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

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

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 Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3001;
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3005
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Age 5 on or before August 15 Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-201
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Opt-in: Student who is not age 5 until after December 31 shall not enter school during that school year; unless school district allows mid-year entrance and a child becomes 5 years of age within sixty days following the opening of the semester.
Opt-in: At the request of the child's parent or legal guardian, a student Age 5 on or before September 30 may be permitted to enter kindergarten.
No opt-out: No child shall be eligible to attend first grade without attending an approved kindergarten program.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3001;
Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-201
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? Yes Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-201
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? Yes — Full-Day Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-201
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 4 hours per day for kindergarten. 6.5 hours per day for grades 1-12. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-201: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3004
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? 1:25 maximum for grades K-3. 1:20 goal for grades K-3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1-104
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation.
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation.
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Early Childhood Education endorsement, Pre-kindergarten through third grade. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0520-02-04-.07
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
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? In their application for funding, a pre-kindergarten program must include a plan to coordinate between voluntary pre-kindergarten classrooms and elementary schools within the LEA, with the goal of ensuring that elementary grade instruction builds upon pre-kindergarten classroom experiences. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-105
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? Assessments in English language arts and math are required in grade three. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-1-226
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? The department of education must provide LEAs with access to their students' responses and answers to assessments. LEAs must provide a student and their parents with access to the assessment answers. Teachers must have access to the teacher's students' information to determine the student's mastery of state standards and to assist in the planning of instruction and support for the student. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-6008
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Intervention is available beginning in third grade for students who score below proficient in reading, language arts, and mathematics. The Department of Education shall assist local education agencies in identifying effective intervention programs. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0520-01-03-.03
Is there a third grade retention policy? Third grade retention is required if the student has not shown a basic understanding of curriculum and demonstration of skills in reading in their grades or standardized test results. If the student participates in an LEA approved research-based intervention prior to the next school year, the student may be promoted. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-3115
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations. However, in their application for a preschool program, local education agencies must include a plan for engaging parents and families of pre-kindergarten students throughout the school year. Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-105
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? Not specified in statute, rules, or regulation.

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