Age, Grade Level, and School Location
Your child’s age and grade level are the indicators of the right school level: elementary, middle, or high school.
Your child’s age is your first indicator of his or her eligibility for beginning school. Students may start kindergarten if they turn five on or before August 15. A child does not have to enroll in school at age five, but must enroll no later than his or her sixth birthday. See more at: https://www.tn.gov/sbe/topic/frequently-asked-questions#sthash.2Ge1RseW.dpuf
Schools are traditionally organized by grade bands.
- Elementary school: Pre-kindergarten, Kindergarten, and grades 1-5. Some districts include grade 6 in the elementary school
- Middle school: Grades 6-8
- High school: Grades 9-12
Most schools follow this grade distribution, though some districts may include a sixth grade or ninth grade school/academy to help students adjust to middle school and high school. A few other arrangements exist in some districts, such as grades K-8 in one school.
Which actual school is your child to attend?
Your residence address determines which actual school building your child will attend. In some districts, specialized magnet schools and academies may accept students from multiple zones; criteria for magnet and academy school eligibility are available directly from those districts. Additional attendance zoning exceptions may occur from district to district; policies regarding exceptions are also available directly from those districts.
District and Individual School Information
You may access your county’s district information any of following ways:
- Click here to access the TSBA Members listing. Find a list of each school district and their local websites.
- Click here to access the types of schools (school options) available in Tennessee, e.g., public, charter, non-public, home schools. Each type includes a link to additional information and resources. To find information about your district, click on Search the School Directory. On the left side of the page that opens, look under Districts or Schools select the search you need.
- Visit http://www.k-12.state.tn.us/sde/SelectView.asp?pt=S/schoolurls.htm or http://www.k-12.state.tn.us/sde/SelectView.asp?pt=S/showmedistricts.asp.
These links will take you to a searchable site on the Tennessee State Department of Education’s page. It opens to a page with a drop box feature to find your county/district. When you click on your county or district, the resulting page lists the name(s) of the local school district(s). Though the district name and schools are listed on this page, the district’s Website address is accessed by clicking on the district name near the top of this page. Not all addresses are hyper-linked on the TDOE Website. You may have to copy and paste the address into your browser window.
- School websites are also listed on individual TDOE district pages. They are also not hyper-linked. Go to the district’s web address and access the Parent link. Information about attendance zones may be found here if multiple schools exist for your student’s grade level.A link above the county name, “Active District Schools,” takes you to a list of all schools in that district with their addresses, phone numbers, principal’s name, and other basic information. Each school name is linked to a page with the school address and phone number. If you already know which school your child will attend, you may contact the school directly. Some school Websites show zoning maps or zone assignments to help you locate your child’s school. A district office phone also appears on that page. If the district Website does not guide you to the information you need, call the district office. They will assist you in finding that information.*Copy and paste the school address into your browser window OR you can go to the district site and access each school from there. In the actual district Website, school’s Websites are hyperlinked.NOTE: Because each district maintains its own Website, there is not a consistent format or heading title for locating the details of how to enroll; use the search window or an identified link on the site to help find your child’s correct school. It may be necessary to call the district office for assistance.
- You may also use the Tennessee Department of Education’s website, http://www.tn.gov/main/section/education. Go to Public School Directory link in the top left box. When that link opens, the individual school search link is at the bottom left.
Changes in School Zones
In districts with multiple schools for each level, zones may change occasionally. It is important to check your residence zoning regardless of what it has been in previous years. Some districts provide a ‘Transportation’ link to guide you through finding the appropriate zone for your child’s school.
Transportation and Buses
Information about available transportation and details regarding school bus routes is available from the school or by contacting the district Transportation Department. Some districts include a Transportation link that may provide the needed information.