Entering Korean Grade School

The school year started in Korea last March 4th. My son has been attending public school for three weeks now and he is enjoying it!

There are two kinds of school here: public and private (called “sarip”). Public school is free, while the latter is not.

How does one prepare for public elementary school in Seoul? First, make sure that you are registered at your village district office. We moved to our new apartment in July 2011 and on our first Monday, I went to the district office to report our change of address. Second, just wait to receive a notice sometime in December.

Notification of Admission or "Chwihak-tongjiseo
Notification of Admission or “Chwihak-tongjiseo

The paper above is called “취학통지서” (chwi-hak-tong-ji-seo) or Notification of School Admission. The information below is contained in the notification:

주소 (ju-so) or Home Address
보호자성명 (bohoja-seongmyeong) or Name of Guardian/Parent
취학아동성명 (chwihak-adong-seongmyeong) or Name of Student
주민등록번호 (jumindeungnok-beonho) or Korean ID No.
취학학교 (chwihak-hakgyo) or Name of School
예비소집일시 (yebiso-jib-ilsi) or Date of Orientation
입학일시 (ip-hak-ilsi) or First Day of School

The note below the table mentions that “according to Article 13 of Elementary School Law, your child is scheduled to enter the school written above. Please make sure that your child attends the said school on the date mentioned.”

After receiving the note, just wait to go to the school on the date of orientation. It is not necessary for the parents to be there on orientation date. My son’s day care teacher attended and submitted the notification to the school as requested by some parents.

When I attended the orientation, I just needed to give the authorities the notification. The teacher who received it just ticked my son’s name on her list and gave me a school booklet containing information about the school.

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