According to COMAR 13A.08.01.02:
School systems are required to develop and implement policies and procedures to accept and decide on request for early admission of 3-year-olds to PreKindergarten, 4-year-olds to Kindergarten, and 5-year olds to first grade. The school system’s decision is to be based on the child’s demonstrated capabilities.
Charles County Public Schools’ early entrance procedures are as follows:
Early Entrance to PreKindergarten:
A 3-year-old child with an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) may be placed in PreKindergarten if the IEP team determines that the placement is in the child’s best interest. No other 3-year-old children may be placed in PreKindergarten.
Early Entrance to Kindergarten:
Criteria: All children who turn 5 years old on or before September 1 of the current school year are eligible to attend Kindergarten. A child who turns 5 years old between September 2 and October 15 of the current school year (inclusive), may be placed in Kindergarten if he/she demonstrates above/average ability as measured on the assessment used by the school system.
Application Process: Parents who wish to apply for early entrance for their child must submit an application to the child’s home school, along with paperwork verifying the child’s age and the family’s residency. The deadline for Charles County residents to apply is June 15. The deadline for families to move to Charles County after June 1 is August 1, and the family must provide verification of the move-in date. Families will be contacted to schedule early-entrance testing once all required documents have been received.
Placement: A child who receives a qualifying score on the assessment will be granted a 30 calendar- day probationary placement in Kindergarten. During the 30 calendar-day period, the child will be observed by school staff to determine if he/she is making a satisfactory adjustment to school. If the child is adjusting well, the placement becomes permanent after 30 calendar days. If the student if not adjusting well, parents will be kept informed, and a meeting will be convened to discuss options for the student.
Appeal Process: If a child does not qualify for early entrance to Kindergarten, a parent may appeal the decision within 10 days of notification by submitting a written letter of appeal to the Deputy Superintendent.
Transfers from other systems: An underage child who has been enrolled in a public Kindergarten program in another county in Maryland, or another state, may be placed in Kindergarten pending receipt of school records.
Early Entrance to First Grade:
Criteria: To enter first grade, a child must be 6 years old on or before September 1 of the current school year, and must have attended Kindergarten the previous year. In order for an underage child to enter first grade, all of the following conditions must be met:
1. The child must turn 6 years old between September 2 and October 15 (inclusive) of the current school year.
2. The child must have successfully completed an accredited Kindergarten program, and the parent must provide proof of successful completion.
3. The child must be evaluated by the staff of the Charles County elementary school where admission is sought, to determine readiness for first grade.
Placement: An underage child who meets the above criteria will be granted a 30 calendar-day probationary placement in first grade. During the 30 calendar-day period, the child will be observed by school staff to ensure that the placement is appropriate. If the child is meeting academic and social/emotional success, the placement becomes permanent after 30 calendar days. If the student is not adjusting well, parents will be kept informed, and a meeting will be convened to discuss options for the student.