Waunakee Community School District
Early Admission to Kindergarten
“My child’s birthday just misses the September 1st cut off and he/she seems ready to go to Kindergarten. How can I get him/her in Kindergarten a year early?” This is a situation that some parents are faced with when their child has a fall birthday and the child has average to above average school readiness skills. Although this can be an exciting yet difficult situation to work through, when families and school personnel work together decisions can be made that will put the child in position to have a successful Kindergarten through graduation experience.
Make sure the request for early entry to Kindergarten is for the right reason. Sometimes requests are made because: neighborhood playmates and friends are going to Kindergarten and the child does not want to be left behind; or, the preschooler is socially delayed and needs to be around other children; or, because of concern that the child will be bored or not challenged if he/she enrolls with the age group they are supposed to; or, because it is a family convenience for the child to attend. These are generally not the best educational reasons for seeking an early entry to Kindergarten. However, if an effective pre-school teacher suggests that looking into a potential early entry would be a good idea, or if you (as a parent) believe that your child’s school readiness skills are exceptional (generally defined as being in the 97th percentile – or functioning better than 97 out of 100 children in the same age group) - - then it would be appropriate to seek an early entry.
The areas that are considered when deciding whether a child is an appropriate early entry candidate include:
- Mental maturity
- Language use
- Social-emotional skills
- Physical maturity.
Children who are recommended for early entry to Kindergarten need to have exceptional skill levels. Children that are considered and evaluated for early entry are usually strong in their skill levels, yet not at the very high level that the Board policy requires for admission early. Please see Waunakee Community School District Board of Education Policy 421 for more information regarding the areas evaluated as well as the criteria used.