Register your Child for School

Step 1 – Assess Eligibility and Needs

New Students

Students who have never attended a HCPSS school must be registered by their custodial parent (biological, adoptive, legal guardian).

New Kindergarten Students

Children must be 5 years old by September 1 in order to enroll in kindergarten. Every child who is 5 years old by September 1 must be enrolled in a kindergarten program this fall or have an approved waiver.

New Pre-Kindergarten Students

HCPSS offers a half-day prekindergarten program. Students must be four years old by September 1, 2016 to be considered for enrollment.

Unlike enrollment for K-12, parents must apply for admission to pre-kindergarten. Learn more →

Seeking Early Admission?

Find out more and see if your child qualifies →

Current Students

Current HCPSS enrolled students moving between schools within the system

Current HCPSS pre-kindergarten students do not need to be re-registered for kindergarten because they are already enrolled as an HCPSS student.

Students who need ESOL services or parents who need language support should contact an International Student Registration Call Center.

Call centers: Spanish | Chinese | Korean | Chin

Step 2 – Find Your School

Parents must live in the attendance area of the school where they plan to enroll their student.

Verify your child’s school attendance area →

Step 3 – Gather Documentation and Complete Registration Packet

Parent Identification documents

  • Parent picture ID: original driver’s license, military ID, or passport.
  • Signed original, current lease or deed with your address, valid dates, signatures.
  • Current utility bill with name and address (non-cellular telephone, gas and electric, cable bill) issued within the previous 45 days of registration.

Student Identification documents

  • Student’s proof of birth (original birth certificate, passport/visa, physician’s certificate, baptismal or church certificate, parent’s affidavit or birth registration).
  • Proof of parental relationship, custody, or guardianship. If applicable, bring legal proof of custody (court order).
  • Student’s current proof of immunizations signed by a doctor, health care provider, day care provider or school official.
  • Any additional paperwork that may be necessary due to special living arrangements or circumstances.

Academic documents

  • Student’s most recent grade report, transcript, report card from last school attended at time of withdrawal, if applicable.
  • Documentation of Special Education (IEP), 504, Psychological Report, or related services.

Frequently Asked Questions about Enrollment and Registration


Registration Packet (PDF)

Parents may defer enrollment by one year by filling out a request to not enter kindergarten:

Health Documentation

Students who have never attended a Howard County public school have certain health documents to submit with their enrollment paperwork. Learn more about these forms and find additional forms for diabetic students, students with allergies, and student medications.

Getting ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten Registration for the 2017-18 school year opens in the spring of 2017.

Find out more about Getting Ready for Kindergarten →

Contact the Office of Early Childhood Programs, 410-313-5693, with any additional questions.

Road to Kindergarten Workshops

Workshops are held in January and go over expectations for school readiness, details about the kindergarten program, and ways that families and children can be supported during the transition to kindergarten. All families of future kindergarten students are welcome to attend.

Step 4 – Meet Your New School

After gathering the required documents and filling out the required forms, parents should contact their child’s new school and schedule a registration appointment. This helps ensure that the registration process is completed correctly.

Find your school’s contact information →


All children must have the required State of Maryland immunizations in order to attend school. Parents are responsible for providing proof of immunization to the school prior to the student attending or proof of an appointment for necessary immunizations within 20 calendar days of the first day of school.

Students out of compliance or without evidence of an appointment for necessary immunizations may not be admitted to school.

Immunization Exceptions

  • A medical contraindication (exemptions for specific immunizations) signed by a physician.
  • A lost or destroyed record statement signed by a parent. Proof of measles and rubella immunization by a blood test must be presented. Revaccination may be required. For assistance, contact the Howard County Health Department.
  • A religious exemption statement signed by a parent.
  • The school principal may temporarily admit a homeless student.


The MD Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene Immunization Certificate should include the dates of all completed vaccines and be signed by the child’s doctor, health care provider, day care provider or school official. A parent’s signature is not permitted.

Records from a previously attended school are accepted only if they are the most up to date copies.

In some cases a computer-generated record may be acceptable if all needed information and signature are included. A health department official may also sign proof of immunizations.

Questions about immunizations? Contact the health staff at your child’s school or the HCPSS Health Services Office at 410-313-6812.