Enrollment FAQ


This page contains some of the most frequently asked questions about the enrollment process for District 401 students, both new and returning. To see the answer to a particular question, click any portion of the row containing that question.
 

In practical terms, there is no difference. As District 401 uses the two words, they are essentially interchangeable. "Enrollment" and "registration" both refer to the process of making sure a student is officially part of the District.

All District 401 students, whether new or returning, must enroll or re-enroll each school year.

Information about enrollment for new students, including transfers, is available here.

Information about enrollment for returning students is available here.

As of August 2020:

As of August 2020:

A student is "new" if he or she did NOT attend a District 401 school the previous school year. For the purposes of 2020-21 enrollment, this means a student is new if he or she was not enrolled in the District during 2019-20.

A student is "returning" if he or she DID attend a District 401 school the previous school year, including the Early Childhood Center or one of our alternative schools. For the purposes of 2020-21 enrollment, this means a student is returning if he or she was enrolled in the District during 2019-20.

All new students must enroll in the District before they can attend a D401 school. Enrollment is a three-step process:

► Proof of residency
► Payment of fees
► Submission of consent forms

New students and their parents/guardians can find information about these steps and all necessary enrollment forms for 2020-21 at Enrollment for New/Transfer Students.


KINDERGARTEN & PRESCHOOL STUDENTS


Students must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 to register for full-day or half-day kindergarten (K).

Children who are 3 or 4 years old may register for preschool (PK3 or PK4). Morning or afternoon sessions of preschool are offered.

As of August 2020:

► K students south of the railroad tracks attend Elmwood Elementary School.
► K students north of the railroad tracks attend John Mills Elementary School.
► All preschool (PK3 & PK4) students attend John Mills Elementary School.

The first day of school for 2020-21 is Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.

Effective March 30, registration for 2020-21 kindergarten and preschool will be done entirely online. K and PK registration is now open.

To register for kindergarten or preschool, families new to District 401 should follow this sequence:

► 1. EMAIL YOUR BUILDING SECRETARY
Families begin the process by emailing their 2020-21 building secretary for their unique registration code.

If you do not have an email address of your own, click here for directions on how to set up a free Gmail account. Or, follow these directions:

  • Go to the Google Account creation page.
  • Enter your name.
  • In the "Username" field, enter the username you want for your account.
  • Enter and confirm your password.
  • Click "Next."
  • Verify your mobile phone number with the code sent via text.
  • Click "Verify."

► 2. REGISTRATION CODE & DIRECTIONS WILL BE SENT TO YOU
Building secretaries will send you an email with the unique registration code as well as directions on how to register your family member.

► 3. PROVIDE REQUIRED INFORMATION VIA EMAIL ONLY
Families complete their end of the registration process by providing all required information, including proof of residency. Please note that families will no longer have "mail-in or drop-off" options to prove residency. Everything must be emailed to the District 401 registrar, Ms. Kim Kaminski, at registration@epcusd401.org. Once your residency has been verified and your registration approved, your building secretary will enter your student into PowerSchool for 2020-21. If your child is entering kindergarten, you will be emailed a PDF titled "Welcome to Kindergarten Packet."

► IF YOU BEGIN THE PROCESS DURING SUMMER BREAK
Please note that the main offices of Elmwood Elementary and John Mills Elementary will be closed for summer break from June 4 to Aug. 10, 2020. If you plan to enroll your child in K or PK during that time, please begin the process by emailing the Registrar's Office at Elmwood Park High School:

Kim Kaminski, Registrar
registration@epcusd401.org


 NEW STUDENTS IN GRADES 1-12


Enrollment for new students who will be in grades 1-12 in 2020-21 opens on May 1, 2020.

Reminder for new students in grades 1-12:

► Grades 1-5 south of the railroad tracks attend Elmwood Elementary School.
► Grades 1-5 north of the railroad tracks attend John Mills Elementary School.
► Grades 6-8 attend Elm Middle School.
► Grades 9-12 attend Elmwood Park High School.

The first day of school for 2020-21 is Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020-21 registration for students who will be new to District 401 in grades 1-12 will be done entirely online.

To register, families new to District 401 should follow this sequence:

► 1. EMAIL YOUR BUILDING SECRETARY
Families begin the process by emailing their 2020-21 building secretary for their unique registration code.

  • If your child will be attending Elmwood Elementary:
    Send your email to Ms. Jessica Solis at solisj@epcusd401.org
  • If your child will be attending John Mills Elementary: 
    Send your email to Ms. Denise Wurtz at wurtzd@epcusd401.org
  • If your child will be attending Elm Middle School: 
    Send your email to Ms. Danielle Yager at yagerd@epcusd401.org
  • If your child will be attending Elmwood Park High School: 
    Send your email to Ms. Dina Koutroumanes at koutroumanesd@epcusd401.org

If you do not have an email address of your own, click here for directions on how to set up a free Gmail account. Or, follow these directions:

  • Go to the Google Account creation page.
  • Enter your name.
  • In the "Username" field, enter the username you want for your account.
  • Enter and confirm your password.
  • Click "Next."
  • Verify your mobile phone number with the code sent via text.
  • Click "Verify."

► 2. REGISTRATION CODE & DIRECTIONS WILL BE SENT TO YOU
Building secretaries will send you an email with the unique registration code as well as directions on how to register your family member. 

