Early Entrance Procedures
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 the child demonstrates superior 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. After submitting the application, parents will be contacted via email to submit the required documents 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 who move to Charles County after June 1 is July 31, and the family must provide verification of the move-in date. Once your completed application and required documents have been received, you will be contacted to set up a time for your child’s Early Entrance Assessment.
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 Chief of Teaching and Learning.
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.
- Is early entrance to Kindergarten the best choice for your child? Please consider…
- What does the Kindergarten program look like?
- Why must my child be tested, and what does the testing involve?
- What are my options if my child does not qualify for early entrance?
- My child was accepted for early entrance to Kindergarten. Now what?
If you have further questions about early entrance to Kindergarten, please contact the Early Childhood Office at 301-934-7309.
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:
- The child must turn 6 years old between September 2 and October 15 (inclusive) of the current school year.
- The child must have successfully completed an accredited Kindergarten program, and the parent must provide proof of successful completion.
- 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.