What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance?

State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies

What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance?

June 2018


This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.
 

What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Citations
Alabama Opt-out: Age 6, parental waiver. Ala. Code § 16-28-3
Alaska Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Arizona Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Arkansas Opt-out: Age 5, parental waiver, Any 6-year-old child who has not completed kindergarten must be evaluated to determine placement in kindergarten or first grade. Code Ark. R. 005.15.2-11.0
California Opt-in: Age 5, district decision - if governing board determines it is in best interest of child. Any child with a birthday falling between the previous December 2 cutoff date and the new cutoff in any year may be admitted to a transitional kindergarten program.
Colorado Opt-in: Age 4 for gifted and talented. Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §22-20-104.5;
1 Colo. Code Regs. § 301-8:2220-R-12.08
Connecticut Opt-in: Age 5, local board decision. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §10-184, Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §10-15c
Delaware Not specified in statute, rules or regulations. 
District of Columbia Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Florida Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Georgia Opt-in: Age 5 by December 31, if student was a resident of another state for at least 2 years and was enrolled in kindergarten in that state. Ga. Code Ann., § 20-2-150
Hawaii Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Idaho Opt-out: Age 5, if student has completed 450 hours of kindergarten in another state. Idaho Code Ann. § 33-201
Illinois Opt-in: Age 5, local school board decision based on assessment. 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/10-20.12
Indiana Opt-in: Age 5, Districts may adopt a procedure for parental appeal. Once enrolled in school, a child falls under compulsory school law. Ind. Code Ann. § 20-33-2-6;
Ind. Code Ann. § 20-33-2-7
Iowa Opt-out: Age 5-6, local boards may exclude children who are not sufficiently mature or are physically or mentally unable to attend school.
Opt-out: Age 5-6, any child who demonstrates sufficient ability may enter grade 1 by December 31.
Iowa Code Ann. § 282.3
Kansas Opt-in: Any child who was a resident of another state and attended kindergarten is eligible to enroll in kindergarten. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-3118
Kentucky Opt-out: Age 6-7, if enrolled in a private kindergarten-nursery school.
Opt-out: Age 5-6, a child may enter grade 1 if local board determines she/he has acquired the skills taught in kindergarten.
Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159.030;
Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 158.031
Louisiana Opt-in: Age 5, per state gifted evaluation regulations.
Opt-out: A child may skip kindergarten if she/he demonstrates grade 1 readiness per local screenings. Any student from out of state who doesn't meet the kindergarten requirement must pass a readiness screening. If a student enrolls in school before the age of 7, she/he is subject to the compulsory attendance law.
La. Stat. Ann. § 17:151.3; La. Stat. Ann. § 17:221
Maine Opt-in: any student who enrolled in kindergarten in another state may enroll in kindergarten.
Opt-out: any student who enrolled in grade 1 or completed kindergarten and was promoted in another state, may enter grade 1.
Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 20-A, § 5201
Maryland Opt-out: Age 5, parental waiver states a child lacks the maturity to attend kindergarten, or is enrolled in a child care center or Head Start 5-year-old program.
Opt-in: Age 4, local board decision that a child demonstrates capabilities warranting admission to kindergarten.
Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 7-301;
Md. Code Regs. 13A.08.01.02
Massachusetts Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Michigan Opt-out: Age 9, if the student does not live within 2.5 miles by the nearest traveled road of a public school, and no school transportation is provided.
Opt-in: Age 5 between September 2 and December 1 with parental waiver.
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.1561;
Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.1147
Minnesota Opt-in: Age 5, local board may establish a policy for early admission Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.05
Mississippi Opt-in: Age 5 after September 1, if a student was a resident of another state and attended at least 4 weeks of kindergarten, he/she may enroll in kindergarten. Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-15-9
Missouri Opt-in: Age 5 by October 1, if a child begins kindergarten in a metropolitan district and subsequently transfers to another district, he/she can enroll in the new district without meeting the age requirement. Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.053
Montana Opt-in: Age 5, board of trustees decision. Mont. Code Ann. § 20-7-117
Nebraska Opt-in: Schools required to admit students age 5 between August 1 and October 15, if parent requests and provides an affidavit that the child has demonstrated readiness through a school board-recognized assessment procedure, or has attended or will attend kindergarten in another jurisdiction in the current year. Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 79-214
Nevada Opt-out: Age 6, a parent must file a waiver if his/her child does not enroll in kindergarten or grade 1.
Opt-out: Age 7, a child who passes a grade 1 readiness assessment can skip kindergarten.
Opt-out: A child who completed kindergarten or enrolled in grade 1 in another state may enroll in the grade she/he was attending
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 392.040
New Hampshire Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
New Jersey Opt-in: Age 5, local school board decision. N.J. Admin. Code § 18A:38-5
New Mexico Not specified in statute, rules, or regulations.
New York Universal Prekindergarten Programs: Opt-in at age 4 on or before December 1. District Exceptions: Syracuse, New York City, Rochester, Utica, Buffalo, Cohoes, Watervliet and Yonkers school districts are authorized to mandate children who are 5 years of age on or before December 1 to attend kindergarten. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 8, § 151-1.2;
