Families whose children are enrolled in Riverside Elementary School District 96 schools this year will not have to prove their residency in the district for next year unless they move.

Until now, families had to prove residency in the district every year. However, District 96 has decided to streamline its residency verification procedures. Families new to the district will have to prove that they reside in the district, but families already enrolled will only have to prove residency every other year, unless they move.

“The vast majority of parents who have students here won’t have to complete in-person residency verification,” said Don Tufano, the district’s director of technology and innovation, who manages the residency verification process. “As far as people who are new to the district nothing has really changed in regards to them. But now that they’re here they won’t have to do it next year.”

This month, District 96 will be sending out an email to parents containing a hyperlinked registration code for each student now attending a school in the district. The email will also include instructions on how to register returning students online.

You may also receive a paper copy of the information through the mail if the school district doesn’t have your family’s email contact information.

On Thursday, March 5 District 96 will host its kindergarten registration night, which will be held at the L.J. Hauser Junior High School auditorium, 65 Woodside Road, beginning at 6 p.m.

If your incoming kindergartener’s last name begin with letters A through L you are requested to arrive at 6 p.m. If the child’s last name starts with M through Z you should arrive at 7 p.m.

Parents of incoming kindergarteners who already have children enrolled in District 96 schools will not have to go through the residency verification process unless they have moved since they last registered or will move prior to Sept. 1, 2020, are a renter whose lease expires before Sept. 1, 2020, are renting within District 96 boundaries without a lease or are living with a District 96 resident.

Any family new to District 96 will have to prove that they reside within its boundaries. They must bring in one of the following: a mortgage statement, their most recent tax bill, the title or deed to their home or a current signed lease.

In addition, parents must bring in three of the following items: a utility bill, a water or sewer bill, a cable bill, an internet bill, a credit card statement, a bank statement or proof of homeowner’s insurance.

All parents of incoming kindergarteners must also bring the student’s birth certificate and the parent or guardian’s driver’s license, state ID card or international ID.

Parents who successfully complete kindergarten registration by April 30 will receive a 40-percent discount on the district’s standard registration fee of $80.

The $80 registration fee is up $5 from last year’s fee. Registration fees for pre-kindergarteners will increase by $5 to $75. Tuition for pre-kindergarten will increase by $75 to $3,075.

Registration fees for first through fifth grades will also increase by $5 ranging from $90 for a first-grader to $105 for fourth- and fifth-graders. Registration fees for Hauser Junior High students will not increase next year. They range from $165 for sixth-graders to $190 for eighth-graders.

The district will also be using a third-party database, the Thomson Reuters CLEAR database, to determine which families will have to prove that they live within the boundaries of District 96.

The software will calculate a score for each family based on a variety of factors and families whose score is below a certain threshold will have to bring in documents to prove that they live within the district’s boundaries.

Families can submit residency verification documents online, a practice that was begun last year.

“This coming year we’re going to have a much lower percentage of parents who will have to prove residency,” Tufano said.

More information is available at district96.org/apps/pages/registration. Any questions about the registration process can be directed to registrar@district96.org.