Every family with children attending District 97 schools will have to prove their residency to re-enroll for the upcoming school year.
Until now, only new families had to provide documentation to show they’re residents of Oak Park. The district has changed that procedure and will now require all families to do so, said Trish Carlson, D97’s director of human resources. It’s a change Carlson has wanted to make for some time. The district has about 3,600 families overall to check — Carlson said 1,500 have registered for far.
“This is the first time we’ve checked all families,” she said. “The response has been mostly positive feedback. There are some who aren’t happy that they have to prove where they live. I understand it might be an inconvenience, but it’s my job to make sure people live where they say they live. It has to be done.”
On average, the district checks about 100 cases each year from tips, or if mail sent to a home from the district is returned. Two residency officers work part-time on cases. Carlson said the officers use various methods, including home visits, to verify residency.
“Anything that it takes so I’m sure that they’re living where they say they’re living.”