N.Y. Educ. Law § 3205
North Carolina Opt-in: Age 5 on or before August 31 if the child has attended school that school year in another state.
Opt-in: Age 5, a child who initially enters kindergarten can enter grade 1 if the principal deems the child would be better served in grade 1.
Opt-in: Age 4 on or before April 16, may enter kindergarten if the parent presents information to the principal that the child is gifted.
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-364
North Dakota Opt-in: Age 5 before December 1, enrolled previously in an approved kindergarten.
Opt-in: Age 5 before December 1, passes a district-approved developmental and readiness screening.
N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 15.1-22-02
Ohio Opt-in: Age 5 if favorably evaluated for early admittance after referral from parent or guardian or qualified personnel.
Opt-in: Age 5 if enrolled in kindergarten in another district and transfers.
Opt-out: Age 6, if favorably evaluated for early admittance to grade 1 after referral from a parent or educator. f a student enrolls in school before the age of 6, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance law.
Opt-in: Prior to age 5 in accordance with model student acceleration policies developed by districts.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3321.01;
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3324.10
Oklahoma Opt-out: Parental waiver. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 10-105
Oregon Opt-in: Age 5, if the child's cognitive, social and physical development would be best met in a school program. Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 336.095
Pennsylvania LEA decision: If a student is less than 5 years and 7 months of age, the LEA may admit the student in accordance with standards established by the State Board of Education to the lowest primary grade offered. 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1304
Rhode Island No opt-out: Students must complete a state recognized kindergarten program in order to be eligible for first grade. 16 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 16-2-28
South Carolina Opt-in: Age 5, if the student substantially initiated a public school kindergarten program in another state that has a different attendance age requirement from South Carolina.
Opt-in: Age 6, if substantially initiated grade 1 in another state or completed one year of a public school kindergarten program.
Opt-out: Age 6, parental waiver may allow a student to postpone school entry until age 6.
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-65-10;
S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-20
South Dakota Opt-in: Age 5, if the child was enrolled in kindergarten and transfers from another state.
Opt out: Out of state transfer who did not attend kindergarten may proceed in appropriate grade.
S.D. Codified Laws § 13-28-2;
S.D. Codified Laws § 13-27-1
Tennessee Opt-in: Student who is not age 5 until after December 31 shall not enter school during that school year; unless school district allows mid-year entrance and a child becomes 5 years of age within sixty days following the opening of the semester.
Opt-in: At the request of the child's parent or legal guardian, a student Age 5 on or before September 30 may be permitted to enter kindergarten.
No opt-out: No child shall be eligible to attend first grade without attending an approved kindergarten program.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3001;
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-201
Texas Opt-in: Age 5, the student performs satisfactorily on the third grade assessment and the district has a policy for admitting students younger than 5.
Opt-out: Age 6, a child who completed kindergarten or enrolled in grade 1 in another state may enter appropriate grade level.
Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 42.003;
Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 25.085
Utah Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Vermont Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Virginia Opt-in: Reaches age 5 between October 1 and December 31 of the school year, in districts that offer any two-tiered, junior or other developmentally appropriate pre-kindergarten program or transitional first grade, and demonstrates school readiness on an assessment.
Opt-out: Age 6, a 5-year-old child may enroll in any public educational pre-kindergarten program, including a Head Start program, or in a private, denominational, or parochial educational pre-kindergarten program.
Opt-out: Age 6, parental waiver to children who are not mentally, physically, or emotionally prepared to attend kindergarten.
Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-199;
Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-254
Washington Opt-in: Age 5, local board decision based on a screening process that measures ability and/or need of an individual student to succeed in earlier learning.
Opt-in/out: Military families may enroll their child at the grade level attend prior to entering Washington school.
Wash. Admin. Code 392-335-025;
Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.225.160
West Virginia Opt-in: Age 5, county board may provide advanced entrance or placement under their policy for children who have demonstrated sufficient mental and physical competency.
Opt-out: Age 6, a child can be removed from a kindergarten program when the principal, teacher, and parent or guardian concur that the best interest of the child would not be served by keeping the child in school.
Opt-out: Under extraordinary circumstances a child may pass an entrance readiness skills test to enter grade 1 instead of kindergarten.
W. Va. Code Ann. § 18-8-1a
Wisconsin Opt-in: Age 5, districts must have procedures, conditions, and standards in place for early admission to kindergarten and grade 1. If a child is enrolled in kindergarten the attendance rules apply to them. Wis. Stat. Ann. § 120.12;
Wis. Stat. Ann. § 118.15
Wyoming Opt-in: Age 6 on or before September 15, may register in grade 1. Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-4-302

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