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Procedures for Early Admission to Kindergarten

Wisconsin State Statutes (118.14(1)(a & b)) specify that children are eligible for kindergarten based on their age. To be eligible for 4-year-old kindergarten, a child must be 4 by September 1 of the school year. To be eligible for 5-year-old kindergarten, a child must be 5 by September 1 of the school year.

Wisconsin State Statutes statutes (120.12(25)) allow school districts to prescribe procedures, conditions and standards if they desire to allow early admission to kindergarten and first grade. When districts allow early admissions, they will want to assure the child demonstrates the social, emotional, physical, and mental maturity normally expected for successful participation in kindergarten. The following procedures may be considered:

  1. A personal interview to determine the families' reasons for requesting entrance prior to the legal age.If 
  2. An assessment of the child's potential to benefit from early admission to kindergarten or first grade considering their social and emotional and physical development. 
  3. A conference held with the family to consider the appropriateness of early entrance into kindergarten or first grade.
  4. A process for appeals to the school board.

If you are considering early entry into 4K, 5K or First Grade, please contact your school district. Decisions, policies and procedures related to early entrance are made at the school district level. The DPI is not authorized to make these decisions for individual school districts.