Moore County's Frequently Asked Questions - Enrollment page

Frequently Asked Questions - Enrollment


What students have a right to enroll in Moore County Schools?
As a general matter, students who are "domiciled" in Moore County and meet age and immunization requirements have the right to be admitted to Moore County Schools without paying tuition.

What does it mean for a student to be "domiciled" in Moore County?
"Domicile" is a legal term that means a "permanent, established home."  A person may have more than one "residence" but only one legal "domicile."  Merely owning or renting property is not enough to establish domicile, nor is living somewhere temporarily with the intent to return to a more permanent home.  To establish a domicile, a person must have actually abandoned any previous domicile, must currently live at the new address, and must intend to make the new address his or her regular home, either permanently or indefinitely.

Can a student domiciled in Moore County be denied enrollment?
Yes.  Students who are currently under a suspension or expulsion or who have been convicted of a felony may be denied enrollment or may have reasonable conditions placed on their enrollment.  Students who are new to Moore County Schools must submit a notarized statement indicating whether the student is, at the time, under suspension or expulsion from another school and whether the student has ever been convicted of a felony.

See Policy 4120 for a full explanation of these requirements.

What documentation is needed to prove domicile?
Moore County Schools will accept:

  • utility bill (gas, water or electric) in the name of the renter/homeowner
  • purchase agreement with down payment

When parents and children have established a permanent home in property that is owned or rented by another person, both the parents and the homeowner/renter may be asked to complete shared housing affidavits certifying the arrangement.

Moore County Schools reserves the right to request additional documentation, to interview neighbors, and otherwise to conduct domicile investigations to establish whether any particular student meets the legal criteria for admission.

Can a student under the age of 18 have a "domicile" in Moore County if his or her parents are domiciled outside of Moore County?
No.  By law, the domicile of a minor who has not been legally emancipated by marriage or court order is always the same as that of his or her parent or legal guardian, even if the minor actually lives elsewhere.  This means that a student aged 17 or younger whose parents live in an adjoining county and who moves in with friends or family in Moore County remains "domiciled" at his or her parents' house.  Such a student is eligible for admission to Moore County Schools only if an exception to the domicile requirement applies or if the family is granted discretionary admission.  Otherwise, the student is eligible to enroll in the school district where his or her parents are domiciled.

A student aged 18 or older may establish his or her own domicile, but only if he or she has completely abandoned his or her parents' home and established his or her own permanent, established home.

Who is a "legal guardian" or "legal custodian" for purposes of school enrollment?
For purposes of state law and school board policies on school enrollment and transfers, a "legal guardian" is a "general guardian" or "guardian of the person" appointed by a court to care for and be responsible for a minor.  A "legal custodian" is a person who has been awarded legal custody of a minor by a court.

Both legal guardianship and legal custody require an official court order with a file stamp and a judge's signature.  A "guardianship affidavit," "power of attorney" or similar document is not a court order and will not be accepted as proof of legal custody or guardianship, even if the document is notarized or purports to be legally binding.

The only exception to this rule is for members of the armed forces who are deployed on military duty (not including active-duty training of less than 30 days).  Such parents may send their children to live with friends or family and authorize the caregiver to enroll their children in school based on a "special power of attorney" guardianship form provided by the military.


Are there any exceptions to the domicile requirement?
Students who are not legally domiciled in Moore County may be admitted to Moore County Schools without paying tuition if one of the following exceptions applies:

  • The student lives in Moore County and is homeless as defined under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act.
  • The student lives in a group home, foster home or similarly licensed facility located in Moore County.
  • The student is considered a child with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and was enrolled in the school system on the last day of school for the 2006-07 school year or enrolled in and attending a school in the school system on August 1, 2007, for the 2007-08 school year, and has resided within and been continuously enrolled in the school system since that time.
  • The student is a foreign exchange student participating in a pre-approved program that has a reciprocal agreement for Moore County Schools students.
  • The student is a school-aged child of a full-time Moore County Schools employee.
  • The student lives with a non-parental caregiver who is domiciled in Moore County for one of the specific hardship criteria noted in Policy 4120 and the parents and non-parental caregivers have submitted sworn affidavits certifying that these requirements have been met. For more information, see the question and answer directly below.

See Policy 4120 for more information about these exceptions.

