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

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

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 7 Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.22
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Age 5 on or before September 1.

*School boards may adopt an early admissions policy.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.20
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.05
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Opt-in: Age 5, local board may establish a policy for early admission Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.05
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? No Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.20
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? No Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.02
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 425 hours per year for half-day kindergarten.
850 hours per year for full-day kindergarten.
935 hours per year for grades 1-6.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120A.41 
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? Revenue must be used to reduce and maintain the district’s average class size to 1:17 in grades K-3. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 126C.12
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Teacher preparation: Elementary teacher programs must include instruction in the application of reading instruction programs that utilize interventions and remediation. (Language will be struck after July 2018).
Professional Development: Based on the reading assessments administered to students, districts must identify staff development needs so that teachers have training in instruction, assessment, intervention, and remediation.
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 122A.18 Subd. 2a;
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120B.12
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 122A.09 Subd. 4;
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 122A.18 Subd. 2;
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 122A.60
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 122A.18
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? The Commissioner of Education may implement a kindergarten readiness assessment. The assessment must be based on Department of Education Kindergarten Readiness Assessment at kindergarten entrance study. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.162
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? A district or group of districts may establish a school readiness program for transitioning children to kindergarten. School readiness programs must assess cognitive and language skills, engage families and teachers, and prepare children for the transition to kindergarten by aligning services with the state early childhood guidelines and the kindergarten standards. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.15 
Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness? What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform? "School readiness is defined as the child's skills, knowledge, and behaviors at kindergarten entrance in these areas of child development: social; self-regulation; cognitive, including language, literacy, and mathematical thinking; and physical." Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.141
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? Districts must assess students in reading at the end of kindergarten and grades 1 and 2. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120B.12
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? Results of the reading assessments must be reported to the commission of education annually and the parent of each student who is not reading at grade level must be provided information about: assessment results, current services, strategies for improving reading at home. Results also inform interventions and professional development needs. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120B.12
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Interventions include family engagement, summer school, supplemental instruction, extended day programs, or programs that strengthen students’ cultural connections. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120B.12
Is there a third grade retention policy? Retention is allowed but is not required. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120B.12 (3.b)
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 school readiness programs. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.15
For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required? Personal learning plans must be made in consultation with parents, and the plan may include retention. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 120B.12
Social-Emotional Learning
Where is social-emotional development emphasized in statute? School readiness program providers must provide program content focused on social-emotional development to prepare children for the transition to kindergarten. Districts and schools are required to establish strategies for using social-emotional learning to prevent and reduce discrimination and create a positive school climate. Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124D.15;
Minn. Stat. Ann. § 121A.031

© 2020 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education. 700 Broadway #810, Denver, CO 80203-3442

To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please contact the Education Commission of the States’ Communications Department at 303.299.3636 or

Your Education Policy Team