Parenting & Family

Is it odd for a father to register the kid for school?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 22nd, 2017 1:56 am
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2017
68 posts
12 upvotes

Is it odd for a father to register the kid for school?

Second thread in the parenting section. This is how I know Im old.....I kid I kid!

So, I need some advice on this. My older son is going into grade 7 (middle school). His mother and I are have been separated since he was 3 years old (nothing legal). For the past 9 years, his school has been downtown Toronto around his mothers area, but he lives at my house 70-75% of the year every year. I live in Etobicoke, so the commute to and from school has been SAVAGE. Anywho, I now have argued my point and we have finally agreed that it obviously makes sense for him to go to school by me in Etobicoke (Since hes here anyways).

When I called the middle school today to ask what is needed to register, I was bombarded with a bunch of questions, which is cool. Some I felt were unnecessary, but again, its ok. When the school secretary understood the situation of him moving to my house now (which I didn't have to disclose, but I did because hey...why not right?), she said to register I will need a letter from mom stating that he is with me now and he will be attending this school. To be clear, I have no issue getting this letter. Thats not a problem, but I guess I felt offended a bit. Why do I need a letter from mom? Anytime his mother called around to schools and asked questions she was never asked to get a letter , from dad. So why do I need a letter? We dont have a legal agreement or anything. Heck, the secretary wouldnt have known anything if I didnt say.I could have just said "Hes coming from a school downtown and we are now moving him to your school in Etobicoke, what do I need?" If we went to court, then I would understand, but we didnt go that route thankfully. So I was a little heated up over that. She also went on to say that I need to bring proof of address and it MUST be lease or a letter from the landlord. Again, I have no issues with this , but according to the tdsb, you actually just need to bring proof of address such as banking statement, phone bill etc. So I started wondering why she insisted on lease. To be honest, it seemed as though she started giving me a hard time for some reason. Not sure why.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Would you have been offended, or is it just me? Is she even allowed to ask for a letter from mom and insist on my lease?

Thanks for everyones help.
25 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2013
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Maybe this particular school has had issues with people registering kids there that didn't actually live in the area. Or maybe they have had issues with disputes between separated parents before.

Regardless I know it feels like your getting intarogated but I wouldn't take it too personally. If your that interested you could just ask them why they need the extra information.
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
856 posts
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^agreed with maybe it's because it's a school that only accepts with the area. Our school beside my house is really full, and they ask for a lot of info such as lease, or some proof you actually live there. In our area the school is so full and hard to get in that people rent space or buy rentals just to get their kids in.
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Deal Guru
Aug 22, 2011
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Ottawa
Father here and I registered my kid without any interogation, but as stated above, proof of residence was required due to zones and parents trying to get their kids into specific schools based on ranking.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
13066 posts
624 upvotes
Never had any issue dealing with the schools. I took in the paperwork for our youngest a couple of months ago.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2017
68 posts
12 upvotes
Thanks for all the advice. Proof of address is valid. I agree.

What do you guys think about the school asking me to present a letter from mom to register him for school? That is my main concern.
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Jul 5, 2004
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torontocityboy wrote:
May 10th, 2017 10:29 pm
Thanks for all the advice. Proof of address is valid. I agree.

What do you guys think about the school asking me to present a letter from mom to register him for school? That is my main concern.
My little one is only 15 months old, but I'm starting to realize that society just expects the mother to be the primary parent. I've a very involved dad. I take my son to playgroups and other social events. I regularly pick him up and drop him off at daycare. What I've noticed is that I'm constantly surrounded by mothers and very few, if any fathers. I've yet to see a father at a playgroup. I'm always the only one. I've even had a few questions thrown my way about his mother. I've had comments about how nice it is that I bring my son to playgroups (it's not nice, it's part of being a parent and everyone should expect nothing less).

What I realized is that us guys have done it to ourselves. Society expects the mother to be the primary parent because that's usually the way it is. As I said, I've been to playgroups 20-30 times and I've always been the only male present. When I go to daycare, I rarely see other dads. Dads clearly need to be more involved. I shouldn't be the only one at these playgroups, but that seems to be the way it is.

So I guess to answer your question, yeah, it's a concern but I wouldn't stress about it much. Question it perhaps, but I wouldn't put up much of a fight because your child is involved. Things will change if more Dads get more involved, but until then, mothers will always be considered to be the primary caregiver.
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Aug 19, 2013
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torontocityboy wrote:
May 10th, 2017 10:29 pm
Thanks for all the advice. Proof of address is valid. I agree.

What do you guys think about the school asking me to present a letter from mom to register him for school? That is my main concern.
When my kids were little (I'm not with their dad anymore) their school's asked me for any court orders or anything I had. It's more so they know the situation in case the other parent shows up at the school wanting to take them etc. They may have only asked for that because you specifically mentioned you guys weren't together.
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Momof3cuties wrote:
May 9th, 2017 9:39 pm
Maybe this particular school has had issues with people registering kids there that didn't actually live in the area. Or maybe they have had issues with disputes between separated parents before.

Regardless I know it feels like your getting intarogated but I wouldn't take it too personally. If your that interested you could just ask them why they need the extra information.
I live in the new suburbs of YEG. The way the school district determines where your child can go is completely arbitrary so the address verification is required since some of the schools are at 120% capacity the day they open. Schools now look at not just where the child supposedly lives but also how many live at that address attend the school. 1 address was found to have 14 kids attending, most of whom were promptly kicked out in the next school year. I guess families really like the burbs, so we have a weird donut shaped population.

