Residency Verification

Verification and Validation

ONLY STUDENTS WHO HAVE A LEGAL RESIDENCE WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF RIVER TRAILS SCHOOL DISTRICT 26 MAY BE ENROLLED. IT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE TO ENROLL OR ATTEMPT TO ENROLL A NON-RESIDENT STUDENT EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. 

The District has contracted with National Investigations, Inc. to conduct verification of residency. As standard District 26 procedure, all student addresses will be submitted to National Investigations, Inc. for residency verification against public records. Additionally, the following may result in a full investigation by National Investigations, Inc. This is not an all-inclusive list:

  • Lease or rental agreement with white-out marks, alterations and/or missing signatures from the renter or lessor
  • Incomplete forms
  • Chronic student tardiness
  • Returned mail
  • Falsified documents
  • Other items that call residency into question

RESIDENCY AND RESIDENCY CHECKS FAQ

 

Why do we need to check residency?

  • River Trails School District 26 is a highly desired school district.
  • Falsifying residency costs our taxpayers and is not legal.

 

If my child’s grandparents live in the district and provide childcare before and after school, can I use their address for residency?

  • No, this is not legal.  The child must live, defined as sleeping at the residence the majority of the week,  to be a legal resident. 

 

I own an apartment in River Trails District 26, but no one lives there.  Can my child attend school in District 26?

  • No, this is not legal.  The child must live, defined as sleeping at the residence the majority of the week, to be a legal resident. 

 

If my family moves and is no longer in district, can my child continue to attend school in River Trails 26?

  • Your child can continue to attend for the rest of the school year if they were a resident on the first day of school.  The next school year they would need to register in the new home district.

 

If my child lacks a fixed, regular, or adequate nighttime residence, like a hotel or doubled up with another family, how can I prove residency? 

  • Contact Dr. Miriam Cutler at 224-612-7304 or mcutler@rtsd26.org or any of our district social workers to discuss your residency concerns.

 How do we check residency in RTSD26?

  • Families new to the district register their children at the district office in the summer or at the schools during the school year.  They sign a form that states they are legal residents of the district.
  • The online registration process includes notification that families will be checked for residency by National Investigations and that the child’s registration is contingent upon confirmation from National. 
  • National runs them through a public records database to verify address and to see if there are any other addresses identified.
  • If another address is identified, National verifies residency by knocking on doors to see that the family lives there. 
    • This typically occurs at night, in order to verify it is where the child sleeps
    • The investigators should identify themselves and show a badge
    • The investigators will not approach a child in their investigation
    • National may also talk to neighbors
  • If National determines the child does not live there, they let us know and we send a letter to the family informing them of the determination and telling them their options.
    • Some families register in their home school district
    • Some families call or come in to share more information
    • Some families ask for a hearing
    • We may ask National for additional door knocks or formal surveillance to verify residency
    • We may determine they do live in the district
  • From surveillance &/or additional door knocks we receive a determination from National and send a second letter sharing options.
  • At this point, a resident can ask for a hearing with the board and the board would have final determination of residency.

 Is doing residency checks cost effective?

  • Yes, the per student education expense for one student is more than we have spent on investigations in 2017, and we have had more than one student unenroll.