/Waiver form.
    Failure to turn in the Statement/Waiver form cannot bar or delay a child’s enrollment in school. Nor can it result in the child’s withdrawal from school.
  • Public schools must provide limited English proficient (LEP) parents with meaningful access to the same information provided to non-LEP parents. This includes interpretation and translation of all school policies and requirements, not just regarding enrollment and registration.
  • Public school districts do not have to enroll children who were expelled from another school district.
    School district documents for enrollment must not unlawfully bar or discourage a student from enrolling or attending school because of the immigration status of the student, parent or relative.

Documents required to enroll your child in school

Undocumented children are guaranteed an education in U.S. public schools through grade 12, but may face legal and financial barriers to higher education.

CollegeBoard provides advice on higher education obstacles and possibilities, here.

How do Undocumented Students Enroll in Higher Education?

For parents with children attending an Atlanta Public School, click HERE for a Resource Guides List of community services based on school cluster.

graduating studentsOf the foreign-born population in the metro Atlanta area, 21.1% hold a graduate degree. Studies have shown that having a degree opens the door for more job opportunities and has the ability to improve an individual’s quality of life.

No matter your country of origin or the language you speak at home we want you to now that you are college material!




How to Apply?

Applying to college can be a daunting task. There are many steps involved in the application process, but being knowledgeable and prepared can make this task easier to manage.

Making a List of Colleges

  • While not seen as important until your junior year of high school, start thinking of potential majors, geographical locations, and programs that colleges have to offer throughout your freshman and sophomore year. If possible, apply to college summer programs for high school students to get a feel of what it is like to live on a college campus.


  • The College Board advises that students take the SAT (Student Aptitude Test) during their junior year to provide enough time to study and retake the exam, if necessary. The SAT has been criticized as having a strong emphasis on vocabulary and testing your ability to take the exam rather than testing what you know and is the reason why some students decide to take the ACT (American College Testing). Deciding which exam works best for you can be determined through free practice exams found in the links provided. Additionally, having already made a potential list of colleges, comparing the average scores from accepted students will allow you to make a decision on whether being accepted to that college will be feasible.

Common App and College Applications

  • Now that the exams are done, it is time fill out the college applications.  Many colleges utilize the Common App, which allows you to submit and track the progress of your application such as supplements, recommendations, and school forms. Some colleges have their own on-line portal to complete their application and may have additional supplements. Check with your colleges of interest to determine which applications and supplements are required. 
  • Application essays can be a breeze for some, and a difficult task for others. The essay prompts can range from “who is the most influential person in your life?” to “if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?” This is the place where colleges look to get a sense of who you are and where you can showcase your talents. It is recommended that multiple individuals proofread your application essays before submitting it.
  • Teacher and counselor recommendations are the last component of your applications. Forming relationships with teachers throughout your junior and senior year of high school will make the asking process much easier and will reflect on the recommendation. When in doubt, ask the recommender whether the recommendation will be in your favor to make the job on you and the recommender easier.

College applications do have a fee ranging from $50-$90, but can be waived if certain qualifications are met. Contact your high school and/or colleges of interest for more information.

For information on how to pay for college, go to our scholarships page


Teaching Tolerance 

Effective teachers need an arsenal of strategies for instruction and classroom management. Use the simple tools and approaches below to create a more inclusive environment that promotes student learning. Access the tools create by the Southern Poverty Law Center HERE.

Want the Welcoming Atlanta team to come to your class and discuss Atlanta as a welcoming city? Email us at

Preventing Youth Hate Crime

A guide for schools and communities from the Department of Justice. Access HERE.

Education & Outreach 

Request an Anti-Bias Education training for your school from the Anti-Defamation League HERE and view tips and strategies for promoting diversity creating an anti-bias classroom HERE. Suggested resources are:



Top 10 Ways To Support Undocumented Students

  1. Engage with Open Mind
  2. Create a Safe Space
  3. Learn about Relevant Institutional Policies & Legislation
  4. Find & Advocate for Scholarships and Financial Support
  5. Build Your Own Education Network
  6. Connect Student to Undocumented Community Leaders and Role Models
  7. Involve Parents
  8. Access Reputable legal Information & Assistance
  9. Build Agency and Power
  10. Create Spaces for Storytelling and Creative Expression

View printable PDF with more information HERE.

The Ultimate Guide for College Bound Undocumented Georgia Students

This guide is directed toward school counselors and students advocates, but primarily towards the undocumented youth in Georgia high schools who desperately seek a college education. Access HERE.

College Advising Undocumented Students

There is no federal or state law that prohibits the admission of undocumented immigrants to U.S. colleges, public or private. Get more information from the CollegeBoard HERE and access the CollegeBoard Repository of Resources for Undocumented Students HERE.

Advising Undocumented Student FAQ’s for College Counselor 

Get answers to the following questions and more:

  • Who is an undocumented student?
  • How will I know if a student is undocumented?
  • Which colleges and universities offer need-based aid and merit scholarships to undocumented students?
  • Should undocumented students talk about being undocumented in their essays?

Access HERE.

3 Ways That Teachers Can Be Public Educator Activist & Advocate With and For Undocumented Youth

A print friendly guide from United We Dream. Access HERE.

Welcoming Immigrant Students into the Classroom 

A helpful guide from Edutopia on Do’s and Dont’s. Access HERE.

Georgia Department of Education – World Languages

Professional development page dedicated to World Language teaching professionals and students where you can find: webinars, opportunities, upcoming events, and plenty of resources in regard to World Language and cultural education.


Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms



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