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Early Entrance into Kindergarten
Charles County Public Schools has procedures and guidelines for early entrance into the kindergarten program. Children who will turn five years old between September 2 and October 15, 2019, are eligible to apply. The deadline for current county residents to apply for early entrance to kindergarten for the 2019-20 school year is June 14, 2019.  Families who move to Charles County between June 15 and August 1 may obtain an early entrance application by calling the Office of Early childhood at 301-934-7380 and must provide documentation on the move-in date. 

Application Process: Parents who wish to apply for early entrance for their child must submit an application to the child’s zoned school, along with paperwork verifying the child’s age and the family’s residency. Click here to visit the School Locator webpage to find which elementary school is zoned to a particular address in the county. Families will be contacted to schedule early-entrance testing once all required documents have been received. Early Entrance to Kindergarten Application icon acrobat

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 Kindergarten Parent Guide

Who may apply for early entrance to Kindergarten?

  • The early-entrance application process is open to parents of children who will turn five years old between September 2 and October 15 of the current school year, inclusive.

Is early entrance to Kindergarten the best choice for your child? Please consider….

  • Children who are admitted to Kindergarten through early entrance will be the youngest in the class, by as much as a year.
  • School readiness involves social/emotional maturity as well as academic skill.
  • Although a capable young child needs to be challenged, these challenges need to be closely aligned with his/her social and emotional development. If adult expectations for a child’s performance exceed his/her developmental capabilities, stress and anxiety may occur.
  • Entering school early is a decision that will have a long-term effect on a child. The social, emotional, and academic impacts of early placement are not predictable.

What does the Kindergarten program look like?

  • Charles County’s Kindergarten program is an academically rigorous full-day program. Students receive daily instruction in language arts and mathematics, as well as science and social studies. Activities to promote physical, social, and emotional development are also emphasized. Instruction is differentiated to meet the needs of a diverse student population. The majority of Kindergarten students will learn to read before starting first grade.

How do I apply for early entrance to Kindergarten for my child?

  • The application process involves completing an application, providing registration documents, and administering a standardized test of school readiness.
  • Applications and a list of required accompanying documents will be available at each elementary school and on the CCPS website ( beginning February, and will be accepted between April 15 and June 15. Families who move to Charles County after June 1 may submit applications between June 1 and August 15, and must provide verification of their move-in date. Click here for the Early Entrance to Kindergarten Application.
  • Applications and accompanying documents are submitted at your home school, then forwarded to the Early Childhood office. Within two weeks of your application, you will be contacted to schedule a date for your child to be tested.
  • Parents will be notified by mail of their child’s eligibility within three weeks of the testing date.

Why must my child be tested, and what does the testing involve?

  • The purpose of the assessment is to identify children who demonstrate superior performance, in order to help ensure a successful school experience for a child who may be significantly younger than his/her classmates.
  • The test will be administered by a qualified member of the Office of the Deputy Superintendent. Administration takes approximately one hour and the child must separate from the parent(s) in order to take the test. The test covers a broad range of school readiness skills, and a child must demonstrate superior performance in both prereading and mathematics in order to qualify for early entrance to Kindergarten. Each child will only be tested one time; therefore, it is important that you make sure that your child has had adequate food and rest, and is feeling well on the day of testing.

What are my options if my child does not qualify for early entrance?

  • If you are notified that your child did not qualify for early entrance, you have ten days from the date of notification in which to file an appeal of the results. Appeals must be submitted in writing via US Mail. Appeals submitted via email will be not accepted.
    Mail letters of appeal to:

Amy Hollstein, Deputy Superintendent
Charles County Public Schools
PO Box 2770
La Plata, MD 20646

  • Children who do not qualify for early entrance to Kindergarten are not automatically placed in PreKindergarten. In order to be considered for PreK, a separate application and documentation must be submitted.

My child was accepted for early entrance to Kindergarten. Now what?

  • Take your acceptance letter to your home school as soon as possible to complete the Kindergarten registration process.
  • Children who are accepted for early entrance to Kindergarten are provisionally placed. They will be observed by the teacher, principal, and other school staff for a period of 30 calendar days from the start of school. If there are concerns about the child’s academic, social, or emotional adjustment to school, a decision to discontinue the Kindergarten placement may be made. If a child is deemed to be making a satisfactory adjustment after 30 calendar days, then his/her placement in Kindergarten is considered permanent. Parents will only be notified if their child’s Kindergarten placement will not be continued at this point.

If you have further questions about early entrance to Kindergarten, please contact the Early Childhood Office at 301-934-7380.

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