Frequently Asked Questions

How is Berlin residency defined?

In order to attend Berlin Public Schools, a student must actually reside in the Berlin school district.  A student's primary residence is the place where he/she dwells permanently, not temporarily, and is the place that is the center of his or her domestic, social, and civic life.  Temporary residence, solely for the purpose of attending Berlin Public Schools, shall not be considered permanent residency.  The primary residence of a minor child is normally presumed to be the legal residence of the parent(s) or guardian(s) who have physical custody of the child.  Any student 18 years or older may establish a residence apart from his or her parent(s) or guardian(s) for school attendance purposes but must still meet all residency requirements.

How is residency verified?

Parents/guardians or a student, if 18 years or older, registering for school or changing addresses within the Berlin school district, are required to demonstrate proof of residency. Residency is established by submitting a minimum of (2) two documents from a list of authorized documents. A photo ID is also required at the time of registration or when submitting a change of address. In addition, a long form birth certificate is required for all new students.  In order to verify residency, we reserve the right to request additional documents and/or to conduct an investigation. Because residency can change for students and their families during the school year, a request for verification of residency may be made at any time.

What if I don’t have a computer to submit the on-line registration?

If you do not have access to your own computer, you can use the public computer station at the Berlin Public Schools Central Office located at 238 Kensington Road.   The Berlin-Peck Memorial Library also has public computers available.

What does the term “host” refer to?

If a student, either with or without his/her family, is not living in his/her own home but is living with a legal Berlin resident who has a dwelling that is leased or owned and occupied in the legal Berlin resident’s own name, that legal Berlin resident is referred to as the “host.”

Why do I need an appointment to register my student?

We want to make certain that staff will be available to spend time with you and answer any questions that you may have when you come in to complete the registration process.  Once you have all of the required paperwork compiled and completed, please call 860-828-6581 to schedule an appointment.

Why must I bring a photo ID?

A photo ID is required for all registration and changes of address as proof that the person making the application matches documentation for parent/guardian status and is also the person whose name is associated with the residency documents.  Acceptable photo identification includes:

  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Valid Connecticut Non-Driver’s License ID Card
  • Passport
  • Military ID
  • Another current ID that includes both your photo and legal name may be approved by the Berlin Board of Education. 

 

Why can’t I submit a wallet-sized birth certificate instead of the long form birth certificate?

The long form birth certificate is required since it lists the student’s parents’ names.  We want to ensure that the person registering the student has the authority to do so.

Where can I obtain a long form birth certificate for my child?

If the student was born in Connecticut, you can obtain a long form birth certificate from the town where the student’s birth occurred, from the town where the mother was living at the time of the birth, or at the Connecticut Department of Public Health.  If the student was born out of state, you can find more information here - http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.

What if I don’t have the required residency documents with me when I register?

All new applicants are required to submit the required residency documents.  Applicants who do not have all of the required documents will be asked to make a new appointment once all of the appropriate residency documents have been compiled and completed.  

Why must students attending out-of-town magnet schools register with Berlin Public Schools?

Students that attend out-of-town magnet schools are required to be registered and meet residency requirements so that as a school district, we can assure Berlin residents that we are only paying tuition to magnet schools for students that reside in the Berlin district.

What is a Notarized Landlord Affidavit?

If you are a tenant at will (month-to-month), or your lease has expired, or you do not have a written lease in place, there is a landlord affidavit form that your landlord can complete and have notarized; please download Notarized Landlord Affidavit.  This document will fulfill Category A of the residency requirements.  For further information on residency, please visit the REQUIRED PROOF OF RESIDENCY page.

What if I own my home and want to submit a copy of the deed as proof of residency in Category A but don’t have a copy?

Contact the financial institution that handled your mortgage or the Berlin Tax Assessors Office at (860) 828-7105. 

What if I do not pay for utilities or if none of the utility bills are in my name?

If you live in a household where all utilities are in someone else’s name, please choose (2) two of the acceptable residency documents from Category C on the Required Proof of Residency Documents chart.  Submission of a utility bill may still be required to prove that the residence is occupied.

What if I have recently moved and do not yet have a utility bill?

To fulfill the Category B requirement on the Required Proof of Residency Documents chart, you may submit a work order from any utility company stating that your service has been ordered or installed.  Most utility companies will provide the service customer with a “Service Verification Letter” by calling their customer service hotline.   You can find instructions for requesting an Eversource “Service Verification Letter” under Additional Information on the Registration & Residency page.  Letters may be emailed directly to Tari-Lynn Joyce at tjoyce@berlinschools.org.  Please verify that the email was received before arriving for your appointment.

Is a cell phone bill an acceptable document?

No. Only a home telephone (landline) bill satisfies this requirement. 

What if I am over 18 and no longer live with my parents?

Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older may establish a residence separate and apart from his or her parents or guardians for school attendance purposes. However, the student will still be required to submit the required residency documents bearing their name and address.  Please select Required Proof of Residency Documents on the left of this page.

What if I reside with a friend or relative?

