A child is eligible for admission to kindergarten if the child is five years of age. A child is deemed five years of age if the child reaches the age of five before September 1 of the current school year. A child is eligible for admission to first grade if the child is six years of age. A child is deemed six years of age if the child reaches the age of six before September 1 of the current school year. The governing board may admit children who have not reached the required age as prescribed by this subsection if it is determined to be in the best interest of the children. For children entering the first grade, such determination shall be based upon one or more consultations with the parent, parents, guardian or guardians, the children, the teacher and the school principal. Such children must reach the required age of five for kindergarten and six for first grade by January 1 of the current school year.
Can a child enroll in Kindergarten if his/her birthday is September 1st or later?
Many districts/charters adhere strictly to the Arizona legislation regarding Kindergarten eligibility and do not offer exceptions to the September 1st age requirement. However, some Arizona districts/charters choose to offer early Kindergarten entry for children whose birthday falls between September 1st - December 31st.
Is there a standardized placement exam for early Kindergarten entry?
No, the state of Arizona does not offer a standardized placement exam for early Kindergarten entry. If a school district or charter chooses to offer early kindergarten entry for children who turn 5 years old between September 1st - December 31st, the district or charter will establish their own policies and procedures to determine early Kindergarten enrollment eligibility.
Can a child enroll in Kindergarten if he/she turns 5 after December 31st?
No, a child is not eligible for Kindergarten entry if their 5th birthday falls after December 31st during the school year for which the child would be attending. Therefore, early Kindergarten entry options do not apply to children turning 5 on January 1 or later.
Can a child enroll in Kindergarten if he/she will be 6 years old by September 1st?
Yes, a child is eligible to enroll in Kindergarten if he/she will be 6 years old by September 1st.
Is there a Kindergarten Entry Assessment in Arizona?
Yes, Arizona Senate Bill SB1572 adopted a statewide Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) as part of the state's early literacy initiatives. KEA is completed within the first quarter of school as teachers use observational and authentic evidence of learning - gathered during instruction - to identify where children are on construct progressions, or a sequenced set of understandings and skills.
The KEA provides a snapshot of a child’s development and is used to assess the five essential domains of school readiness:
Language and Literacy Development
Approaches to Learning
Physical Well-being and Motor Development
Social and Emotional Development.
The KEA is administered at the classroom level; aligned to Arizona’s standards; and is reliable, valid and appropriate for use with all children. The goal is to provide teachers a better understanding of each child’s progress toward meeting the standards and using the information gathered to impact children’s success.