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Transfer Trauma: Girl not able to enroll in school after moving to Garfield Heights

Posted at 4:09 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 18:54:57-04

One little girl in Garfield Heights is stuck home alone every day because she is not allowed to go to school after moving to the district only weeks ago.

Monique Ball and her 10-year-old granddaughter, Jakeria Ball, moved to the Garfield Heights City Schools area in early August.

“I was excited to come home to start a new school, to meet new people and new teachers and everything," said soon-to-be-fifth-grader Jakeria Ball. "Then I get here, and I figure out I’m not even going to school this week."

After making an enrollment appointment with the district prior to the start of school, Monique Ball said they were not approved because of failure to provide a bill or bank statement with the new address.

According to the district’s enrollment policy, parents must show proof of residency in multiple ways.

“I also showed up with my signed lease," Ball said. "I had my guardianship papers, power of attorney papers, birth certificate, social security records, withdrawal papers."

Garfield Heights City School District requires proof of mail, too — like a utility bill, bank statement or insurance bill – with the new address on it.

“I called the gas company, and they told me they hadn’t even generated a gas bill yet,” Ball said.   

Garfield Heights City Schools Assistant Superintendent Christopher Hanke sent News 5 a statement. In part, it reads:

“No families are denied access to enrollment. However, parents are required to follow the district’s protocol. We make appointments with each family and follow-up with them to ensure that they have the appropriate documentation to enroll their children. Enrolling students in public school districts requires documentation, and we are happy to assist all families enrolling in Garfield Heights City Schools. We have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Garfield Heights to follow a protocol to prove residency of all families.”

Below is a copy of the letter provided to parents and guardians transferring into the district, which lists the document requirements:

Garfield Heights letter for students transferring to district