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. 

As standard District 26 procedure, all student addresses will be run through a Clear/BATCH System for residency verification. Additionally, the following may result in a full investigation by an investigative company. 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 the District and that the child’s registration is contingent upon residency confirmation. 
  • The District runs information through a public records database (Clear/BATCH) to verify address and to see if there are any other addresses identified.
  • If another address is identified using the Clear/BATCH system, we send a letter to the family informing them of the finding and sharing options with them.
    • 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 a investigative company for formal surveillance to verify residency
    • We may determine they do live in the district
  • From surveillance &/or additional information a second letter may be sent sharing further 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 2018, and we have had more than one student unenroll.