In general, younger children (ages 5 to 10) may register directly at their neighborhood school, while older children (11 and older) must first go to an enrollment center.
Call 311 (from outside New York City call (212) NEW-YORK) and give the operator your address and your child's age. The operator will tell you whether to go directly to your zoned school or to an enrollment center. (You may also write your address in the search engine on the Department of Education website.) Bring your child and the following documents: proof of address (a lease and utility bill), proof of your child's age (a passport or birth certificate), school records if you have them, and immunization records.
In some circumstances, nonresidents may pay tuition to attend New York City public schools. (However, nonresidents may not enroll in specialized high schools or gifted and talented programs.)
A child's legal residence is the home of his parents or legal guardian. If a child's parents are separated or divorced, the child's residence is with the parent who has primary physical custody. Sometimes parents try to pretend their child lives with a relative so he can go to a better school, but it's risky. School officials may make a home visit to see if a child actually lives at the given address. They sometimes even check closets for clothes and toys.
If you move within the city, your child may continue to attend his old school until graduation or transfer to a school in his new community.
If you are homeless or living in temporary housing, your child has a right to attend school either in your temporary community or at his original school. You don't need documents or proof of residency. Call the Advocates for Children hotline at (800) 388-2014 if you are homeless and need help enrolling your child.