If you voluntarily share the housing with a friend or relative that permanently resides in Berlin, a Residency Affidavit Packet for the family or student over 18 living with a “host” is required.  Ask the person you are living with (called the Host hereafter) to complete the Residency Affidavit and have his/her signature notarized to affirm your residence. You may download the Residency Affidavit Packet Family living with host file.  Please note, under these residency circumstances, both the host and the parent/guardian are required to prove residency in Berlin as described in the Residency Affidavit. 

If you are temporarily “doubled up” with a friend or relative due to economic hardship, loss of housing, or a similar reason, you may qualify as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act.  For questions, please contact our Homeless Liaison at (860) 828-6581.

What if just the student resides with a friend or relative?

The primary residence of a minor child (under the age of 18) is presumed to be the legal residence of the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) who have physical custody of the child.  Sometimes family situations lead to the student living elsewhere.  In order to attend Berlin Public Schools, a student must reside in the town of Berlin “permanently.”  Permanently is defined as a student's primary residence and is the place where s/he dwells (7) seven days per week, including weekends, holidays and school vacations.  In addition, the Berlin residence is the center of the student’s domestic, social, and civic life and is the location of all of his/her personal effects.

Which documents are required if a student “permanently” lives with a friend or relative without his/her immediate family?

The Residency Affidavit Packet for a student under 18 living with a “host” is required in this type of student living arrangement.  You may download the Residency Affidavit Packet - Student under 18 living with host.

During registration, the Berlin resident that the student permanently lives with, called the “host,” is required to provide the requisite proof of residency in Berlin.  For further information on residency, please review the packet carefully.

What if my family is homeless?

Whenever feasible, Berlin Public Schools will minimize the effects of mobility on homeless students by maintaining a stable educational environment.  If you are temporarily “doubled up” with a friend or relative due to economic hardship, loss of housing, or a similar reason, your student may qualify as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act.  Please contact our Homeless Liaison, Michelle Zeuschner, Ed.D., at (860) 828-6581 for questions or for assistance in registering your child under these circumstances.

What if my family consists of undocumented immigrants?

Any child whose family lives in Berlin is guaranteed access to a free public education. Denying enrollment to children who are not legally admitted into the United States violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  No family will be denied access to school because of immigration status, see Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982).  Depending on their housing situation, undocumented residents may be required to submit proof of residency in Berlin.

Will documents that I submit to prove residency remain confidential?

All documents submitted to prove residency will be considered part of the student’s confidential record.  Berlin Public Schools will adhere to the standards of confidentiality set forth in state and federal laws in maintenance of these records.

How can I report a suspected violation of the residency policy?

Berlin residents, staff, students and others can report possible residency violations by contacting the Berlin Board of Education anonymously at (860) 828-6581 or by mailing notification to the Berlin Board of Education, 238 Kensington Road, Berlin, CT 06037.

What are the consequences of residency fraud?

Should any student be discovered to be attending Berlin Public Schools illegally, the student will be immediately withdrawn from school with the right of appeal.  In addition, the town of Berlin reserves the right to recover the cost of educational services received as a non-resident from the host(s), parent(s), guardian(s), or student if eighteen (18) years or older.

What is the process for appealing residency decisions?

Pursuant to Section C.G.S. 10-186 (b) (1), to appeal a decision, you may request, in writing, a hearing before the Berlin Board of Education.  A hearing before the Board, or a subcommittee thereof, will be scheduled within ten (10) days of the receipt of the written request.  The written request for a hearing should be addressed to David B. Erwin, Berlin Superintendent of Schools, 238 Kensington Road, Berlin, CT 06037.  A student may remain in school until the appeal process is completed.

Who possesses the burden of proving residency for school accommodations?

Pursuant to Section C.G.S. 10-186 (b) (1), the party claiming eligibility for school accommodations shall have the burden of proving such eligibility by a preponderance of the evidence.  Typically, the burden is on the parent or guardian.

How do I get a letter from Berlin Public Schools verifying my child's school enrollment and address?

If you would like a letter prepared to submit for residency verification, both parents will need to sign and submit the following in writing:

  • Each child’s name, school, grade, address, and date of birth
  • Permission for the Board of Education to release the information
  • A contact number to call when the letter is ready for pick up

The written request can be submitted to the Berlin Board of Education, 238 Kensington Road, Berlin, CT 06037; scanned and sent as an email attachment to tjoyce@berlinschools.org; or faxed to 860-829-0832.  It is our administrative policy that we require this release from both parents in order to divulge information to a third party.  Once the written request is received from both parents and all information has been verified, a letter will be prepared that includes each student’s name, date of birth, confirmation that the student attended Berlin Public Schools for the current school year, and the address that we have on record as the home address.  Unless otherwise requested, the letter will be addressed, “To whom it may concern.”   Please allow up to five business days for preparation of the letter.

Who do I contact if I have more questions regarding residency/registration?

You may contact Tari-Lynn Joyce at the Berlin Board of Education by phone at (860) 828-6581 or by email at tjoyce@berlinschools.org.
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