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

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

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 6 603 Mass. Code Regs. 8.02
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Each school committee may establish its own minimum permissible age for school attendance. 603 Mass. Code Regs. 8.02
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
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 603 Mass. Code Regs. 8.01 et. seq.
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 425 hours per year for kindergarten. For full-day kindergarten, school committees must ensure equal instructional time for all students.
900 hours per year for elementary school grades.
603 Mass. Code Regs. 27.03;
603 Mass. Code Regs. 27.04
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? Average kindergarten class size shall not exceed 1:25. 603 Mass. Code Regs. 8.01
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation. 603 Mass. Code Regs. 7.04;
603 Mass. Code Regs. 44.04
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation. 603 Mass. Code Regs. 7.04;
603 Mass. Code Regs. 44.04
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Early childhood educator license, pre-kindergarten to garde 2. 603 Mass. Code Regs. 7.04
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? The Board of Early Education and Care is required to develop a kindergarten readiness assessment for pre-school children. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15D, § 3
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Results may not be used for high-stakes decisions about a child's progress, their transition to kindergarten, or their ranking. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15D, § 12
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? The department of early education and care must develop a comprehensive system for measuring the performance and effectiveness of early education programs, which includes measuring a program's ability to provide an appropriate kindergarten transition plan for each student. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15D, § 12 
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? No. "Comprehensive diagnostic assessment of individual students shall be conducted at least in the fourth, eighth and tenth grades." Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 69, § 1I
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Is there a third grade retention policy? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Yes, family engagement is included as a requirement of transition plans. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 15D, § 13
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? The department of elementary and secondary education is required to develop a safe and supportive schools framework that integrates services that promote social and emotional learning. Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 69, § 1P

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