JPS enrollment is underway with special assistance for new guardians needing to register students

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 7:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Hundreds of children attending school aren’t being raised by their parents. However, without legal guardianship, they can’t be enrolled in school by that caretaker. Jackson Public School registration is underway with special assistance for nonparental caregivers.

Poindexter Administrative Complex is the site for special circumstances JPS registration. JPS general counsel Larrissa Moore said relatives or others who recently began caring for children who aren’t theirs won’t be enrolled without going through the proper legal procedures.

“Legal guardianship is needed if they’re not the natural parent,” said Moore.

About 800 children are under guardianship in the Jackson Public School system.

“We’re losing people to the pandemic,” said Moore. “Grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends are having to assume responsibility for the children. This is important that they get a handle on this early.”

JPS is hosting a free informational session on obtaining guardianship July 18 at the JPS Board Room at 5:45 p.m.

“They will be able to come and ask questions. We’ll have attorneys present to give them information about what documentation they need [and] how they get guardianship of this child. We’ll offer resources and help,” Moore added.

Parents are enrolling students now. According to the district, there were approximately 19,500 students enrolled in the 2020-21 and the 2021-22 school years. They project 19,200 this school term.

The district is encouraging early registration for accurate teacher staffing and class and busing accommodations.

“Go through the website and register online first,” said Interim Director of Data and Enrollment Services Tracie Bryant. “Once you register or if you have a special circumstance, you want to go ahead and book an appointment. When you have that appointment booked, make sure that you have that paperwork and documents ready.”

The Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project will hold a free session on obtaining guardianship July 29 at the Hinds County Chancery Court. JPS is also hosting free haircuts and hair band enrollment events July 17 and July 18. Text CROWN to 866-510-973 for details.

To learn more about JPS enrollment, log onto its website www.jackson.k12.ms.us. Classes start on August 8.

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