What are the "hardship" criteria that allow a caregiver other than a parent or legal custodian to enroll a child in school?
Under state law and Board Policy 6020 (School Admissions), a caregiver who is not a parent or court-appointed legal guardian or legal custodian may enroll a student in school based on the caregiver's domicile in Moore County if the student is not currently under a suspension or expulsion from another school and the student lives with the caregiver for one of the following hardship reasons:

  • The death, serious illness or incarceration of the child's parent or legal guardian.

  • The abandonment by the child's parent or legal guardian of the complete control of the student as evidenced by the failure to provide substantial financial support and parental guidance.

  • Abuse or neglect by the parent or legal guardian.

  • The physical or mental condition of the parent or legal guardian is such that he or she cannot provide the student with adequate care and supervision.

  • The relinquishment of physical custody and control of the student by the student's parent or legal guardian upon the recommendation of the Department of Social Services or the Division of Mental Health.

  • The loss or uninhabitability of the student's home as a result of a natural disaster.

  • The parent or legal guardian is on active military duty for a period of 30 or more days and is deployed out of the local school administrative unit in which the student resides.

  • The parent or legal guardian died while on active military duty or was severely injured and medically discharged or retired from active military duty as a result of the injury.  Enrollment is valid for only one year after the date of the death, medical discharge or retirement.

Both the parent and non-parental caregiver must complete affidavits provided by the school confirming that all legal requirements are met.  If the parent or guardian is unable to or refuses to sign the parental affidavit, the caregiver must note this fact on his/her affidavit, and the school system will contact the parent directly to confirm the information provided.  Moore County Schools reserves the right to request documentary proof and may make follow-up inquiries to confirm the information provided.

Important: Under North Carolina law, the provision of false information in these enrollment affidavits is a Class 1 misdemeanor and may result in the immediate withdrawal of the student as well as referral for criminal prosecution.  In addition, state law provides that the person who provided the false information must reimburse the school system for the cost of educating the student during the time enrolled.

How can I request admission to Moore County Schools if I am not "domiciled" in Moore County and none of the hardship exceptions to the domicile requirement apply?
You may request "discretionary admission" under Policy 4120.

If a child is entitled to admission to Moore County Schools, to which school will he or she be assigned?
Students who live in Moore County are assigned to the school of appropriate grade span (primary, elementary, middle school or high school) located in the attendance area of the student's legal "domicile."  This is often referred to as the student's "base" or "home" school.

Students with special needs will be assigned to their home schools unless their Individualized Education Program or 504 Plan specifies a particular program or service that is not available at the home school, in which case they will be assigned to the school closest to their home that provides that program or service.

Students whose parents or legal guardians are full-time employees of Moore County Schools who live outside of county lines will generally be assigned to the school where the parent or guardian works or the school of the appropriate grade span in the feeder pattern for that school.  If space is not available at that school, the family will be informed of other options.

See Policy 4120 for more information about initial school assignments.

What do I need to do to get a foreign exchange student enrolled in Moore County Schools?
Moore County Schools will enroll foreign exchange students only if they are participating in a pre-approved exchange program that has a reciprocal arrangement for Moore County Schools students.

Families sponsoring exchange students should also be aware that some visas require exchange students to attend specific schools as a condition of the visa.  Other types of visas prohibit students from enrolling in public schools during their temporary stays.  Families should consult the program sponsors with any questions about visa requirements.

Note:  In compliance with a 1981 United States Supreme Court's decision, Moore County Schools does not deny school enrollment based on students' citizenship status.  Undocumented aliens have a legal right to enroll in Moore County Schools if they are otherwise eligible for admission based on domicile, a hardship exception to the domicile requirement or an approved request for discretionary admission.  There are no registration requirements for undocumented aliens that do not apply to all other students.

How do I request a release to attend another North Carolina school district?
Families who are domiciled in Moore County and wish to enroll their children in another public school district must complete an online 22-23 Application for Moore County Resident to Enroll in a School System Outside Moore County to obtain a written release from Moore County Schools.  These requests are normally granted.  A release to attend school outside of Moore County must be requested and approved annually. This is the link to the new 2023-2024 Application for a Moore County Resident to Enroll in a School System Outside of Moore County.

Whom may I contact with additional questions about school admissions, school assignment or school transfers?
If you still have questions after reviewing this FAQ and the school board policies referenced above, please contact the office for Student Support Services at 910.947.2976.

Back to School Admissions and Transfers

  • Moore County Schools
  • 5277 Hwy. 15-501 South, Carthage, NC28327
  • 910-947-2976
  • 910-947-3011
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