Brookline Residency and Address Verification

Please use the links below to navigate our information about Residency and Address Verification: 

What is Residency?

You must be a resident of Brookline in order to attend the Public Schools of Brookline. Before a student is registered to the Public Schools of Brookline and can start school, his/her parent or legal guardian must provide proofs of primary residence at the Office of Student Affairs.  Temporary residence in the Town of Brookline for the sole purpose of attending the Public Schools of Brookline will not be considered residency.  Because residency can, and does, change for students and their families during the course of the academic year, and a student’s educational life, the Public Schools of Brookline may continue to verify residency after the commencement of classes.
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What documents are used to verify residency? 
 
Documents to verify residency  
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Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q. How is residency defined?
A. In order to attend the Public Schools of Brookline, a student must actually reside in the Town of Brookline.  A student’s primary residence is the place where s/he dwells permanently, not temporarily, and is the place that is the center of his or her domestic, social and civic life.  The primary residence of a minor child is presumed to be the legal residence of the parent(s) or guardian(s) who have physical custody of the child.  
 
Q. How does the Public Schools of Brookline verify residency?
A. Families registering for the Public Schools of Brookline or submitting a change of address must demonstrate Brookline residency by submitting documents from an authorized list of acceptable proofs. A photo ID is also required.  
In order to verify residency, the Public Schools of Brookline reserves the right to request additional documents and/or to conduct an investigation if needed. Because residency can change for students and their families during the school year, the Public Schools of Brookline may verify residency at any time.  
  
Q. Why must I bring a photo ID? 
A. A photo ID is required for all registration, change of address, or transfer applications as proof that the person making the application matches documentation for parent/guardian status and is also the person whose name is associated with the residency proofs. Acceptable photo IDs include:
  • Driver’s License
  • Massachusetts ID card
  • Passport
  • Military, School or Employment ID
  • Another government issued ID that includes both your photo and legal name
 
Q. What if I don’t have the required proofs of residency with me when I register?
A. All new applicants are required to submit the required proofs. Applicants who do not have the required documents will be asked to return to the Office of Student Affairs with the appropriate materials in order to register. There are no acceptable substitutions for items on the list of acceptable proofs.
 
Q. What if I do not pay for utilities, or if none of the utility bills are in my name? 
A. If you live in a household where all utilities are listed in the name of your landlord or someone else, AND if this is noted on your lease or landlord/shared tenancy affidavit, then you may submit proof of residency for Column B in the name of your landlord or the person that pays the bills. If your lease specifies that all utilities are included, and you do not have a home telephone ("land-line telephone") or cable television, you may fill out an application for appeal.  All appeal applications will be reviewed by the Director of the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of the Superintendent for decision.
 
Q. Is a cell phone bill an acceptable document? 
A. No. Only a home telephone (“land-line”) bill satisfies this requirement.
 
Q. Why is a water bill not accepted? 
A. Landlords typically include water in their lease agreement. Therefore, someone paying a water bill may or may not necessarily live in the property associated with the water bill.  
 
Q. What if I have recently moved and do not yet have two documents I can use?
A. To fulfill the requirements, you also may also submit a work order or “statement of service” letter from any utility company stating that your service has been ordered or installed.  This document must include the subscriber's name, service address and a date of issuance.
 
Q. What if I cannot produce both required proofs?
A. If your personal circumstances make it impossible for you to provide the required proofs of residency, consult the staff at the Office of Student Affairs.  You will be asked to bring copies of any proofs of residency you have, and to describe the circumstances that prevent you from having the required proofs.  Staff will work with you, and if necessary, fill out an application for appeal.  All appeal applications will be reviewed by the Director of the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of the Superintendent for decision.
 
Q. What if I am over 18 and no longer live with my parents? 
A. Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older may establish a residence separate and apart from his or her parents or guardians for school attendance purposes. However, you will still be required to submit the proofs of residency bearing your name and address.
 
Q. What if I live with a friend or relative?
A. If you share housing with a friend or relative, and you cannot provide the required proofs of residency, consult the staff at the Office of Student Affairs.  You will be asked to bring copies of any proofs of residency you have, and to describe the circumstances that prevent you from having the required proofs.  Staff will work with you, and if necessary, fill out an application for appeal.  All appeal applications will be reviewed by the Director of the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of the Superintendent for decision.
 
Q. What if my family does not have a permanent residence?
A. The proof of residency policy does not apply to homeless students and families covered under the McKinney-Vento Act.  Contact the Office of Student Affairs for assistance with registering your child, if you believe that you qualify as homeless under the Act. If you are staying in a shelter, bring a letter from the shelter staff stating that you are living there.  The McKinney-Vento Liaison for the Public Schools of Brookline will work with you.
 
Q. How can I report a suspected violation of the residency policy?
A. Residency fraud is a violation of Massachusetts state law and is subject to per diem fines for every day that a student attends school outside the district s/he legally resides.  Call the anonymous Residency Tip Line: 617-730-2462.
 
Q. Will documents that I submit to prove residency remain confidential?
A. All documents submitted to prove residency will be considered part of his or her confidential record. The Public Schools of Brookline will adhere to the standards of confidentiality set forth in state and federal laws in maintenance of these records. 
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