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Registering Your Child for Kindergarten

General Information

** Parents need to call their child's zoned school for specific registration dates. To find out what school(s) a residence is zoned for, call the transportation office at (865) 397-2139.

State law requires that children be 5 years old by Sept. 30 to enter kindergarten.

Pre-registration at all Jefferson County schools offering kindergarten is usually held each April at the zoned school. Parents need to call their zoned school for specific dates.

It is important that parents register their children for kindergarten during pre-registration if possible because if the schools know in advance how many children to expect for kindergarten, then they can be well prepared on the first day of school. This ensures a good start to school for students, parents and teachers.

Required Documents

Present proof of custody of the child if parents are divorced/separated or have never been married.

Birth certificate and proof of residence are required for pre-registration in the spring. All other documents must be presented at the school by the first day of school.

*To get a Tennessee Health Card School Immunization Certificate , parents should contact their child's doctor or the health department and schedule an appointment for a kindergarten physical. At the time of the physical, the health card Tennessee School Immunization Certificate will be issued.

** Proof of residence is a current utility bill – electric, gas – with the parent's name and address printed on it. If parents have not been living at the residence long enough to have a utility bill, a contract or lease on a house or apartment will be accepted.

Jefferson County Schools have a staggered enrollment period at the beginning of the school year. After registration, the parent should receive a schedule showing when their child will be in school during this period. Students are divided into groups and the groups are rotated in and out of school during the staggered enrollment. So, it's important that you know when your child is to be at school and when they are not. During the phase in period, all students are screened to determine their readiness for kindergarten. At the end of the phase in period, all kindergarten students attend a full day of school every day for the remainder of the school year.


¨ The State requires all students entering kindergarten to have a valid “TENNESSEE SCHOOL IMMUNIZATION CERTIFICATE” (green card ) or valid Temporary Form to attend school.

¨ Hepatitis B – The immunization is a 3 shot series. Students must show proof of at least the first shot of the series to enter kindergarten. They must then have the second and third shots on schedule. If a student does not get their second and/or third shot on schedule, they will not be allowed to attend school until they show proof of the needed shot. The entire series takes 6 months to complete, or 4 months on the accelerated schedule.

¨ MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) – “2 doses, given after the 1st birthday. Second dose given at least 30 days after the 1st.” (PH-2414)

¨ Varicella (chicken pox) –“Given after 1st birthday. History of disease is acceptable.”

¨ DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) – “One dose must be given after age four. For those starting after age 7, only 3 doses are required.” (PH-2414)

¨ Polio – 4 doses required except “if the 3rd dose is given after age four, the 4th dose is not required. If a combination of OPV and IPV is used, all 4 doses are needed regardless of age.” (PH-2414)

¨ Those students deemed “homeless” who have not obtained any required immunizations shall be referred to the school's homeless liaison.

¨ Medical Exemption: “This child has either received the immunizations required for school attendance or has been granted a Medical Exemption as evidenced by the attached statement describing that exemption.” (PH-2414)

¨ Religious Exemption: “This child is exempt from receiving required immunizations for religious reasons. A signed statement from the parents stating that immunization conflicts with their religious tenets and practices is attached . ” to the green card. This signed statement must be notarized, and on the "Vaccination(s) Refusal Due to Personal Religious Beliefs ” form. (PH-2414)

¨ A Health Examination is also required to start kindergarten. You may obtain the Tennessee School Immunization Certificate Child Health Record with the proof of immunizations from your doctor or at the Health Department at the time of the physical exam.

Transferring from another school system

Students entering the Jefferson County School system should be registered at their zoned school as soon as possible. To register, parents need to bring the child's birth certificate, social security card, Tennessee immunization records, Tennessee Health Card, last report card and proof of residence to the school they are zoned to attend.

For students entering from out of state, parents must may take their child's present immunization records to a local physician to have the immunization record transferred to the Tennessee School Immunization Certificate .

Proof of residency can be a current utility bill. For persons who have not lived in Jefferson County long enough to received a utility bill, a contract or lease on a house or apartment will be sufficient.

Only a custodial parent or legal guardian may register the child. The custodial parent or legal guardian must show proof of guardianship by presenting a copy of custody papers or court order.

Students Already in the County System

Students already attending a Jefferson County school need to update registration information each year. If a child is changing schools (from an elementary to a middle school, for example) all records automatically transfer, but parents need to make sure the information is accurate.



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