DISTRICT KINDERGARTEN ENTRANCE POLICY
Any child who will be 5 years old before August 1st* of an upcoming school year is eligible to begin Kindergarten at the start of that school year. The parent/guardian should begin thinking about Kindergarten readiness for their child the year before they are eligible to attend. Relevant factors to consider include, but are not limited to: social skills with adults and peers, behavior, preacademic skills (colors/ shapes/ letters/ numbers/ concepts/ prewriting skills, etc.), separation ability, adaptive skills, independence to complete tasks, attention, etc. If the child is involved in a preschool program, the parent(s) should consult with the teacher(s) to determine readiness for Kindergarten. Ultimately, it is parent choice, but teachers will have good insight into your child’s readiness to attend Kindergarten.
All children turning 6 years old before December 1st* of an upcoming school year, must register for Kindergarten.
If a child will not yet be 5 before August 1st of the upcoming school year, but the parent(s) and/or the child’s preschool teacher(s) believe the child to be accelerated and socially and academically ready for Kindergarten, the parent should contact the Gifted Coordinator at 330-478-6187 for further information on early entrance.
*Entrance eligibility date was changed in February 2012 through a newly adopted district policy.
DETERMINING KINDERGARTEN READINESS
Deciding whether to send your child to Kindergarten can be a difficult one. Many parents do not know what to “look for” in order to determine if their child will be ready for Kindergarten. The Ohio Department of Education provides the resource, Kindergarten Readiness checklist, which provides a sample of some things kindergarten children need to know and be able to do. The Perry Local Preschool Program provides a summary of additional information, as a quick-look guide. IMPORTANT: Parents should only use these as references to familiarize themselves with skills and promote achievement. Not all children may know and demonstrate all of the concepts/skills before entering Kindergarten.
TRANSITION TO KINDERGARTEN
Parent(s)/guardian(s) will register their child for Kindergarten in the Spring or Summer prior to the start of the upcoming school year. Specific details for registration locations and procedures can be found in the Perryite and on the Perry website. Children will attend their neighborhood elementary school, unless otherwise determined.
PRESCHOOL CHILDREN IDENTIFIED WITH SPECIAL NEEDS/DISABILITIES
Preschoolers identified with special needs and who receive special education services are eligible to begin Kindergarten under the same district guidelines. However, the process in which the child transitions is usually more extensive. Careful planning with the child’s educational team, including the parent(s)/guardian(s), is done in order to determine a) readiness of the child to begin Kindergarten (if 5 before August 1st); b) evaluation procedures to determine eligibility for school-age services; c) educational needs of the child; d) supports needed to provide the child FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education); and e) the least restrictive learning environment for the child.
Exploring placement options, or the child’s least restrictive learning environment, involves educating parents on options that may best suit their child’s needs for Kindergarten, especially for those children with significant impairments and/or multiple disabilities. The ultimate goal is to educate a child with a disability, to the maximum extent appropriate, with non-disabled peers. The continuum of special education placements (as acknowledged by the State of Ohio) includes the following (from most to least restrictive); specific options available within the district can, and do, change:
Hospitals/Institutions/Home Instruction/Special Schools*/Special Classes*/Regular Classes*
*These placements are usually the most common for our preschoolers with special needs that are transitioning to Kindergarten. Placements may also include receiving related services, such as speech therapy/occupational therapy/physical therapy, in and out of the designated classroom environment, as well as various options for receiving academic support within and outside the general education classroom. All placement options are relative to the individual needs of the child and the least restrictive environment in which those needs can be met.
In-depth discussion about this process will take place amongst the child’s educational team, as it will be individualized to accommodate the child’s and family’s needs. At any time, parents can direct questions to the child’s teacher or Ashley Reinhart, School Psychologist, at 330-915-5307 or Ashley.Reinhart@perrylocal.org.