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Standards for Early Admission to Kindergarten

Policy TitleStandards for Early Admission to Kindergarten
Policy CategoryKindergarten/Early Childhood (KNEC)
Policy IDKNEC-001
Policy Date1989-09-07
Administrative Procedures Act (APA)16 NCAC 6E.0105


  1. To determine the eligibility of a four-year-old child to enter kindergarten pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 115C-364(d), the principal shall confer with a committee of professional educators to consider for each child the following factors:
    1. Student Aptitude. The child shall be precocious in academic and social development and shall score at the 98th percentile on a standard individual test of intelligence such as the Stanford-Binet, The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, the Kaufman Anderson, or any other comparable test administered by a licensed psychologist.
    2. Achievement. The child shall be functioning from two to three years beyond the child’s peers. The child shall score at the 98th percentile on either reading or mathematics on a standard test of achievement such as the Metropolitan Readiness Test, the Stanford Early School Achievement Test, The Mini Battery of Achievement, the Woodcock-Johnson, the Test of Early Mathematics Ability (TEMA), the Test of Early Reading Ability (TERA), or any other comparable test administered by a licensed psychologist, a member of the psychologist’s professional staff, or a professional educator who is trained in the use of the instrument and who has no conflict of interest in the outcome of the assessment. 
    3. Performance. The child shall be able to perform tasks well above age peers as evidenced by behaviors in one or more areas such as independent reading, problem solving skills, advanced vocabulary, and some writing fluency. The parent shall submit a sample of the child’s work that shows outstanding examples of ability in any area including, but not limited to, art, mathematics, writing, dramatic play, creative productions, science, or social interactions. The principal may also require a teacher to complete an informal reading assessment of the child.
    4. Observable Student Behavior/Student Interest. The child shall demonstrate social and developmental maturity sufficient to participate in a structured setting for a full school day. The child shall be capable of following verbal instructions and functioning independently within a group. The parent shall provide two recommendation letters with specific documentation of physical and social maturity from preschool teachers, child care workers, pediatricians, or others who have direct knowledge of the child. Useful documentation checklists include the California Preschool Competency Scale, the Harrison Scale, or any other comparable scale of early social development.
    5. Motivation/Student Interest. The principal or principal’s designee shall conduct an informal interview with the child and a more structured interview with the parent to determine if the child displays a thirst for knowledge and seeks new and challenging learning situations.
  2. The parent shall present the information required by this Rule to the principal within the first 30 calendar days of the school’s instructional year. All testing shall be administered after the April 16th that follows the child’s fourth birthday. The principal shall decide whether to grant the parent’s request for enrollment within three weeks after receiving this information. The principal may conditionally enroll the child for up to ninety days in order to observe whether the child is able to adjust to the school setting. If the principal determines that the child has not adjusted to the school setting, the principal shall deny the request for enrollment. However, before the child is exited from school, the principal shall invite the parent to assist in the development of intervention strategies for the child. If those strategies are not successful, the principal shall provide the parent at least 10 days notice before exiting the child from school so the parent may arrange child care, if needed.
  3. LEAs may require parents to supply information in addition to that required by this Rule. LEAs may also require specific tests or other measures to provide information relating to the factors listed in Paragraph (a) of this Rule.
  4. Early admission to kindergarten shall not automatically result in the placement of the child in the program for academically gifted students. By the time the child has been enrolled for 90 calendar days, or at any earlier time that school officials determine that the child has adjusted satisfactorily and shall be allowed to remain in school, the gifted identification team shall review the child’s information to determine if the child shall receive gifted services. If the team determines that the child shall receive gifted services, it shall develop either a differentiated education plan or an individual differentiated education plan for the child.


History Note:   Authority G.S. 115C-364(d); N.C. Constitution, Article IX, Sec. 5;

                       Temporary Adoption Eff. August 18, 1997;

                       Eff. March 15, 1999.


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