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Early Entrance Kindergarten

Research and experience in education and child development have shown that the child who enters school young for grade level is at a greater risk for later lack of academic and/or social success than the child who is either age-appropriate or somewhat older than classmates. There are times when a child may be academically ready for school but has simply not had the time to develop the emotional and social skills needed to be successful in a school setting. While this may not be apparent at the kindergarten level it can become a much larger issue in the middle school and high school years. Parents who wish to apply for an exception to entrance age Policy: R 3110.2 Application for Exception To Admission Age Policy for their child must follow these procedures:

  1. Complete the  application and submit it to the Elementary Director at the District office. Applications will be accepted July 1 for the following school year. Parents who plan to apply are encouraged to do so as early as possible. To be eligible for testing the student must be 5 years old on or before December 1st.
     
  2. Arrange to obtain statements regarding the child’s readiness for school from any person(s) who are competent to make such judgments, if available. These may include the child’s physician, preschool teacher, or others who know the child from a professional standpoint. Forms are attached for use by the physician “Part III,” and preschool teacher “Part IV”, if parents choose to seek statements from those sources. Others may submit statements in letter form to be attached to this application. Parents are strongly encouraged to obtain the physician and preschool reports if they are available. If the child did not attend preschool, parents themselves are requested to complete “Part IV, information from preschool experience,” to the best of their knowledge. If the child has attended a private kindergarten, parents should obtain reports from the teacher of that kindergarten.
     
  3. Sign the form giving consent to the Kennewick School District to test the child for school readiness. Assessment may include the following: intelligence, academic skills, language development, visual-motor skills, motor development, and such other areas as related to success in school.
     
  4. Pay a nonrefundable testing fee as established by the School Board to the Kennewick School District. The testing will be done in August. You will be notified by letter of the exact day and time of your child’s test.

Children for whom applications are received will be tested by district staff members. In some instances, the Assessment Team may advise against testing on the basis of the application information submitted. The fee will be refunded if no test is conducted.

It is emphasized to parents that recommendation for early entry will not be based on whether the child is ready to start school, but whether he or she is exceptionally advanced beyond typical children meeting entrance age requirements and is likely to do as well entering school this year as next. Students will need an average age equivalent score of 5 years 6 months or better to be considered for early entrance.

In order for a child’s school life to be positive and rewarding and not be a continual struggle, the Assessment Team would probably not recommend early entry for a student who may be successful in school, but who would likely do even better if he or she were to wait another year and enter school at the normal entrance age. The questionnaire, which is completed as part of this application, will help parents determine whether a child may benefit from early school entrance. Consultation with the child’s physician and others knowledgeable about the child, such as preschool teachers, will be of help to parents in making the decision.

All decisions regarding the early entrance testing will be made by the Assessment Team. Decisions of the team may be appealed to the superintendent or designee.

If you have questions, regarding the Application for Exception To Admission Age Policy process, please contact Elementary Education at (509) 222-5003.