Services for International Employees & Scholars

U.S. Education Structure

Preschools or Childcare (ages 1.5-5)

Pre-school is not mandatory and therefore most of them are privately-owned and there may be lengthy waiting lists for available spaces.  Before choosing a preschool for your child, visit several to decide where your child would feel most comfortable.  Many childcare facilities have integrated preschool into their regular care so you may want to consider both childcare and preschool facilities.  State law requires a nap or resting period for all children in preschool.

Elementary School (Grades Kindergarten-5th)

Elementary school includes kindergarten through fifth grade. Kindergarten is the first level of elementary school. Children who will be at least 5 years old by August 31st are eligible for kindergarten enrollment.  Many schools require certain immunizations before the child can begin school.  Bring copies of your child’s medical and immunization records to the U.S. for this purpose.  Lawrence has 14 public elementary schools.

Middle School (Grades 6th-8th)

Middle School, sometimes called "Junior High" includes grades 6, 7, and 8.  In the public school system, elementary, middle, and high schools may not necessarily be near each other geographically.  Private schools may include grades K-8, but there are other configurations depending on the school.  Lawrence has 4 public middle schools.

High School (Grades 9th-12th)

The grade levels of students in high school are often referred to as Freshman (9th grade), Sophomore (10th grade), Junior (11th grade), and Senior (12th grade).  Lawrence has 2 public high schools. 

Lawrence Public School Enrollment

All children in Kansas between the ages of six and eighteen are required to be registered in and attending school.  In the U.S., all children are eligible for free elementary, middle school and high school education provided by the public school district in the city where you reside.  Many schools offer after-school programs that provide homework assistance and organized activities.  English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction is offered at many public schools.  Your child will attend a school based on where the school district can provide appropriate ESL and/or where you reside in Lawrence, 2016-2017 Boundary Map.  For information on how to get your child enrolled in public school, contact the Lawrence Public School System».  To enroll your children in the public school system in Lawrence, you will need the following records:

  • Birth certificate
  • Family contact information
  • Immunization record
  • Health assessment

Private Schools

Private and parochial (religious) schools also educate a large number of students, but are often filled quite early and charge tuition.  It is advisable to arrange a visit to find the school that best suits your child’s needs.  Lawrence has several private schools including Raintree Montessori, Bishop Seabury Academy, and St. John School.

General Information about U.S. Education

To help your children make a smooth transition into their new school, read as much as you can about how the U.S. school system works and what you can expect.  Helpful websites for general information include:

International Calendar

Founded in 1964 as part of a Ford Foundation campus internationalization grant
One of the first 12 intensive English programs in the United States
The AEC comprises three units: the Intensive English Program, Short-term Programs, and KU Outreach Programs.
Each semester, the AEC enrolls about 250 students representing more than 35 countries on six continents
The Applied English Center offers field trips and conversation groups to our students
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times