Kindergarten Eligibility and Early Admission
Maryland state regulations require children to be five years old by September 1 of the school year they begin kindergarten. Parents/guardians who do not believe their five-year-old child is ready for kindergarten can submit a request for kindergarten attendance delay — level of maturity waiver.
If your child turns five between September 2 and October 15, then early admission to kindergarten may be possible.
Please note that early admission for the 2017-18 school year is now closed. Information about early admission for the 2018-19 school year will be available in March.
The kindergarten curriculum at City Schools is based on Maryland state standards and is engaging and fun, but also rigorous. To learn and grow successfully in kindergarten, children must be fully ready at the beginning of the school year. Otherwise, the experience can be stressful — and lead to challenges to overcome in kindergarten and beyond.
So, before deciding whether to apply for early admission, please consider these points carefully:
- To be considered for early admission, children must show exceptional social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development, demonstrated through a formal application process (see below).
- If accepted into kindergarten early, your child will be in a class with students who may be more than a year older and more developmentally mature.
- Only children who turn five between September 2 and October 15 of the school year can be considered. If your child’s birthday is after October 15, he or she cannot be considered for kindergarten enrollment this year but is age eligible for pre-k.
If you decide to apply for early admission, you will need to follow these steps:
- Check with your neighborhood school to get more details about early admission.
- Review the Early Admission Packet.
- Complete the Early Admission Request form included in the packet and return it to City Schools, Early Learning Programs, 200 E. North Avenue, Room 308, Baltimore, MD 21202.
- Ask two people who know about child development and your child (including what he or she can do) —for example, a doctor, coach, teacher or pastor—to complete the checklists in the packet and send them straight to City Schools at the address above. If your child has attended a pre-k program, one of the people you ask must be a teacher from that program.
- Ensure that all paperwork is received by City Schools by the deadline.
Specialists from Early Learning Programs will contact you to schedule a date to assess your child to determine her or his abilities. No studying is required, and there is no special preparation needed. The results of the assessments will be sent to you and the principal by July 1.
Note that if you have moved from another Maryland school district where your child already received early admission, he or she can transfer into kindergarten as long as he or she turns five by October 15. You will be required to show proof of the early admission granted in the other district.