Summer is over and it’s time to get back to the three Rs: rules, requirements and registration. For those who have not been through the process of getting into an Orange County elementary school, here’s how you do it and what you need:


Children entering kindergarten must be 5 years old on or before Dec. 2; children entering first grade and who have not attended kindergarten must be 6 on or before Dec. 2. Pupils must attend public or private school or be in a tutoring situation from ages 6 to 18.

All children entering first grade must have a physical examination. Parents have from 18 months before the child enters first grade until 90 days after school starts to have the child examined. (Children entering a California school for the first time must also have a physical examination.)



Parents must provide school administrators with:

* Verification of child’s birth date (certified copy of birth certificate, baptism certificate, passport, immigration visa, or a notarized affidavit from parent, guardian, or custodian of the child when no other document is available).

* A health certificate or medical record that indicates the child has had the requisite physical examination.

* Written documentation of month/day/year of immunizations signed by the medical provider or a medical exemptions waiver signed by the parents if they have personal beliefs against such immunizations.

Required immunizations are:

* Three doses of polio plus one more if the last dose was given before the child’s second birthday.

* Four doses of DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) plus one more if the last dose was given before the child’s second birthday.

* Dose each of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) plus one more if any were given before the child’s first birthday.

Schools will not admit children without the required immunizations or a waiver signed by the parent. You may have your children immunized by your physician or by the Orange County Health Care Agency at no charge. Locations are listed below. Immunizations are handled on a walk-in basis.

* Address: 1725 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana

Hours: 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

* Address: 6462 Industry Way, Westminster

Hours: 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 4 to 8 p.m. Monday

* Address: 7212 Orangethorpe Ave., Buena Park

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday; 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday

There are seven other locations throughout the county, but the hours and days of availability are less frequent. For more information on the immunization assistance project or for the address and hours of the clinic nearest you, call (714) 834-8560, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


If you do not know what school district you are in, call the Orange County Department of Education business office at (714) 966-4211. Once you know the district, call the appropriate district office to find out which public school your child should attend.

The next step is to go to your child’s school and complete the registration process, providing the school with the aforementioned verification of birth, health certificates and immunization documentation.

Source: Orange County Health Care Agency; California State Department of Education; Orange County Department of Education