Early Entrance into Kindergarten

Early Entrance to Kindergarten & First Grade

District 123 follows Illinois School Code, which specifies that to enter kindergarten, children must be five years of age by September 1 of their kindergarten year and six years of age by September 1 of their first-grade year. Occasionally, exceptions to both of these policies may be made for children whose potential and skills are in the very superior range.

District 123 has specific criteria and procedures for considering parent requests for early entrance. The decision for a child to enter school early can have a profound effect on his or her academic and social performance for the remainder of the child’s school career. It is a decision that needs to be taken very seriously.

Because District 123 takes the decision for a child to enter school early very seriously, the criteria for early entry are very rigorous. The goal is to ensure that children are not frustrated by the challenges of the instructional programs and the effect that early placement might have.

Criteria for Eligibility:

Kindergarten

  1. The child’s fifth birthday falls between September 2 and October 31, as documented by a certified copy of the birth certificate.
  2. The child demonstrates attention, gross and fine motor skills, cooperative play, and expressive and receptive language skills in the very superior range.
  3. The child attains a score of 130 or above on an intelligence test administered by District 123.

First Grade

  1. The child’s sixth birthday falls between September 2 and December 31, as documented by a certified copy of the birth certificate.
  2. The child has attended preschool and has successfully completed education through kindergarten at that facility and was taught by an appropriately certified teacher.
  3. The child attains a score of 130 or above on an intelligence test administered by District 123.

Requesting Early Entrance to Kindergarten & First Grade

  1. Between March 1 and May 1, parents meet with the principal and school psychologist of the school the child will attend to discuss the child’s early entrance potential.
  2. Following this discussion, if parents wish to continue this process they will be given the necessary informational forms to complete.
  3. Parents return the completed forms along with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate to the principal by May 1.
  4. The testing will occur during an individual session with the school psychologist in early August.  Results of the assessment will determine whether or not the screening process should continue at a date later in the month.
  5. After the screening and testing, parents will be invited to a feedback conference.  Members of the early entrance team and the principal will provide information regarding the child’s performance during the screening, review the test results, and give parents a written summary of the screening.
  6. The decision about early entrance eligibility will be made by the early entrance team.  This decision is final.
  7. Children who are accepted for early entrance will be enrolled on a probationary basis.  The school staff will assess each child’s initial adjustment to school during the first twenty school days.  If a child’s adjustment is not satisfactory, the principal will request that the child enroll when the child meets the state’s enrollment age requirement for the appropriate grade level.  If it is determined that the child’s adjustment is satisfactory, the child may continue enrollment in the early entrance program.