SUWANEE -- Will your child be five years old by Sept. 1?
If so, the time is growing near. Soon, your little boy or girl will join the ranks of thousands in Gwinnett County Public Schools as they begin kindergarten on Aug. 7.
But first, it's time to register your young one for classes.
On Thursday, Gwinnett County's 77 elementary schools will welcome the school district's Class of 2026 as it enrolls new kindergartners.
Parents and guardians should visit their neighborhood school to enroll students. Registration is held before the summer in order to provide time to organize classes and allow students to participate in local school activities that aim to help them get ready for their first day.
Parents and guardians should call their local elementary school for registration times or visit the "Countdown for Kindergarten" section on the GCPS website -- www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us -- for more information and school phone numbers.
According to officials with GCPS, parents and guardians should bring the following Thursday for kindergarten registration:
-- The student. Schools may offer activities or screenings on registration day. Parents and guardians should check with their school for details.
-- An official document showing proof of birth date. Examples include an original birth certificate or birth registration, an official state or federal form with date of birth, or a passport. For a fee, parents can order a birth certificate for a child born in Georgia through the state's ROVER service. (http://gta.georgia.gov/rover)
-- Proof of residency in the attendance zone. The school requires proof of residency, which may be verified by presenting a current utility bill (excluding telephone bills) with one of the following documents: a non-contingent sales contract; current lease/rental agreement; most recent income tax return; current paycheck stub; current Medicaid card; current residential property tax statement or bill; current warranty or quick claim deed; current home purchase agreement; current homeowner's insurance policy.
Documents presented for residency verification must include the same address as the accompanying utility bill. An exception: A deed without an address is acceptable if accompanied by two utility bills (excluding telephone bills) with same address in the attendance zone.
A contingency contract is not acceptable. If the parent lives with a friend or family member and need information about verifying residency, they can call their local school.
-- A Georgia certificate of immunization. The certificate of immunization must be completed by the health department or a private physician. A valid Form #3231 must be marked with either "Date of Expiration" or as "Complete for School Attendance." (A certificate marked with a "Date of Expiration" expires on the date indicated. A current certificate must be submitted within 30 days of expiration.) A medical exemption should be noted on Form #3231 with a current date of expiration. Parents may request a form from their school for religious exemption.
-- Evidence of vision, hearing, and dental exams obtained in the past year. This information should be on a current Georgia Form #3300, available from the health department or a private physician and dentist. Letters from appropriate healthcare professionals and out-of-state certificates are acceptable, if completed within the last 12 months and stapled to the state form.
-- Photo ID. The person enrolling a student should present proper identification. This identification may include a driver's license, a state identification card, a passport, or other official photo identification, such as an ID card obtained through an official government agency or consulate.
-- Proof of custody/guardianship. Proof of Guardianship is required for registration if the enrolling adult is not the birth parent. To learn more, contact Gwinnett County Probate Court at 770-822-8350.
-- The child's social security number. State law requires that schools ask for this number at the time of enrollment. Students will be enrolled, even if the number is not provided. However, parents not providing a number will be asked to sign a waiver.
-- A copy of the pre-K progress report if the child has attended a state pre-k program. Parents also can bring the final pre-K assessment to the teacher when the new school year begins. The information can serve as a benchmark of the child's skills and abilities.
If a parent is unsure which school their child will attend, they should call 678 301-7085. Parents and guardians who feel more comfortable speaking another language than English should be ready to call with the assistance of a bilingual relative or friend in case an interpreter is not immediately available.