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Early Entrance to Kindergarten

Procedures for Early Entrance to Kindergarten

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide criteria and procedures for early entrance for students into South Washington County Schools. We recognize that early entrance student success is contingent on mature levels of social, emotional, and academic proficiency. The early entrance assessment is designed to select students who demonstrate superior development in all of these areas. Only a small number of students are recommended for early entrance to kindergarten. State law indicates, “No person shall be admitted to any public school (1) as a kindergarten pupil, unless the pupil is at least five years of age on September 1 of the calendar year in which the school year for which the pupil seeks admission commences… except that any school board may establish a policy for admission of selected pupils at an earlier age.” (Statute 120A.20 Admission to Public School)

Part 1: Initial Screening

Jodi Husting Crestview Elementary School 7830 80th Street South Cottage Grove, MN 55016 Attn: Early Entrance Review Committee

  1. Children 5 years of age, on or before September 1, are eligible to enter kindergarten. If a child’s birth date falls on a date after September 1 and before October 15, parents/legal guardians may request early entrance. Early entrance should not be considered for a child that would be accelerated to the same grade as an older sibling.
  2. Parents/legal guardians may obtain Early Entrance procedure information at www.sowashco.org, under the Services tab and then under the Student Information tab. If a parent or guardian would like to pursue Early Entrance they would begin by scheduling an informational meeting with the attendance boundary elementary school principal. This meeting will include the building principal, a school psychologist and a kindergarten teacher. During this meeting information about the process; including criteria for admission, will be discussed. The meeting may be scheduled after April 1.
  3. Parents/legal guardians may obtain a copy of the Early Entrance to Kindergarten Information including, the necessary paperwork to be completed, by logging on to the district website at www.sowashco.org, under the Services tab and then under the Student Information tab Student Information.  Parents are asked to complete this information prior to meeting with the building principal and school team.
  4. Applications can be submitted after the initial meeting with the building principal and school team.
  5. Completed application materials can be dropped off at your home school or mailed directly to

Part 2: Data Gathering

  1. The Early Entrance Review Committee will schedule an evaluation for the child with a district licensed school psychologist at a cost of $200 to be paid by parents/legal guardians. (Scholarships are available for parents/legal guardians who qualify based on federal standards for free or reduced priced meal guidelines)
  2. Ability, achievement, social maturity, fine and gross motor coordination will be assessed.  The district psychologist will conduct the assessments between June1 and August 15. The child must achieve a cognitive ability score that falls in the above average to superior range.
  3. Parents/legal guardians will complete a Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, 2nd Edition, which is an instrument used to measure a child’s functional skills in the home and community environments.
  4. Although preschool is not required, it is highly recommended. The parents/legal guardians will obtain information from the peschool teacher that would indicate areas that this child exceeds expectations, using a form provided by the district. Any explanations or examples that would benefit the early entrance committee should be included and submitted on the day of the scheduled assessment.

 

Part 3: Criteria for Early Entrance

  1. A Full Scale IQ score of above average or better on the ability assessment must be achieved.
  2. Academic achievement results must be at the above average or better i.e. one year ahead of the child’s chronological age.
  3. Social/emotional maturity, academic motivation and persistence must be demonstrated.
  4. If the student has special emotional needs, those will be taken into consideration to determine the best placement for the child.
  5. Strong desire by the child to enter kindergarten must be evident, without undue pressure from the parents/legal guardians.

 

Part 4: Recommendation Procedures

Julie Nielsen, Assistant Superintendent 7362 E Pt. Douglas Road S. Cottage Grove, MN 55016

  1. A district committee will meet to consider each early entrance candidate. This committee is comprised of an elementary school principal, a kindergarten teacher, an elementary school psychologist, a representative from gifted education, and a representative from early childhood.
  2. Parents/legal guardians will be notified of the committees decision in writing, and will also receive a phone call from the lead principal to discuss results and to answer any questions.
  3. Parents/legal guardians who disagree with the findings of the Early Entrance Review Committee my submit an appeal in writing to the Assistant Superintendent of Schools.
  4. If early entrance is recommended, student check ins will occur with the school psychologist and classroom teacher following week 3 and week 6 of the students participation in Kindergarten. This will be an opportunity to note whether the child is: socially integrated, progressing academically, able and willing to follow directions, demonstrating acceptable emotional maturity and appropriate independence.
  5. Using the results of the check ins, a building review team including the school psychologist, the classroom teacher, and the building principal will determine whether the placement continues to be appropriate. Parents will also be consulted.

 

Timeline for Early Entrance to Kindergarten

Beginning April 1: MEETING WITH SCHOOL PERSONNEL

Parents/legal guardians interested in early entrance for the following school year may schedule an informational meeting with attendance boundary elementary school principal. Attendance boundaries can be accessed on the District 833 website at: www.sowashco.org under student information.

April 1 – LATE AUGUST: APPLICATION SUBMISSION

Early Entrance applications may be submitted to the Early Entrance Review Committee.

June 1- AUGUST 15: STUDENT ASSESSMENT

Families will be contacted by the Early Entrance Review Committee to schedule an assessment with a District 833 licensed school psychologist.

The District Early Entrance Committee will review assessment results and make a recommendation.

LATE JUNE- LATE AUGUST

Families will be contacted by the attendance boundary elementary school principal. A meeting will be scheduled to review the recommendations of the District Early Entrance Committee.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the latest birth date a child may have to be considered for Early Entrance to Kindergarten?

The child’s birth date must be after September 1 and before October 15.

 

Who do I contact for an Early Entrance to Kindergarten application?

Parents may obtain the Early Entrance application by scheduling an informational meeting with the attendance boundary elementary school principal. The school psychologist and a kindergarten teacher will also attend the meeting, which may be scheduled during the school year through late August. It is advantageous to apply before the end of the school year as the school staff have more flexibility in their schedules.

 

What is the application deadline?

Applications may be made any time after April 1st of the year the parents or guardians wish the child to enter school and must be submitted to the Early Entrance Review Committee.

 

Are there costs involved in applying for Early Entrance to Kindergarten?

Yes. The cost of the psychological assessment is $200 and is paid by the parents/legal guardians. Scholarships are available for parents/guardians who qualify based on federal standards for free or reduced price meal guidelines.

 

What does the assessment for Early Entrance involve?

A district licensed school psychologist will administer assessments in the areas of cognitive ability, academic, adaptive and social emotional skills. Parents will complete a Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale and will request input from preschool or daycare provider, if available, using a district questionnaire.

 

I have already had my child assessed?

May I submit those results instead of having him/her assessed again? Results from a licensed psychologist may be submitted if the assessment was completed within the last year. Please check with the Department of Special Services to confirm that the results meet the district criteria.

 

Can I choose the school that my child attends?

Yes, with some limitations. Parents/legal guardians applying for early entrance to kindergarten for their child may apply for an intra-district transfer to a school outside of their assigned neighborhood attendance boundary after the child has been approved for early entrance to kindergarten. Since the early entrance process is not finalized until July/August of the school year desired, the number of kindergarten spaces available through the school choice option, including Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion, may be limited.

 

If I do not agree with the decision of the Early Entrance Committee, how do I appeal the decision?

Parents/legal guardians who disagree with the findings of the school staff may appeal the decision in writing to the appeals committee, which is comprised, of staff from Student Services and the Superintendents offices. The final decision shall rest with the Superintendent of Schools. Please submit your letter to:

Julie Nielsen, Assistant Superintendent 7362 E Pt. Douglas Road S. Cottage Grove, MN 55016