Back-to-school benefits: Why it's best to register early

Back-to-school benefits: Why it's best to register early

When it comes to registering your child for school, the sooner the better, for all involved.

It starts with a trip to the school your child will attend this year. Your child's birth certificate, vaccination record and proof of address are all typically needed to begin the process.

Every school district is different, so call first to confirm which documents you will need to bring.

Whether your child is starting school for the first time or changing schools, kindergarten instructor, Janice Williams said registering early lowers stress, making the 'home-to-school' transition easier.

"Our main concern, is making it the best for the kids," said Janice. "We don't want them to feel anxious the first day. We want them to feel that this is a safe place for them, and this is the place that is going to start the rest of their educational journey in life."

To start that journey, you have to first get to school, which can also be a hurdle. More than 40,000 students are registered in the Escambia County School District, and about 60 percent of those kids ride to school on the bus.

If you're not registered, however, or your address is not up-to-date in the school system, there might not be a bus for your child to catch.

Long gone are the days of running down the street to catch any school bus you can. Now, the bus system is intricate and thoroughly planned out. Rob Doss, Escambia County School District Director of Transportation, said late registration can really throw things out of whack.

"It's important that we know exactly what your address is because our routing software pulls that data from the student database that is maintained in the schools," said Doss. "Our routing software will plot that student's location and the route-managers will route those buses to those locations. If your address is wrong, we can't route a bus to your address."

The final day to make changes and add students to bus routes is August 7. Route managers will then finalize the routes and give them to school officials on August 9, the day before school starts.

Parents can also view those finalized routes the day before school starts, just look up the bus route locator at or click here.

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