Residency Verification

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 potential issues 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


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 at the residence, defined as sleeping at the residence the majority of the week, to be considered 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 at the residence, defined as sleeping at the residence the majority of the week, to be considered 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. In 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 Carie Cohen at 224-612-7304 or or any of our district social workers to discuss your residency concerns.
How do we check residency in RTSD26?
  • Families who are new to the district must 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 addresses 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 and/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.
Are residency checks cost effective?
  • Yes, the per student education expense for one student is more than the district has spent on investigations.