KINDERGARTEN ENROLLMENT FAQ
Answering common questions about March Into Kindergarten
Thinking about kindergarten brings up a lot of questions for families. Below you’ll find the answers to several common questions that families ask.
How old does my child need to be to attend kindergarten?
Typically, a child will start kindergarten at age 5, which usually means that they have turned five by August 1 or September 30 of their first school year, depending on the school district’s rules.
According to the law (Ohio Revised Code 3321.01), a child must be in school by age 6.
What if my child is younger than five but think they are ready to attend kindergarten now?
Early admission to kindergarten is possible and is usually open to students who will turn five after the school’s specified age-eligibility date (usually September 30) but before the end of the calendar year and who meet accelerated eligibility requirements.
Each school district should have an Academic Acceleration Policy for Advanced Learners that will help define the rules for this in your area. Call your school district to learn about your options.
What if my child is the typical age for kindergarten, but they could benefit from waiting another year to start?
If your child is enrolled in a preschool program, please discuss your child’s readiness with their preschool teachers. You can discuss the advantages and disadvantages with a principal and/or school psychologist employed by the school district. There are pros and cons to holding a child back when they are eligible for kindergarten.
My school district says each child will go through testing before starting kindergarten. What if my child does not do well on testing? Will he be denied entry to kindergarten?
The only eligibility requirement for kindergarten is age. If your child is the right age to attend, they can attend. Some parents hear about and worry about “testing” that might occur before the school year begins. However, the entry test is more of an assessment or screening that helps the school learn about your child’s strengths and areas that need extra support or development.
My child might have a learning, behavioral, or physical challenge. Do I need a special kindergarten assessment?
Parents with children with learning differences, physical disabilities, or any other situation that might influence their transition into and experience in the classroom should contact their school district as early as age 3.
Does my child need to attend the school closest to our home, or do I have choices?
“Open Enrollment,” in which a student can attend a school outside of the district where the family resides, is sometimes an option. Each school district, each year, decides if and to what level they will participate in open enrollment. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) publishes a list of districts’ open–enrollment application acceptance.
Will my child’s preschool or child care program automatically enroll my child in kindergarten?
Many preschool programs support and inform parents about what they need to do to transition to kindergarten, but it is always the parent’s responsibility to complete or verify kindergarten enrollment.