► 3. PROVIDE REQUIRED INFORMATION VIA EMAIL ONLY
Families complete their end of the registration process by providing all required information, including proof of residency. Please note that families will no longer have "mail-in or drop-off" options to prove residency. Everything must be emailed to the District 401 registrar, Ms. Kim Kaminski, at registration@epcusd401.org. Once your residency has been verified and your registration approved, your building secretary will enter your student into PowerSchool for 2020-21.

► IF YOU BEGIN THE PROCESS DURING SUMMER BREAK
Please note that the main offices of Elmwood Elementary, John Mills Elementary and Elm Middle will be closed for summer break from June 4 to Aug. 10, 2020. If you plan to enroll your child in grades 1-12 during that time, please begin the process by emailing the Registrar's Office at Elmwood Park High School:

Kim Kaminski, Registrar
registration@epcusd401.org

All returning students must re-enroll in District 401 in order to attend a District school again the following year. Enrollment is a three-step process:

► Proof of residency
► Payment of fees
► Submission of consent forms

Information and forms concerning these steps are sent to current students in the spring.

Enrollment for returning students who will be in grades PK-12 in 2020-21 opens on May 4, 2020.

The first day of school for 2020-21 is Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.

Returning students and their parents/guardians can find additional enrollment information as well as all necessary forms for 2020-21 at Enrollment for Returning Students.


PROOF OF RESIDENCY FOR RETURNING STUDENTS


All proof of residency documents for 2020-21 returning students must be received by Monday, July 20, 2020, or your student will not be scheduled for classes. Please email, fax or mail your documents to us and pay your fees on the D401 webstore.

Only students who are Elmwood Park residents may attend District 401 schools, except as provided in Section 7:60 of the Board of Education's District Policy Manual or in Illinois law.

A student's residence is the same as the person who has legal custody of the student.

The District's residency requirement and related procedures are governed by Section 7:60 of the Board of Education's District Policy Manual.

Families must submit District 401's Proof of Residency Form. This form can be obtained here, and it requires three supporting documents. See the form for details.

A student's proof of residency must be supplied to District 401, or the student will be not be scheduled for classes. This requirement applies to all students, new and returning.

If your student is new to the District, bring your residency documents to your home school.

If your child is a returning student, all proof of residency must be sent to the District 401 Registrar's Office, which is located at Elmwood Park High School. Please mail your proof-of-residency documents to:

Kim Kaminski, Registrar
Elmwood Park High School
8201 W. Fullerton Ave.
Elmwood Park, IL 60707

As an alternative to mailing, you may fax your documents to this number:

► 708-452-0732

Or you may scan your documents and email them to the Registrar's Office at this address:

► registration@epcusd401.org

Elmwood Park borders several municipalities, so the District is diligent in ensuring that only students who are Elmwood Park residents enroll in its public schools. 

Parents/legal custodians must provide documentary proof of residency every year, regardless of how many years they have lived in Elmwood Park.

Yes, District 401 may sometimes question the legitimacy of paperwork. When this occurs, the District has several options that can confirm or disprove residency:

  1. The District subscribes to a special database that has access to public records. 
  2. The District may also use a private investigations company to assist.

In Illinois, it is a Class C misdemeanor to knowingly enroll or attempt to enroll a child in the wrong school district, or to knowingly or willfully present false information regarding the residency of a child for enrollment purposes. See 105 ILCS 5/10-20.12b(e)-(f)

In addition, parents/legal custodians are billed for each day of non-resident tuition.

No. A student is new only if he or she did NOT attend any District 401 school the previous school year.

A student entering grades PK-12 is a returning student if he or she attended a D401 school the previous year (including the Early Childhood Center or one of our alternative schools), even if the student will attend a different D401 school in the upcoming year.

Yes. Enrollment or re-enrollment in District 401 requires the payment of school fees. The amount for each school is set by the District 401 Board of Education. A complete list of school fees for 2020-21 is available here.

Full payment for students in grades K-12 is due Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. Monthly payments are available for preschool students. 

New students in K-12 who arrive after the due date have 30 days to pay their fees after they enroll in the District. Monthly payments are available for preschool students. 

Waivers are available for most school fees if you meet the income eligibility requirements. Please note, however, that preschool tuition cannot be waived.

No. Any homeless child shall be immediately admitted, even if the child or child's parent/guardian is unable to produce records normally required to establish residency. 

A homeless child may attend the District 401 school that the child attended when permanently housed or in which the child was last enrolled. A homeless child living in any district school’s attendance area may attend that school.

District 401's liaison for homeless children is Dr. Kari Smith, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. If you have questions about enrolling a homeless child in District 401, you can reach Dr. Smith by phone at 708-583-5836 or by email at this address.

A “homeless child” is defined as provided in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento) and the Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act (IEHCA).


McKINNEY-VENTO DEFINITION


As defined by Section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Act, the term "homeless children and youth" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This includes:

  • Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;

  • Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of Section 103(a)(2)(C) of the statute);

  • Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;

  • Migratory children (as such term is defined in Section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in the three previous clauses.


IEHCA DEFINITION


As provided in the Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act (105 ILCS 45/1-5), a homeless person, child or youth includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime place of abode, or an individual who has a primary nighttime place of abode that is:

  • A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing);

  • An institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or

  • A public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

You should receive your enrollment materials by mail.

If don't receive them, please contact Ms. Nancy Lasselle in the District Office by phone at 708-583-5831 or by email at this address.