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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS says it supports a bill that requires children to be five years old by August 1st rather than October 1st to enter kindergarten. The Kentucky Senate just passed the bill, Senate Bill 24.
JCPS says this will ensure that all children will be five when school starts, allowing for greater cognitive and social development. The district says it also increases the likelihood of success.
Instead of requiring kindergartners to be five years old by October 1st, under this plan they'd have to be five by August 1st.
Molly Lakin, an Okolona Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher says, "I think it's a good decision. I think that it's amazing how quickly kids mature between four and five and to have them become five before they come to school is a really good step."
Tracy Barber, the Okolona Elementary School Principal says, "Students that come to school at four years old often times face some challenges. We look for readiness skills in one of the areas. We look for developmental readiness and often times holding a pencil and scissors and zipping and buttoning their clothes, that's a challenge often times for four year olds."
Some parents have brought up concerns about their child being close to the cut off date saying their child is ready for kindergarten, but would have to wait an extra year.
But under Senate Bill 24, each local school board can adopt a policy allowing parents to petition the Board to allow their student to attend kindergarten. The student would have to be evaluated to determine if they're ready for school.
Barber says, "They should be able to identify their letters, their name, be able to see their name, know their name. They need fine motor skills with holding pencils and crayons."
If it becomes law, it would not start until the 2017-2018 school year.