Approaches to Learning/Guiding Principles
Children learn through meaningful engagement with others and their environments and through the implementation of Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP).
DAP is woven into the values and practices that are core to how DPI believes educators should approach learning for young children, from an asset-based lens, and it is foundational to the WI Model Early Learning Standards and its guiding principles.
Play is the key way that children learn: Play is the Way!
State law, Wis. Stat. Sec. (118.14(1)(a), specifies that children are eligible for kindergarten based on their age. To be eligible for 5-year-old kindergarten, a child must be 5 on or by September 1 of the school year.
Programming/ Hours of Duration
All Wisconsin school districts offer kindergarten programs for 5-year-old children. These programs will vary from district to district with most being full day programs.
Wisconsin Act 41 (Attendance and First Grade Admission)
- WI Act 41 requires a child to:
- Who is enrolled in 5-year-old kindergarten in a public or private school to regularly attend kindergarten during the school year.
- Complete 5-year-old kindergarten as a prerequisite to being admitted to first grade in a public school.
- Overview of WI Act 41
History of 5K in Wisconsin
- In 1856, Margarethe Meyer Schurz started this the first kindergarten in the nation in Watertown Wisconsin.
- In 1873 the first public school kindergarten opened in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It provided a program for the city's 4- and 5-year old children.
- In 1973 the Wisconsin legislature required school districts to provide 5 year old with expansion to full day in the late 1990's kindergarten.
- Abbreviated History of 4K & 5K in Wisconsin