Age Exemptions / Waivers
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Age Exemptions / Waivers

March 2014


Age Exemptions/Waivers are statutory provisions allowing students to opt-in to kindergarten (for birthdays before a state's cutoff date) or opt-out of kindergarten (either to enroll in first grade or to start kindergarten the following year).

States that have joined the interstate military compact allow children from military families to continue enrollment at the grade level of the state they moved from. A list of state information can be found here: http://mic3.net/pages/contact/contactmic3_map.aspx.

Age Exemptions / Waivers
Alabama Opt-Out: Age 6, parental waiver
Alaska Not specified in statute
Arizona Not specified in statute
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.
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, gifted & talented
Connecticut Opt-out: Age <7, parental waiver

Opt-in: Age <5, local board decision
Delaware Opt-in: Age <5, gifted & talented, local board decision
District of Columbia Not specified in statute
Florida Not specified in statute
Georgia Opt-in: Age 5 by December 31, if student was a resident of another state for >2years and was enrolled in kindergarten in that state
Hawaii Opt-in: junior kindergarten is provided for children who turn 5 between January 1 and August 1 (effective until July 1, 2014).
Idaho Opt-out: Age 5, if student has completed 450 hours of kindergarten in another state
Illinois Opt-in: Age <5, local board decision based on readiness

One enrolled in kindergarten, a child falls under compulsory schooling laws
Indiana Opt-in: Age <5, Districts must adopt a procedure for parental appeal.

Once enrolled in school, a child falls under compulsory schooling laws.
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 1st grade by December 31.
Kansas Opt-in: any student who attended kindergarten in another state may enroll in kindergarten.

Opt-out: any student who enrolled in 1st grade or completed kindergarten in another state may enter 1st grade.

If a student enrolls in school before the age of 7, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance laws
Kentucky Opt-out: Age 6-7, if enrolled in a private kindergarten-nursery school.

Opt-out: Age 5-6, a child may enter first grade if local board determines he/she has acquired the skills taught in kindergarten.
Louisiana Opt-in: Age <5, gifted per state evaluation regulations

Opt-out: a child may skip kindergarten if he/she demonstrates 1st grade 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, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance laws
Maine Opt-in: any student who enrolled in kindergarten in another state may enroll in kindergarten.

Opt-out: any student who enrolled in 1st grade or completed kindergarten and was promoted to 1st grade in another state may enter 1st grade.
Maryland Opt-in: Age 4, local board decision that a child demonstrates capabilities warranting admission to kindergarten.

Opt-out: Age 5, local board decision that a child demonstrates capabilities warranting admission to first grade.

Opt-out: Age 5, local board decision, parental waiver shows a child lacks the maturity to attend kindergarten or is enrolled in a child care center or Head Start 5 year old program.
Massachusetts Not specified in statute
Michigan Opt-in: Age 5 between December 1 and September 1 with parental waiver
Opt-out: Age <9, if nearest traveled road of a public school is over 2.5 miles from a student's residence
Minnesota Opt-in: Age <5, local board may establish a policy for early admission
Mississippi Opt-in: Age 5 after September 1, if a student was a resident of another state where he/she attended at least 4 weeks of kindergarten, he/she may attend kindergarten. The local superintendent must also verify that the student had made satisfactory progress in the previous state.
Missouri Metropolitan districts can establish a policy that a child must be 5 on or before any date between August 1 and and October 1.

Opt-in: Age 5 by October 1, if a child begins kindergarten in a metropolitan district, he/she can enroll in another district without meeting the age requirement.
Montana Opt-in: Age <5, board of trustees decision
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.
Nevada Opt-out: Age 6, A parent must file a waiver if his/her child does not enroll in kindergarten or first grade

Opt-out: Age 7, if child passes a 1st grade readiness assessment he/she can skip kindergarten.

Opt-out: a child who completed kindergarten or enrolled in first grade in another state may enroll in the grade he/she was attending.
New Hampshire Not specified in statute
New Jersey Opt-in: Age <5, local board decision
New Mexico Not specified in statute
New York Syracuse, Rochester and New York City are authorized to mandate kindergarten attendance for all children aged 5 by December 1.
North Carolina Opt-in: Age <5, if student enrolled in kindergarten in another state

Opt-in: Age 4 by April 16, gifted and talented, school principal decision

Opt-out: once enrolled in kindergarten a student can be placed in 1st grade by his/her teacher
North Dakota Opt-in: Age 5 by December 1, enrolled previously in an approved kindergarten

Opt-in: Age 5 by December 1, passes a district-approved developmental and readiness screening
Ohio Opt-in: Age <5, if favorably evaluated for early admittance after referral from a parent or educator.

Opt-in: Age <5, if enrolled in kindergarten in another district and transfers.

Opt-out: <6, if favorably evaluated for early admittance to 1st grade after referral from a parent or educator.

If a student enrolls in school before the age of 6, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance laws
Oklahoma Opt-out: Age 5, parental waiver
Oregon Opt-in: Age <5, based on local board determination of child's cognitive, social and physical development needs.
Pennsylvania Local option

If a student enrolls in school before the age of 6, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance laws.
Rhode Island No opt-out: a child must complete a state recognized or accredited kindergarten program to attend 1st grade.
South Carolina Opt-in: Age <5, if substantially initiated a public school kindergarten program in another state

Opt-out: Age <6,  if substantially initiated 1st grade in another state or completed one year of a public school kindergarten program

Opt-out: Age <6, parental waiver may allow a child to postpone school entry until age 6
South Dakota Opt-in: Age <5, out of state transfer if enrolled in kindergarten
Opt-out: out of state transfer
Tennessee Opt-in: Age 5 years of age within sixty (60) days following the opening of the semester, for schools with semiannual promotions.

Opt-in: Age 5 by September 30, per parental request if director of schools finds the child sufficiently mature emotionally and academically.

No opt-out: a child must complete an approved kindergarten program to attend 1st grade.
Texas Opt-in: Age <5, district policy for students who demonstrate readiness on the statewide 3rd grade assessment.

Opt-out: Age <6, a child who completed kindergarten or enrolled in first grade in another state may enter first grade.

If a student enrolls in school before the age of 6, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance laws.
Utah Not specified in statute

Vermont Not specified in statute
Virginia Opt-in: Age 5 by Dec 31, in districts offering pre-K,  junior K, or transitional first grade, after an appropriate readiness evaluation

Opt-out: Age <6, a five year old child may enroll in pre-K or Head Start instead of kindergarten

Opt-out: Age <6, parental waiver for children not mentally, physically or emotionally prepared for kindergarten
Washington Opt-in: age <5, local decision based on ability and/or need

Opt-in/out: children from military families are allowed to continue enrollment at the grade level of the state they moved from.

If a student enrolls in school before the age of 8, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance laws.

West Virginia Opt-in: Age <5, School Board discretion for any child demonstrating sufficient mental and physical competency.

Opt-out: "extraordinary circumstances," a child may pass a readiness test to enter 1st grade without attending Kindergarten

If a student enrolls in school before the age of 6, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance laws.
Wisconsin Opt-in: Age <5, districts must prescribe procedures, conditions and standards for early admission to kindergarten and first grade.

If a student enrolls in a 5-year-old kindergarten, he/she is subject to the compulsory attendance laws.
Wyoming Not specified in statute

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