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Enrollment Documents Required

The Newport area has virtually every type of school—public (government supported, no tuition charge), private (relatively high tuition), and parochial (church supported), all available for enrollment of your children. Because many private and parochial schools have waiting lists, if you wish to enroll your children in other than a public school, inform your sponsor as soon as possible. Almost all children of past international students have attended the public schools and have found them satisfactory. There is sufficient time for you to enroll your children in a public school after arrival in Newport.

A child must be five years old on or before 01 September 2014 to enroll in kindergarten at a public school. No exceptions to this date. Only your own children or those under your legal guardianship may attend public schools. Certain documents are required by all schools before the child can be enrolled—public, private, and parochial:
  • Record of the child’s grades in his home school
  • Birth date certification (usually contained in passports, if you don’t have a separate birth certificate)
  • Record of all immunizations that your child received. 

Immunizations 

Immunizations should be obtained prior to arrival in the United States and recorded, with the date received, in an International Immunization Record (shot card) for your child. Please be sure to make a copy for yourself if your embassy retains your original. Some countries may not have an International Immunizations Record. In that case, use the blank record of an Immunization Form (PDF) (Page 3). It is important that some sort of record of immunizations be brought for each school-age child, because without it, a child can be denied admission to a public school. The immunization record is not valid unless the day, month, and year are indicated for each immunization.The immunizations record must also be translated into English. If you cannot obtain a particular immunization in your country, the child can be immunized at the NHCNE in Newport or by a local doctor.

Refer to the Summary of Rhode Island Immunization Requirements (PDF) (Page 4) and Exemptions for the immunizations that are required by Rhode Island law for admission to any school within the state.

Physical Examinations 

Physical examinations are required for all new students in the public schools within six months of entering school. These examinations may be scheduled during September and October, after you get settled. Your child may have the examination before leaving your country as long as it is completed within six months of entering school in Rhode Island. A Record of Examination (PDF)  form (Refer to Pages 3, 5-7)) for use by your physician facilitates acceptance of the examination by the school system. It is strongly recommended that your children get their physical examinations prior to leaving your country. If your child requires a physical after arriving in the United States, and your ITO states that you must pay medical expenses for dependents, it may cost as much as $135 for the doctor visit and as much as $34 per immunization.

School Activities 

Most students integrate very quickly with the local students, many of whom are also from Navy families. One of the best ways to integrate quickly in a new foreign school is to participate in after school-activities. The number of activities depends on the level of school, whether it is elementary, middle, or high school. All schools run different academic and sports programs all year round. A short list of activities includes:

Cross Country
Chess Club
Soccer Mathematics Club
American Football Drama Club
Track events After School Choir
Basketball Band
    

In Summary

It is difficult to predict how your children will adjust to our school environment, particularly if English is not their first language. Some parents augment the educational program with correspondence courses brought from home. Others have their child repeat the class upon return to their home countries. On the other hand, most students pick up the English language very fast and tend to speak better than the parents within three months. All tend to agree that the experience of living in the United States for one year is worth the inconvenience.

Naval Station Newport, where the Naval War College is located, also has a School Liaison Officer, who is standing by to provide information, make referrals, educate families and advocate for children.