You’d think that with 3 kids already registered in school, getting the 4th registered for kindergarten would be a breeze.
Not so. Not only have I tripped on the jump rope, I am hopelessly tangled in it!
First of all, I COMPLETELY missed the regular registration time (not that making it would have helped any…). How did I do this? Well I got the registration packet in the mail in early March. Actually, I got two, one for Sean, and one for Jean. I’m still looking under the beds trying to find this child named Jean that I apparently don’t know that I have.
I looked at the registration packet with fuzzy vision and said “oh, kindergarten registration is always in mid-April.” And I promptly filed it in the “to do in April file.” And by that, I don’t mean a nice, neat manilla file folder somewhere. No…I mean my *mental* file. The actual paperwork got put on the hope chest at the foot of my bed, because I was reading the mail while carrying Sophie upstairs for a nap.
On April 3, Steve says to me “Tony was saying something about registering C. for kindergarten this past week…when do we need to register Sean?” So I go get the paperwork–which was still exactly where I had put it–see, I’m organized, it just isn’t in a way that most people recognize ;-) And sure enough, we were supposed to register Sean on March 31. Oops.
So I call up the registration office and ask to schedule an appointment…which was sometime the week of April 7. I carefully reviewed the paperwork, and informed Steve that I needed two forms of address verification–one of which MUST be either our deed or our agreement of sale on our house. He groans, and says “but I just put all of that paperwork out over the garage!” That storage space isn’t really easy to get to.
The morning of my appointment he finally goes looking for the paperwork, and he can’t find the deed or the agreement of sale. And trust me, the man keeps every scrap of paper. He had the permits that were taped to the windows while the house was under construction–including the duct tape! He had copies of every e-mail and fax between us and the kitchen folks… but no deed or Agreement of Sale. He gives me a copy of the HUD paperwork from closing, and says “I think I used this when I registered Jason.”
So off I go to my appointment. And let me tell you, the woman working in the registration office was not budging. She insisted I needed one of those two documents. I questioned that, because really, the Agreement of Sale doesn’t prove that I live in the house. “Yes it does,” she replied, “it is a legal document and you’d have a heck of a time getting out of it!” “No, it doesn’t prove we live there–we could have sold the house 2 weeks later, and no one would take the agreement of sale paperwork away from us.”* As for the deed, I thought you only got a copy of your deed AFTER you paid off your mortgage? No, she told me that I could go to the county courthouse (25 minute one-way drive PLUS parking hassels, and dragging around at least Sophie, if not Sean too) and get a copy. Oh great…like I need to add another errand to my day. Oh, and she finally resorted to telling me it wasn’t the school district’s fault, it was a state requirement!
Well that didn’t sit well with me…only because I know that the school district has implemented other policies in the past that were not popular with parents, and blamed it on “state requirements” that did not exist. So I looked it up, and sure enough, the school district has taken the state requirement, and defined the school district requirement more tightly. This is what the state says (emphasis mine):
3. Proof of residency.
Acceptable documentation includes: a deed, a lease, current utility bill, current credit card bill, property tax bill, vehicle registration, driver’s license, DOT identification card. A district may require that more than one form of residency confirmation be provided. However, school districts and charter schools should be flexible in verifying residency, and should consider what information is reasonable in light of the family’s situation.
Does the school district having more stringent requirements than the state really meet the “school districts… should be flexible in verifying residency” part of the requirement? “Agreement of Sale” isn’t even listed on the state list of acceptable documentation, although the wording they use certainly does not rule out schools accepting it (or the HUD form that I had tried to provide…or the “Health Insurance Card” that the school district also accepts as one of the second acceptable second documents–does your insurance card have your address on it? Mine never have!) I should point out that as part of the registration, I had provided the items that are in bold, and could easily provide the items in italics.
But, none the less…I tried to cooperate. I went home and told Steve that I had been unsuccessful in registering Sean because I really did need an agreement of sale or deed. Rather than going to the court house, he called our house builder, and sure enough, they agreed to send us a copy of the agreement of sale. We received it in the mail last week–a 8 pages of it. We skimmed it, both of us noting our names and signatures on it, initials on each page. We thought we were set.
So that brings us to today. I dropped Sean off for preschool, then ran some errands, including running to the registation office with the agreement of sale. So the woman in the registration office starts looking at the document, and her facial expression is looking more and more “difficult.” I don’t know any way to put it. And I’m wondering “what in the world is wrong with her? WHAT NOW?” She pulls out Sean’s folder, and flips through it, and finally, she turns to me and says “the address on this does not match the address you’ve given on the other paperwork.”
WHAT??? I look at it, and sure enough, the price is right, the house model is right, the lot number (E-16) is right, but its not our street address! Its a block away from us, and incidentally, the folks at that address are friends of ours. How in the heck did no one notice that at the closing?
So of course, she wouldn’t accept it.
BTW, I stopped by to let Larry & Mary know that I own their house. Mary laughed, and told me that she’d be more than happy to send me her mortgage payment, I told her that was fine, because I was going to be calling a real estate agent–we’d pay off the mortgage out of the sales proceeds and pocket the rest. ;-) Oh, and when I asked her if she had a copy of the deed that I could use to register Sean, she said “don’t you only get that after you pay off the mortgage?”
*Upon closer inspection of our Agreement of Sale, my husband realized why he didn’t have a copy of it in with the paperwork from “closing” on our house…it was signed a full year before we moved into the house–it the was the agreement that we signed to start the home construction! What was that I was saying about an Agreement of Sale not proving residency? LOL!
Updated on May 13: So last week we got the copy of our deed from the county–for the bargain price of $1 per page PLUS certification fee PLUS postage both ways…
Since I was just so in love with the woman at the registration office, my husband offered to take the deed over to the office. He got there, only to learn that she had taken a sick day, and no one else was allowed to take registration documentation. He told them that I’d already been to the office twice, and this was now his first visit, and frankly we were way past our patience limit. Nope…they couldn’t copy the deed. He insisted that they call the district office and find out if an exception could be made, and reluctantly they called, and then made the copy. I’m guessing I’ll find out in late August when I never get a teacher assignment for Sean that they filed the copy of the deed in the circular file.