Kindergarten, 4 Year-Old Kindergarten, and Early Childhood Education

Bulletin 14-07 Kindergarten, 4-Year-Old Kindergarten, Prekindergarten, and Early Childhood

 

Eligibility for Open Enrollment

 

A pupil may participate in open enrollment for 4-year-old kindergarten (4K) and early childhood education only if:

  • The pupil’s resident school district offers the same type of program as the program the pupil wishes to attend, and
  • The pupil is eligible for the program in her/his resident school district.

For 4K, the programs are the “same type of program” if the pupils enrolled in each program can be counted for state aid and revenue limit purposes by the school district offering the program. Whether the pupil count is .5 or .6 is not relevant to whether they are the “same type of program.”

Children who are not eligible for open enrollment to 4K because of this provision may attend the 4K in the nonresident school district under parent-paid tuition, as long as the nonresident school district has space and is willing to accept tuition-paying pupils.

A 3-or 4-year-old child with a disability may participate in open enrollment for the special education and related services required in the child’s individualized education program (IEP).

 

Early Admission for 4-Year-Old and 5-Year-Old Kindergarten

 

To be eligible for 4K, a child must be 4-years-old on or before September 1 of the year the child will enter school.  

To be eligible for 5-year-old kindergarten (5K), a child must be 5-years-old on or before September 1 of the year the child will enter school.

A parent may request early admission to 4K or 5K in the nonresident school district.  The nonresident school district is not required to evaluate any applicant for early admission, but may do so if it wishes.

For early admission to 5K, the child needs only to be evaluated by the nonresident school district. If the child is found eligible for early admission, the resident school district cannot prevent the open enrollment, even though the child will only be 4 years old upon entering school. However, if the child is not found eligible for early admission, the child may not be placed in 4K unless the child’s resident school district also offers 4K.

For early admission to 4K, the child must be evaluated and found eligible for early admission by both the resident and nonresident school districts. If the resident district determines the child is not eligible for early admission, the child may not attend the nonresident school district even if the pupil is found eligible by the nonresident school board.

 

Early Childhood/Special Education Application for 2-Year-Olds

 

A 2-year-old child with a disability who is being served in a county birth-to-3 program may apply for open enrollment, as follows:

  • During the annual application period as long as the child will be 3 years old and will be receiving special education services on or before the immediately following 3rd Friday in September. 
  • By submitting an alternative application when the pupil has turned 3, has been evaluated, and has an IEP.

If the child has been evaluated and has an IEP, the nonresident school board must review the application using the normal procedures and send a cost estimate to the resident school district.

If the child has not been evaluated/does not have an IEP, the nonresident school board may approve or deny the application.

If the nonresident school board approves the application, the board may review the child’s IEP when (or if) one is developed. If the nonresident school district does not have the special education and related services required in the IEP, the nonresident school district may deny the open enrollment at that time.

If the nonresident school board denies the application, it may still review the child’s IEP when it is developed, though it is not required to do so. If the nonresident school board has the special education and related services required in the IEP, it may reverse its decision and approve the open enrollment. It should send a cost estimate to the resident school district at that time. The resident school board may review the cost estimate and consider whether the cost is an “undue financial burden” to the resident school district.

For questions about this information, contact Jennifer Danfield (608) 264-6707