Also, there's a major concern for parent abductions. Since your split did not go through the courts, the school is likely covering their butts with the letter. It's the same reason you need a notarized letter when travelling outside of Canada with just 1 parent. If your school has any exchange program outside of Canada, just be prepared for some extra leg work.
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Apr 28, 2004
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torontocityboy wrote:
May 9th, 2017 8:54 pm
When the school secretary understood the situation of him moving to my house now (which I didn't have to disclose, but I did because hey...why not right?), she said to register I will need a letter from mom stating that he is with me now and he will be attending this school. To be clear, I have no issue getting this letter. Thats not a problem, but I guess I felt offended a bit. Why do I need a letter from mom? Anytime his mother called around to schools and asked questions she was never asked to get a letter , from dad. So why do I need a letter? We dont have a legal agreement or anything. Heck, the secretary wouldnt have known anything if I didnt say.
The parents are separated and living at two different residences without a legal custodial agreement in place. I would think a letter (at the minimum) would be required to declare residency of the student, as most TDSB schools are reserved for "home area" kids only. As for why the mother was never asked could be dozens of logical reasons (maybe she didn't tell them; maybe your kid was always registered under her address downtown; perhaps the TSDB policy doesn't happen very often as most divorced/separated parents have the court order from Family Court detailing custody; maybe she just never told you because she didn't have to register yet? etc.)
torontocityboy wrote:
May 9th, 2017 8:54 pm
She also went on to say that I need to bring proof of address and it MUST be lease or a letter from the landlord. Again, I have no issues with this , but according to the tdsb, you actually just need to bring proof of address such as banking statement, phone bill etc. So I started wondering why she insisted on lease. To be honest, it seemed as though she started giving me a hard time for some reason. Not sure why.
As others have said, not unusual. I was asked the same requirements (one HAD to be the house purchase agreement plus two other proofs). Schools that are at overcapacity or high demand are probably stricter, since it's not that hard re-register some bills. I mean I could send my bank statements and cell phone bill to my uncle's house if I really wanted to.
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Apr 28, 2004
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Shaner wrote:
May 11th, 2017 10:47 am
My little one is only 15 months old, but I'm starting to realize that society just expects the mother to be the primary parent. I've a very involved dad. I take my son to playgroups and other social events. I regularly pick him up and drop him off at daycare. What I've noticed is that I'm constantly surrounded by mothers and very few, if any fathers. I've yet to see a father at a playgroup. I'm always the only one. I've even had a few questions thrown my way about his mother. I've had comments about how nice it is that I bring my son to playgroups (it's not nice, it's part of being a parent and everyone should expect nothing less).

What I realized is that us guys have done it to ourselves. Society expects the mother to be the primary parent because that's usually the way it is. As I said, I've been to playgroups 20-30 times and I've always been the only male present. When I go to daycare, I rarely see other dads. Dads clearly need to be more involved. I shouldn't be the only one at these playgroups, but that seems to be the way it is.
I think once your kid gets a bit older, that's not the case at all. At 15 months, playgroups aren't about the kids playing together, but a simple excuse for parents to socialize. My wife arranged all the playgroups for my kids at that age with her group of friends or daycare parents. Personally, I'd rather just spend that time with my kid in the park or play with them myself so I never scheduled playgroups on my own. But as the kids got older, it's pretty much 50/50 on which parent I see at birthday parties, at the park, playdate dropoffs, karate classes, etc.
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When I took custody of the children, I had to register them to two different school (JK-6 & 7-8) and didn't have any issues. Only question asked was "where you live" so I could get kids into proper school.
[OP]
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Apr 30, 2017
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Momof3cuties wrote:
May 11th, 2017 11:36 am

When my kids were little (I'm not with their dad anymore) their school's asked me for any court orders or anything I had. It's more so they know the situation in case the other parent shows up at the school wanting to take them etc. They may have only asked for that because you specifically mentioned you guys weren't together.
So I guess shes asking me to present this because I mentioned that he is moving down to Etobicoke.
I wonder if I didnt say anything abour his background, ansd just went in for a simple registration, if she would still ask the same questions..

jeff1970 wrote:
May 12th, 2017 3:37 pm
When I took custody of the children, I had to register them to two different school (JK-6 & 7-8) and didn't have any issues. Only question asked was "where you live" so I could get kids into proper school.
TDSB? You actually had custody of your kids and you didnt have to present any court documentation. Look at that. So I guess each school has its own registration policies. I would have thought they have to be the same across the board.
At the same time I guess we are dealing with the office secretary, so although there may be registration questions and policies in place, the secretary just kind of ask what they want according to their experiences.
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torontocityboy wrote:
May 14th, 2017 10:28 am
So I guess shes asking me to present this because I mentioned that he is moving down to Etobicoke.
I wonder if I didnt say anything abour his background, ansd just went in for a simple registration, if she would still ask the same questions..




TDSB? You actually had custody of your kids and you didnt have to present any court documentation. Look at that. So I guess each school has its own registration policies. I would have thought they have to be the same across the board.
At the same time I guess we are dealing with the office secretary, so although there may be registration questions and policies in place, the secretary just kind of ask what they want according to their experiences.
The bigger question is why do you care so much that they asked? I don't see the big deal at all.
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torontocityboy wrote:
May 14th, 2017 10:28 am
TDSB? You actually had custody of your kids and you didnt have to present any court documentation. Look at that. So I guess each school has its own registration policies. I would have thought they have to be the same across the board.
At the same time I guess we are dealing with the office secretary, so although there may be registration questions and policies in place, the secretary just kind of ask what they want according to their experiences.
No, WRDSB. But you'd think the policies would be uniform.

At the time, there was no formal custody agreement of the children. We had split in 2004, she got remarried in 2006, left town in 2008, left her second husband in 2013, hooked up with a new guy in 2014, and he touched my daughter in April of 2014, and I took custody of the kids. So I took them out of a different school board.

Whatever, the case, I remember the process being pretty painless.
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