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What Parents Need to Know about Early Entrance to Rochester Community Schools

March 27, 2014

ChalkboardEarlyEntrance

Is your child ready for school but too young?  You need to know what Rochester Community Schools policy is on early admission to kindergarten and first grade.

Policy 5112 – Entrance Age is a gifted-friendly policy in Rochester Community Schools for both kindergarten and first grade and provides a structure regarding early entrance to these grades.

Policy regarding kindergarten admission allows for children who turn five on or before December 1 of the year they are beginning kindergarten to enroll at the discretion of the parent.  Recent changes to state law are pushing the birthday cut off date to September 1, so this allows an extra three months.  While even earlier admission for four-year-olds who are ready would be ideal, my understanding is that the state would not provide funding for these students.

Again, this is solely the parent’s decision, but notification of the district must occur by June 1.  The relevant part of the policy is below:

Any child who attains the age of five on or before December 1 of the year they wish to begin kindergarten must be allowed to do so if the parent notifies the district of their intention in writing by June 1of that year. If the family is not a resident of the district on June 1, they then have until August 1 to notify the district in writing of their intention that their child begins kindergarten early. The early enrollment decision is entirely up to the parent. Assessments, meetings and district recommendations cannot be mandated components of this process.

This policy also contains early entrance for first grade students.  This entrance is contingent upon academic and developmental maturity.  Students must be five years old and meet these requirements to be admitted by the Board of Education.  To arrange early admittance to first grade, contact Executive Director of Elementary Education Michael Behrmann at 248-726-3130 or MBehrmann@rochester.k12.mi.us for information.  The policy is below:

The Board may admit to first grade students who are five years old and who have demonstrated the developmental maturity and academic ability to be successful in a first grade environment.

Are you unsure if your child will be academically ready for first grade?  Options would include finding a private or parochial school that would allow your child to attend kindergarten through early admittance or providing this education at home.  Helpful information on expectations can be found in the Kindergarten Curriculum Expectations and the Atlas Rubicon K-12 district curriculum mapping system.

Often academic concerns aren’t the main reasons parents have regarding early entrance to kindergarten or first grade.  Some articles that could help you make your decision can be found at Gifted Children and Kindergarten – Early Entrance Debate and Hoagies’ Gifted Early Kindergarten page.

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE.  Together we can make a difference for gifted children!

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