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

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

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 8 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 13-1326
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? LEA decision: between the age of 4 and 6. Minimum age for kindergarten entrance is 4 years 7 months before the first day of the school year. 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 5-503;
22 Pa. Code § 53.1
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? 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
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? No 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 5-503
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? No 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 5-503
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 450 hours per year for kindergarten (~2.5 hours/day). 900 hours of instruction per year for full-day kindergarten through grade 8 (~5 hours/day). 22 Pa. Code § 11.1;
22 Pa. Code § 51.61
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation. 22 Pa. Code § 53.26 (The code is for private academic schools. I could not find similar provisions for public schools.)
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Professional Development: Each school's Read to Succeed Program grant application must include a professional development plan. 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 15-1503-B
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Not specified in statute, rule, or regulation
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Early Childhood Certificate, pre-kindergarten through grade three or ages 3 through 8. Elementary Certificate, kindergarten through grade 6 or age 4 through 11. 22 Pa. Code § 49.85
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations. 22 Pa. Code § 4.20
22 Pa. Code § 4.21
22 Pa. Code § 4.52
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations. 22 Pa. Code § 4.20
22 Pa. Code § 4.21
22 Pa. Code § 4.52
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? Pre-kindergarten providers must develop and implement a plan to ensure a smooth and supportive transitions for children entering kindergarten. 22 Pa. Code § 405.48
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 regulation.
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? No specific statewide K-3 assessments are required in statute, however, each school entity is charged with designing an assessment system to determine the degree to which students are achieving academic standards and to provide assistance to those students who are not achieving proficiency. 22 Pa. Code § 4.52
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? The assessments are used by the school entity to improve curriculum and instruction practices and to guide instructional strategies. The Department of education can request the results to evaluate educational achievement of academic standards. 22 Pa. Code § 4.52
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Interventions are available for students of greatest need for intensive reading instruction through the Read to Succeed Program. 24 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 15-1501-B
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? 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? School districts must recognize different rates of social and emotional development in students in their elementary education programs. 22 Pa. Code § 4.21

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