Kentucky Department of Education reminds parents of change in ki - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Department of Education reminds parents of change in kindergarten cutoff date

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Four-year-old Easton Noe is shy, hiding in his mom's shoulder as she holds him. Shy, but smart.

"He knows colors, he knows letters, he can spell and write his name ... just last week he was doing addition in the classroom," said his mother, Melody Kimball.

But Easton will not be 5 until Sept. 23.  Starting this coming school year, children must be five years old on or before Aug. 1 to enter kindergarten. Before now, the cutoff date was Oct. 1.

The Kentucky Department of Education is reminding parents of the change in the birthday cutoff for students to start kindergarten.

A law passed in 2012 changes it this coming school year. JCPS has estimated that about 1,100 children will have to wait an extra year because of the change in Kentucky law.

Kimball is worried about Easton advancing.

"He's been in preschool in the same classroom with the same teachers for two years," she said. "He's ready to expand and get more knowledge. If he's in the classroom for a third year in preschool, he's going to be bored."

There are ways around it. Your child can be tested. Parents/caretakers may request an early enrollment option for those students not meeting the entry age requirement. Under the law, districts must establish an evaluation process to determine the child's readiness for school.

The Kentucky Department of Education lists tips on its website to tell if your child is ready. Some guidelines include your child should be using 5-6 word sentences, singing simple songs, learning to write name and address, count and name shapes and colors, among other milestones.

The downside to the law for parents is that it also allows school districts to charge tuition for an early enrollment student. JCPS says it does not. That is why Kimball has decided she will be having her son tested.

"Testing is absolutely the way to go, and I think they should be tested," she said. "And if the qualify, send them to kindergarten."

For more information from the Kentucky Department of Education, click here.

Specific questions about kindergarten enrollment and the district’s early admission policy should be directed to the local school district in which the student lives.

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