District 15 sets policy for early K

As parents in the St. Francis School District 15 get their little ones ready for school, some parents are considering if their nearly five-year-old child is ready for kindergarten.

On average there are approximately 10 early kindergarten enrollees requested by parents, said Human Resources Director David Lindberg.

With unanimous approval of the school board April 8, District 15 now has a policy to help make the decision on whether to allow the early enrollments.

The new policy, designed by the principals, creates a uniform standard throughout the district that will also improve the kindergarten enrollment process by identifying specific criteria, Lindberg said.

According to the policy, parents or guardians with children turning five between Sept. 2 and Oct. 31 can submit an application before March 1 of the previous school year to be considered for fall enrollment.

To be considered for early kindergarten, the child must be five before Nov. 1 of that year, complete early childhood screening and submit a letter of reference from the child’s preschool or other group setting teacher.

The principals will send the parent/guardian further assessment that will have to be returned by March 15 of the previous school year.

The policy lists the assessments to include “an individual intellectual evaluation must be conducted by a licensed psychologist of the parent/guardian’s choice and at the parent/guardian’s expense.”

The policy also specifies only the Kaufman ABC or the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) will be accepted and the child must have an IQ score of 125 or higher on one of the above listed assessment.

According to the procedure set by the policy, the building principal will make the decision on the child’s enrollment after meeting with school staff and doing an academic and social evaluation of the child.

Parents would be notified by mail no later than June 1 of the principal’s decision.

Tammy Sakry is at [email protected]