Early Entrance to Kindergarten
The early entrance process assesses a child’s readiness for Kindergarten and the child's intellectual and developmental progression relative to future success as the youngest student in class in subsequent grades. The comprehensive process evaluates the aptitude, achievement, ability, interpersonal skills, and developmental maturity of the child. Early entrance is considered a grade-level acceleration and impacts a student’s entire academic career. Very few children qualify for early entrance to Kindergarten. Please make sure you proceed with childcare arrangements as a contingency. If you are selecting a preschool or pre-K program, please understand that those programs routinely fill up quickly; we recommend you register your child for your selected daycare or preschool program. If you are applying for early entrance to kindergarten, please do not register or enroll your child as a kindergarten student using the online Parent Portal. You must get a paper application from the elementary school building your child will attend.
To apply for early entrance for the 2023-2024 school year, your child must turn 5 years old between August 2, 2023, and January 1, 2024. Early entrance applications must be submitted to the elementary school building of residence by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18, 2023. No applications will be accepted after this date. All applications must include a copy of a birth certificate.
The application for Early Entrance to Kindergarten will be available on March 13, 2023. If you have questions, email Leanne Ross.
What's the Process?
What is the Early Entrance to Kindergarten Application Process?
The early entrance process assesses a child’s readiness for Kindergarten and the child's intellectual and developmental progression relative to future success as the youngest student in class in subsequent grades. The comprehensive process evaluates the aptitude, achievement, ability, interpersonal skills, and developmental maturity of the child. Early entrance is considered a grade-level acceleration and impacts a student’s entire academic career. Please familiarize yourself with the process of evaluating your child for early entrance to Kindergarten. Very few children qualify for early entrance to Kindergarten. Please make sure you proceed with childcare arrangements as a contingency. If you are selecting a preschool or pre-K program, please understand that those programs routinely fill up quickly; we recommend you register your child for your selected daycare or preschool program. If you are applying for Early Entrance to Kindergarten, you DO NOT register or enroll your child as a Kindergarten student using the online Parent Portal but must get a paper application from the elementary school building your child will attend.
The steps are as follows:
- After the early entrance application has been accepted by the building principal, the student will be scheduled for a Kindergarten screening. This screening typically takes between 20 minutes and one hour. The child must pass this screening to continue in the process. The building principal will notify parents/guardians of the results.
- If the child passes the Kindergarten screening, the child will be scheduled for an IQ test. This screening typically takes 30 minutes to two hours. The child must score 115 on the IQ test to continue in the process. The building principal will notify parents/guardians of the results.
- If the child passes both the Kindergarten screening and the IQ test, the early entrance testing coordinator will contact parents/guardians to schedule academic assessments and to complete the developmental scale. These assessments typically take 30 minutes to two hours.
- After all testing is completed, an early entrance meeting will be set up by either the early entrance testing coordinator or the building principal to discuss the results of the child’s entire evaluation. This meeting will include the parent/guardian, building principal, early entrance coordinator, and a Kindergarten teacher. The Iowa Acceleration Scale will be used to evaluate all assessments and information and obtain a recommendation related to whether the student will be accepted for early entrance.
- Decisions related to early entrance are not usually finalized until later in the summer. The entire process, from application to the committee meeting, can take between 30 to 90 days, depending upon the availability of assessment appointments.
Accepted For Early Entrance?
My Child Has Been Accepted for Early Entrance to Kindergarten. Now What?
Students who are accepted for early entrance to Kindergarten spend the first semester of the school year in a transitionary period to determine if Kindergarten is truly the best fit for their social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs. During this time, the student will be required to pass additional Kindergarten beginning-of-the-year assessments per their written acceleration plan. Exemplary attendance during Kindergarten is necessary so that early entrance students can transition into the academic school environment with as few disruptions as possible. At the end of the first semester, the final evaluation of their readiness for whole grade acceleration is determined.
At the end of this transition period, a final placement decision is made. If a student is successful in this transition period, he/she becomes a general education kindergarten student. If concerns arise during the transition period, the Kindergarten teacher will communicate with and work with the parents/guardians to resolve any issues in an effort to support the student.
Parents who are considering applying for early entrance are strongly encouraged to secure a position in a pre-K program simultaneously in the event the student is not accepted for early entrance. Additionally, parents should be aware that early entrance students are placed into classes on a space-available basis, so most receive seats in the afternoon session of Kindergarten. The Kindergarten morning session is from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and the Kindergarten afternoon session is from 1:05 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.
Early Entrance FAQ
How common is early entrance Kindergarten placement?
Early entrance is typically reserved for the exceptional child. Although students do not need to be gifted for early entrance placement, students who are ultimately eligible often fall in the gifted range of ability. Because the ages of 5 to 6 years are appropriate for most children to begin formal schooling, there are very few students who demonstrate eligibility for early entrance.
What are the criteria for early entrance to Kindergarten?
The State of Ohio requires the use of the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS) for making placement decisions. This instrument makes recommendations based on points assigned to certain test scores and certain behaviors. Based on the guidelines established in the IAS, students must have a cognitive ability score of at least 115 to even be considered for early entrance. To put that into perspective, 100 is considered average, 130 is considered gifted, and 115 is considered to be above average/bright. Also, students need to score at or above the 90th percentile in most reading, writing and math when compared to students of the same age and at or above the 75th percentile in most subject areas compared to students entering Kindergarten to continue with the assessment. Students considered for early entrance are expected to score much higher than an average child entering Kindergarten. Social and emotional development is also considered in the process. This is based on research on child development and acceleration practices and in accordance with state guidelines.
What if I missed the application date or didn’t even realize there was a due date?
Late applications for early entrance to Kindergarten are not accepted. The deadline is set 60 days before the start of school because the evaluation process is multi-tiered and requires a minimum of three testing appointments along with a final meeting to evaluate all data and determine placement. The decision to place a child in Kindergarten early is one that requires extensive planning and consideration. If a parent misses the application date, the child should be enrolled in a pre-K program with age-level peers and plan to attend Kindergarten the following year when the child meets the minimum age requirements.
What type social-emotional maturity is needed for a student to be successful with early entrance?
While academic readiness is an important consideration for early entrance, social-emotional maturity is equally important. Parents should consider whether their child is socially and emotionally prepared to handle the challenges of being in a classroom with older students. Early entrance students may feel intimidated or struggle to keep up with their older peers, which can negatively impact their self-esteem and motivation to learn. Additionally, early entrance students may face challenges with making friends and fitting in socially, which can be particularly difficult during their sensitive adolescent years.
Parents should also consider their child's individual personality and characteristics when deciding whether to apply for early entrance to Kindergarten. Some children may thrive in a challenging academic environment with older students, while others may struggle and feel overwhelmed. Parents should carefully evaluate their child's strengths and weaknesses and consider how these may impact their ability to succeed in an early entrance program.
Ultimately, the decision to pursue early entrance to Kindergarten should be made with careful consideration of all factors, including academic readiness, social-emotional maturity, and individual personality and characteristics. Parents should work closely with educators and other professionals to ensure that their child is prepared for the challenges and opportunities of early entrance to Kindergarten and that they are able to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.