State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile

State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile - Iowa

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.
 


Kindergarten Requirements
What is the compulsory school age? Age 6 by September 15
*Children enrolled in preschool programs (4 years old on or before September 15) are considered to be of compulsory school attendance age.
Iowa Code Ann. § 299.1A
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Age 5 by September 15 Iowa Code Ann. § 282.3
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? 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
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? Yes — Half-Day Iowa Code Ann. § 280.3
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 1,080 hours per year in grades 1-12 (~6.5 hours/day or 30 hours/week). I.C.A. § 279.10;
I.C.A. § 256.7
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? Districts are instructed to expend funds to reduce class sizes to the state goal of 1:17 for grades K-3. Iowa Code Ann. § 256D.2A
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Teacher preparation: Each teacher candidate is required to demonstrate competency in literacy, the ability to integrate reading strategies, and demonstrate knowledge of the acquisition of literacy.
Professional Development: Subject to available funds, each school district shall provide professional development for teachers responding to students' reading issues and needs.
Iowa Admin. Code r. 281-79.15(256);
Iowa Code Ann. § 279.68
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Teacher Preparation: Each teacher candidate must demonstrate the acquisition of core knowledge that includes mathematics. Iowa Admin. Code r. 281-79.15(256);
Iowa Admin. Code r. 281-83.6(284)
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? Districts must administer a valid and reliable universal screening instrument to every kindergarten student enrolled in the district. Iowa Code Ann. § 279.60
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Assessment information must be entered into the statewide longitudinal data system. Iowa Code Ann. § 279.60 
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness? What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? Districts must assess K-3 students at the beginning of each school year in reading or reading readiness. Iowa Code Ann. § 279.68
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? Results of the K-3 assessments are used to determine intensive reading instruction needs. Iowa Code Ann. § 279.68
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? School districts must provide intensive reading instruction to students who are not reading proficiently. Dependent on funding, interventions include small group instruction, reduced teacher-student ratios, more frequent progress monitoring, tutoring or mentoring, extended school time and summer reading programs. Iowa Code Ann. § 279.68
Is there a third grade retention policy? The state board of education is required to adopt standards that reasonably expect a student's reading progress is sufficient to master fourth grade reading skills prior to promotion to fourth grade. Iowa Code Ann. § 256.7 (31.a)
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Social-Emotional Learning
Where is social-emotional development emphasized in statute? Kindergarten programs must be designed to include experiences that develop healthy emotional and social habits. Iowa Code Ann. § 256.11 (West)

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