Welcome to Henderson Middle School (HMS)!
A new school can be very confusing. We are here to help. If you don’t find what you need, the best place to get information is firstname.lastname@example.org.
To start school, you need to take a few steps:
- Make sure your child is properly enrolled.
- Confirm your child’s registration.
- Connect with parents and staff at HMS and stay informed.
- Learn more about the school.
There are 3 steps: First, enrolling your child in the county’s ‘system’ to get a student ID, second, registering your child at HMS, and third, confirming registration every August.
Note: Registration has to be completed by the parent or legal guardian. It cannot be done by a relative unless they have legal custody.
What do you need to do? Here are the questions to ask:
If you are new to DeKalb County School District (DCSD) you need to enroll your child in the system!
- Did you move here from a different country? Or are you new to DCSD and your child’s primary language is something other than English?
- If yes, you might need to enroll your child through the DeKalb International Welcome Center (please note that this is NOT the International Student Center). Call 678-676-6602 to learn more or to make an appointment. Click here for more information. Note: Get started early, your child may need to be tested even if they are bilingual, they cannot be assigned to teachers without the testing, and appointments fill up fast!
- If yes, you need to enroll your child in DeKalb County School District (DCSD) using the online registration and then providing the required paperwork (for example, proof of residence, proof of age, school records, health records). Click here for more information about registration.
- Contact your current school about transferring records.
- Enrolment support centers are East DeKalb Center, 5831 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 or McNair High School, 1804 Bouldercrest Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30316.
- Form 3231 for immunizations and Form 3300 for vision, hearing, and dental/nutritional screening. Check with your doctor or contact a health clinic to learn more. Your child hasn’t had the screening and it’s the start of school? Your child can be provisionally enrolled for 30 days while you get everything completed. But they will be dis-enrolled if you do not turn it all in on time.
If you are not new to DCDS, your child is enrolled, but you need to register at HMS:
- Is your child coming from a DCSD school outside of the Henderson/Lakeside cluster? ”In the cluster” means coming from these Elementary “feeder” schools: Briarlake, Evansdale, Hawthorne, Henderson Mill, Oak Grove, Pleasantdale, Sagamore, and Oak Cliff. If you are from a different school, that would be “outside of the cluster”.
- If yes, you need to transfer your child’s records. Contact your current school on the steps to take.
- If yes, you need to show proof that your child completed successfully. Talk to your current school about the steps to take.
- If yes, your feeder school probably has completed the process of transferring your records for you. You are done with Step A! You do need to confirm registration every year. Go to Step B to find out more.
- Every summer, you need to show the school a proof of residence to document that you are still living in the school attendance zone. This is sometimes called registration - but for enrolled students (those who are listed in the DCDS system, have a student ID, and are registered at HMS) it’s just a confirmation/re-registration (but it’s still required). Note: you also complete forms to confirm your contact information, which is often done at the end of the previous school year or once school starts.
- Utility bills (gas, electric, water), lease, mortgage contracts are accepted. Phone bill is insufficient!
- The best time to do this is during the Open House, typically held the Wednesday before school starts.
- If you miss Open House, bring your document to the front office and ask to see the registrar.
- Note - if you started the enrolment process in June or July, you still need to bring another proof in August.
- Attend Open House and Registration Day (previously called Sneak Peek), typically held the Wednesday before school starts. NOTE: HMS sets its own Open House times, do not rely on information from the DeKalb district website.
- Bring your proof of residence – all students, including returning students, should document that they are still living in the school attendance zone.
- Learn more about how Open House works here.
- Become a member and enter your contact information so that you will receive the important information available only through the PTSA and so that you can get connected with the parents of your child’s classmates. Note: The school cannot share information with the PTSA, so be sure to sign up so you stay informed!
- Spend time in the school. The PTSA will help you sign up to participate as a volunteer. You will find that connecting with other parents and teachers will help you find your way around much more quickly. Helping in the front office, attendance office, or media center will really help you learn about the school. But there are many opportunities, even for busy parents. Whether you are new to volunteering or an experienced elementary PTA member, we need you and will explain it all to you. Learn more about volunteering here.
- The HMS Foundation is another, similar organization that supports the school financially in ways the PTSA can’t. Learn more here.
- If any of your contact information changes, make sure the school has your updated contact information, including email and phone numbers. When there are important messages that all parents need to receive, the principal will send via the county’s email and automated phone messaging systems. (This is much less often than the electronic newsletter, so make sure you sign up for that!)
- You can also sign up for Principal Patillo’s text message system – used particularly for urgent updates related to weather, transportation, emergencies, etc. Text @fkhec to 81010 or 678-256-2458. Or sign up via email at www.remind.com using code fkhec. [Note: you need to sign up every year]
- If you are a Facebook user, Join the Henderson Middle Parents facebook page for parent-to-parent advice, reminders, and photo sharing.
- Ask your child’s teachers for their message system – many text via remind.com or have classdojo or similar message system. Check the teachers’ websites for details. You can look teacher websites up in the staff directory. http://www.hendersonms.dekalb.k12.ga.us/Staff.aspx
- Find out from your teacher who the team parents are for your child’s team, make sure they have your contact information. They will share information specific to your child’s team like field trips and celebrations, etc. They are a great source of information if you are confused. More information here. Note: The team parent cannot get your contact information from the school, you need to sign up for the PTSA separately.
5. Attend parent nights!
- The school and PTSA organize parent nights throughout the year, please come and learn all about the school. These will be announced in the weekly PTSA e-newsletter. Some will also be announced via automated phone calls.
- Read about procedures! The HMS Handbook is here!
- Think about extra-curricular activities! It’s a great way for new students to meet and have fun while still learning and exploring new things. HMS has a variety of clubs that meet before or after school. Some are training for competition, others are for exploration. Contact the teacher sponsor of the club to get your child signed up. If they don’t respond, email them again! Children can also talk to the sponsor themselves.
- Click here for more information about academic clubs.
- Click here for more information about athletic clubs.
- Learn what all these words mean! Read the Glossary here. There is a lot of jargon in schools, this will help you figure it out.
Still confused? Send an email to the Henderson Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association (email@example.com) and let us know what you need. Our purpose is to help parents, teachers, and students connect so that HMS students succeed and thrive!
And please remember – there are no silly questions. Figuring out a new school is very complicated, there is a lot to learn, and it’s easy to miss things. We remember being new and confused, we will help!
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