Answers about Residency Requirements
How does Somerville define "residency"?
In order to attend the Somerville Public Schools, a student must reside in the City of Somerville. “Residence” is the place where a person dwells permanently, not temporarily, and is the place that is the center of his or her domestic, social, and civic life. Temporary residence in the City of Somerville, solely for the purpose of attending a Somerville Public School, shall not be considered residency. The residence of a minor child is presumed to be the legal residence of the parent(s) or guardian(s) who have physical custody of the child. This presumption, however, may be rebutted, if there is evidence that the child actually resides elsewhere.
How does Somerville Public Schools verify Somerville residency?
Families applying to register a child in the Somerville Public Schools or submitting a change of address must demonstrate Somerville residency by submitting one document from each of two categories listed from the Residency Requirements.
Somerville Public Schools reserves the right to request additional documents and/or to conduct an investigation. Because residency may change during the school year, school officials may require verification of residency at any time. Families who change residency during the year must report such change immediately to the Principal of each school in which their children are enrolled, and must provide verification of continued Somerville residency upon request.
WHAT IF MY FAMILY DOES NOT HAVE ANY PERMANENT RESIDENCE?
The proof of residency requirements do not apply to students who qualify under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act . Contact Regina Bertholdo, McKinney Vento Homeless Education Liaison at 617-625-6600 ext. 6994, for assistance, if you believe that you qualify as homeless under the Act. If you are staying in a shelter, bring a letter from the shelter staff stating that you are living there.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A LEASE?
If you are a tenant at-will (“month-to-month”) and do not have a written lease, you and your landlord must have the “Landlord/Shared Tenancy Affidavit” notarized and signed. This form is available by visiting or calling the Enrollment Office and it can be downloaded from the top of this page. This affidavit, along with evidence of your most recent rent payment or a copy of a utility bill in the landlord or lessee’s name will fulfill the proof of residency requirement. This form must be notarized. If you need help finding a free notary service, call the Enrollment Office which can provide this service with an appointment.
WHAT CONSTITUTES PROOF OF A RECENT RENT PAYMENT?
You may present a copy of a money order, canceled check, or rent receipt. You also may present a copy of a bank statement that shows an automatic deduction for rent payment.
WHAT IF I OWN A HOME BUT DO NOT PAY A MORTGAGE AND DO NOT HAVE A COPY OF THE DEED?
If you no longer pay a mortgage on your home, you must submit a copy of the property deed, or a copy of the discharge of the mortgage. Contact the financial institution that handles your mortgage or the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds. This will satisfy your proof of residency requirement for the Proof of Residency column (see list at the bottom of this page.)
WHAT IF I DO NOT PAY FOR UTILITIES OR IF NONE OF THE UTILITY BILLS ARE IN MY NAME?
If you do not pay utilities then you may submit another Proof of Occupancy listed on the residency requirement document.
WHAT IF I HAVE RECENTLY MOVED AND HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED ANY UTILITY BILLS?
To fulfill the requirements of the proof of occupancy column, you may submit a work order from any utility company stating that your service has been ordered or installed.
WHAT IF I LIVE WITH A FRIEND OR RELATIVE?
If you share housing with a friend or relative, you may use the landlord/shared tenancy residency affidavit to fulfill the proof of residency requirement. This form is available by visiting or calling the Enrollment Office and it can be downloaded from the top of this page. Ask your friend or relative to complete and sign the affidavit to affirm your residence.
HOW CAN I REPORT A SUSPECTED VIOLATION OF THE RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS?
Families, staff, students, and others can report possible residency violations by calling the Supervisors of Attendance, 617-625-6600 x6857 or x6854.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF RESIDENCY FRAUD?
Any student who is discovered not to reside in the City of Somerville will be dismissed from the SPS. Additional penalties – including fines and legal action – may be imposed on families found to be in violation of the residency policy.
All applicants must submit at least ONE document from EACH of the following columns as proof of residency.
|Proof of Residency
|Proof of Occupancy
A utility bill or work order dated within the past 60 days, including:
Dated within the past year: