Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code: 4120


A student who is domiciled within the geographic area served by the school system and who is under age 21 (22 for students entitled to special education services), who has not completed the prescribed courses for high school graduation and who otherwise qualifies for admission is entitled to be admitted without payment of tuition. Under certain circumstances specified by law, a student who resides in the school district and who otherwise qualifies for admission to its schools also is entitled to be admitted without payment of tuition. In addition, students who are homeless or in foster care may be entitled to continue attending their school of origin without payment of tuition regardless of a change in their domicile or residency status.

Children with disabilities are required to meet state domicile requirements to be entitled to admission to school without payment of tuition unless they are “grandfathered” into the system under subsection C.5, below, or unless they otherwise meet one of the circumstances that entitle them to admission without payment of tuition. (See section C, below.)


Domicile requires the intent to abandon one's prior home and remain in the new location as a permanent home for an indefinite period. In contrast, a residence need not be one's exclusive home and does not require an intention that the residence be the permanent home.


  1. Domicile of Students Generally The domicile of a student under 18 years of age is presumed to be the domicile of his or her parents, legal guardian or legal custodian as defined by the General Statutes of North Carolina.

  2. Domicile of Emancipated Students If the student is at least 18 years of age, married, or abandoned by his or her parents, or if the court declares a student to be emancipated, the student may establish a domicile independent from that of his or her parents, legal guardian or legal custodian. A student who establishes domicile as a result of being emancipated is a domiciliary of the school system and is entitled to the same rights and privileges of other students domiciled in the school district.

  3. Domicile of Students with Divorced or Separated Parents Domicile for the purpose of school attendance will be determined by the following criteria:

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 4120 Page 1 of 4 a) In the event that the parents are divorced or separated and physical custody has been given to only one parent, a student's domicile follows that of the parent who has been granted physical custody. b) If physical custody has not been determined or has been granted jointly to both parents, or if the custodial parent wishes the student to attend school in the non- custodial parent's district of residence, then the parents must jointly agree on which residence will be used to determine the child's domicile. The selected residence must be submitted in writing to the school principal/designee and the superintendent. c) The selection may not be changed during the school year unless the parents satisfy the board's policies on transfers and releases. d) In the event that the parents cannot agree on which residence will be used to determine the child's domicile for school assignment purposes, school officials shall assign the student according to the residence of the parent with physical custody of the student at the beginning of the school year will prevail.


A student who resides in the district in any of the following circumstances will be admitted without payment of tuition.

  1. The student is homeless, as defined in state and federal law and policy 4125, Homeless Students. A student living with a friend or relative is not a homeless student, unless he or she lives there due to conditions that constitute homelessness under state and federal statutes. A homeless student will be assigned in accordance with policy 4125, Homeless Students.

  2. The parent, guardian or legal custodian residing in the school district attendance area is a student, employee or faculty member of a college or university, or is a visiting scholar at the National Humanities Center.

  3. The student resides in a group home, foster home or other similar facility or institution.

  4. The student resides in a pre-adoptive home following placement by a county department of social services or a licensed child-placing agency.

  5. The student is considered a child with a disability by the General Statutes and the North Carolina Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities; and the child was (a) enrolled in a particular school system on the last day of school for the 2006-2007 school year, or (b) enrolled in and attending a school in a particular local school administrative unit on August 1, 2007 for the 2007-2008 school year, so long as the child lives within and is continuously enrolled in that system.

  6. The student resides with an adult, who is a domiciliary of that unit, as a result of any of the following:

a. the death, serious illness, or incarceration of a parent or legal guardian;

Avery County Schools Policy Code: 4120 Page 2 of 4 b. the abandonment by a parent or legal guardian of the complete control of the student as evidenced by the failure to provide substantial financial support and parental guidance; c. abuse or neglect by the parent or legal guardian; d. the physical or mental condition of the parent or legal guardian is such that he or she cannot provide adequate care and supervision of the student; e. the relinquishment of physical custody and control of the student by the student’s parent or legal guardian upon the recommendation of the department of social services or the Division of Mental Health; f. the loss or uninhabitability of the student's home as the result of a natural disaster; or g. the parent or legal guardian is one of the following: (1) on active military duty, not including periods of active duty for training for less than 30 days, and is deployed out of the local school administrative unit in which the student resides; (2) a member of veteran of the uniformed services who is severely injured and medically discharged or retired (but only for a period of one year after the medical discharge or retirement of the parent or guardian); or (3) a member of the uniformed services who has died while on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained on active duty (but only for a period of one year after the death of the parent or guardian). For purposes of this section, the term “active duty” does not include periods of active duty for training for less than 30 days. Assignment under this subsection is only available if some evidence of the deployment, medical discharge, retirement, or death is tendered with the affidavits required under G.S. 115C-366.

In order to be admitted under this provision, the student can not be currently under a term of suspension or expulsion from a school for conduct that could have led to a suspension or an expulsion from the local school administrative unit, unless the student is identified as eligible for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq., and evidence of such eligibility is tendered with the affidavits described below.

The adult with whom the student resides and the student's parent, guardian, or legal custodian must complete and sign separate affidavits available through the school principal’s office or the superintendent's office attesting to information required by G.S. 115C-366(a3). If it is found that a person willfully and knowingly provided false information in the affidavit, the maker of the affidavit will be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and will pay to the local board an amount equal to the cost of educating the student during the period of enrollment. Repayment will not include state funds.

D. ATHLETIC ELIGIBILITY Please note that a student who makes a bona fide change in their domicile (residence) is eligible to participate upon enrollment. Under no circumstance can a student have more than one domicile (residence). It is the obligation of each school to know the domicile of each athlete and to require compliance. “Residence” is defined as the equivalent of the term “domicile” as applied by the courts of North Carolina. Any student enrolled at the Blue Ridge Academy is eligible to participate in athletics at the school he/she was originally assigned if all other eligibility criteria have been met.

E. STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN THE NORTH CAROLINA ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM In determining whether a student meets the domicile or residence requirements of this policy, school personnel shall consider the actual address of a participant in the North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program established by G.S. Chapter 15C, but such address shall remain confidential in accordance with law and board policy 4250/5075/7316, North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program.


Within 10 working days of receiving all of the information required under this policy, the superintendent or designee shall provide a written decision to the applicant for admission to the school system. The superintendent’s decision regarding admission of the student may be appealed to the board in accordance with subsection E.5 in policy 1740/4010, Student and Parent Grievance Procedure.

Legal References: Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 6303 et seq.; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 300; McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act. 42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.; Non-Regulatory Guidance: Ensuring Educational Stability for Children in Foster Care, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (June 2016); Non-Regulatory Guidance on education for Homeless Children and Youths Program, U.S. Department of Education (July 2016); G.S. 7B, art. 35; 35A, art. 6; 15C-8(i); 50-13.1 to 13.3; 115C-106.2, - 106.3, -107.6, -108.1(a), -366 , State Board of Education Policy GCS-D000 Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities, available at http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov/policies/nc- policies-governing-services-for-children-with-disabilities GCS-D-000

Cross References: Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (policy 1740/4010), Children of Military Families (policy 4050), Homeless Students (policy 4125), North Carolina Address Confidentiality Program (policy 4250/5075/7316)

Adopted: 04/08/02 Revised: 12/03/07; 9/14/09, 4/19/13, 3/11/14; 5/09/17