Age Requirements and Grade Placement FAQs
In the 2014-15 school year and thereafter, children in California will be admitted to Kindergarten if their fifth birthday falls on or before September 1. Beginning in 2012, the State moved the kindergarten entry date from December 1 up by one month per year through 2014. During the transitional years of 2012-13 and 2013-14, the District provided a two-year Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. Beginning with 2014-15 when the transition to the new age cutoff is complete, the District will no longer offer a TK program unless State funding becomes available or other circumstances change.
On a case-by-case basis, a school administrator may recommend a different placement than the standard age cutoff for children who are developmentally advanced or delayed. Parent input is given careful consideration in this process, but final decisions on grade placement rest with the District.
Q: Why has MPCSD chosen not to participate in the State’s Transitional Kindergarten program?
A: State Legislative Counsel and San Mateo County Counsel have both stated that participation in the State’s TK program is optional for all districts. The Menlo Park City School District does not receive any State funding for this program, and providing TK would require us to reduce funding to our regular K-8 programs that serve all our students. Providing an additional year of kindergarten in perpetuity for the oldest 1/4th of students is not the most effective and equitable use of our community’s resources at this time.
Q: Are there other options available to children born after the age cutoff?
A: At parent or guardian request, the District will continue to consider students who were born after the age cutoff, as we always have, for early entrance to Kindergarten at age five on a case-by-case basis if they meet the developmental criteria for acceleration. Refer to Administrative Regulation 5111 Admission for more information.
Q: What should I do if I believe that my child is developmentally advanced or delayed and might be better served in a different grade level than the normal age cutoff policy specifies?
A: There is a broad range of developmental readiness in children at all ages. Our schools and classrooms are ready to meet the needs of your child. Most students will be best served in their standard grade level over the long run, but parents who believe their child would be better served by a non-standard grade placement should consult with the Principal and refer to Administrative Regulation 5111 Admission for more information. For questions about school readiness or grade placement, please contact your home school directly.
Q: Can I make the decision to delay my child’s entry to Kindergarten without an MPCSD administrator’s prior approval?
A: No. Kindergarten is not mandatory for students in California, and families do not require their school’s permission if they do not wish to have their child attend Kindergarten. However, the authority for decisions about grade placement rest with the school. Unless prior written consent has been provided by a school administrator, a child registered to enter a District school for the first time who will be six on or before September 1 will be enrolled in First grade.