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New birth date requirement for kindergarten and Pre-K signup

UnifiedSchools2Logos-400OK parents, take note. Tennessee has a new birth date requirement for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten enrollment for the 2013-14 academic year, and subsequent years.

Check out the new guidelines.

Public kindergarten programs:

Children entering kindergarten must be five years of age on or before Aug. 31, 2013 for the 2013-14 school year. For the years that follow, children must be age five on or before August 15.

The Aug. 31st birth date requirement replaces the old Sept. 30th birth date requirement.

There is a little bit of wiggle room. Let's say that a child turns five years old on or before Sept. 30 and the parent or legal guardian would like her/him to enter kindergarten. They first would have to make a formal request. If the director of schools then finds – through evaluation and testing – that the child is sufficiently mature both emotionally and academically, then the child may be permitted to enter kindergarten.

Public pre-kindergarten programs:

Children entering pre-kindergarten must be four years of age on or before Aug. 31, 2013 for the 2013-14 school year. For the years that follow, children must be age five on or before August 15.

And yes, the new Aug. 31st date replaces the old Sept. 30th requirement.)

Now here are some other things to note:

* Children who attended specific pre-K programs in 2012-13 or who will attend specific pre-K programs in 2013-14 may enter kindergarten in 2013-14 or 2014-15.

* Students enrolled in a pre-K program operated by a local education agency (LEA), Head Start program or a state accredited non-public school pre-K program in 2012-13 – a and who turns five years of age after August 31, 2014 – will be grandfathered into kindergarten for the 2014-15 school year.

State accredited non-public pre-K classrooms are identified as Category 1, 2 or 3 programs. A definition of these categories is available at: http://tn.gov/education/nonpublic/categories.shtml.

* To see a list of Tennessee's non-public pre-K programs in Categories 1, 2 or 3, visit: http://www.scsk12.org/uf/contact/files/Shelby_2012-13_NonPublic_Schools.pdf.

(For more information, parents should call 901-473-2579.)

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