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School board formulating plans for early kindergarten admission

October 5, 2018

NEEDLES — The Needles Unified School District Board of Trustees are to create a policy on what to do if parents would like to admit their child to kindergarten early.

The topic of discussion was brought up by board president Michael ‘Shane’ Breaux during the school board’s decision of allowing a child to enter kindergarten before they are of age during their board meeting on Aug. 21.

“I think we can make an exception in not delaying this another month until we have the guidelines because then the child is going to be one month behind everybody else,” said Breaux.

According to the California Department of Education, since school is mandatory for six-year-old students, parents or guardians must enroll their 6-year-old in a school. Parents or guardians have to wait until their child is five years old in order to be eligible for early admission to kindergarten.

During the meeting Mary McNeil, NUSD superintendent, handed out the California Department of Education code regarding early admission which states districts offering this option to families would be wise to have a local governing board adopting criteria by which students are accepted. Some districts base early admission on test results, the maturity of the child, or preschool records in order to be consistent with the early admission policy and to avoid being challenged by parents or guardians whose children were denied early admission.

“Currently we do not have any policy with early admission to kindergarten,” said Breaux. “I do believe that after the vote tonight we should get a panel together to come up with a clear policy regarding this for future reference.”

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