IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CHILDREN WHO ARE NON-NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS: If your child is between the ages of 3 and 18 and is not a native English speaker, you should get in touch with the English Language Learner (ELL) coordinators in Tuscaloosa before your arrival to the U.S. The local ELL coordinators are Kristi Garcia in the Tuscaloosa City Schools – firstname.lastname@example.org; Tuscaloosa City Schools ESL Website or Leah Jones in the Tuscaloosa County School System – email@example.com; http://www.tcss.net/domain/3806.
Public schools in the city and Tuscaloosa County are free. Free bus transportation both to and from school daily is also provided. Certain age limits and distance requirements must be met.
The School District Office will provide you with the name and address of the school to which your child(ren) will go. You should make an appointment to meet the school district officials before your child(ren) begin school. To your appointment, bring with you the birth certificate(s) and all medical records of your child(ren).
Proof of immunization is required before your child may begin school. If you do not have proof of immunization your child will have to receive these immunizations before beginning school. Plan to bring your child’s past academic records, if available, in English. The school will need to view these records to determine at which level he/she should begin studies.
Kindergarten is available in some schools as a half-day program and in other schools as a full-day program. The school your child will attend depends upon your location. Lunch is a normal part of the day for all full-day programs. Children have the option of bringing their own lunch or buying lunch for a reasonable cost at the school. Family and personal food interests should determine whether or not a child buys or brings lunch.
Often children change their minds each day, buying lunch one day and bringing their own lunch another day. Milk and ice cream can always be purchased individually, even if a child brings his/her own lunch. If a child becomes ill during the school day, a School Nurse will examine him/her. Generally, the parent is contacted and asked to come to the school and pick up the child. If your child is ill in the morning, you should not send him to school.
Your daytime phone numbers should always be available to the School Principal in case your child becomes ill or there is an urgent need to reach you. A school calendar is sent to all parents at the beginning of the school year. School holidays are usually also announced to parents via information sheets sent home with the children. You should instruct your child to always bring home to you right away any information distributed to them in school.