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Applying for Early Admission to HCPSS

What is Early Admission?

The early admission process is designed for students who are born between September 2 – October 13 and are seeking enrollment to school one year early.

Children must be 4, 5, or 6 years old by September 1 in order to enter Pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade, respectively.

Age Requirement

According to HCPSS Policy 9000, early admission requests to Pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade will only be accepted for children born on or between September 2 and October 13. There are no exceptions to this date-of-birth window.

Residency Requirement

Applicants for early admission to Pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade must be current Howard County residents during the course of their application in order to be assessed for early admission into a Howard County school.

Disclaimer

Although early admission is rare, exceptions are made only after a variety of items have been reviewed by certified early childhood educators.

In all cases, early admission does not guarantee that the child will be promoted to the next grade.

Additional Requirements by Grade-Level

Early admission to Pre-K is based on intensive student needs and economic disadvantage, whereas Kindergarten and First Grade are based on rigorous academic standards and testing.

View all additional requirements:

Prekindergarten (Pre-K)

Age: fourth birthday falls between September 2 and October 13

Demonstrated need requirement:

  • The student meets first priority criteria (disadvantaged economic status, homelessness, and foster care)
  • In addition, students must demonstrate a need for early intervention as defined by at-risk developmental factors that critically impact potential success in kindergarten (Policy 9000)

Admission determined by: Office of Early Childhood Programs and Office of Early Intervention Services

Find out more about early admission to Pre-K →

Kindergarten

Age: fifth birthday falls between September 2 and October 13

Testing and developmental requirements:

  • The student must complete and score favorably on an admission test conducted by HCPSS.
  • Applications require completion of developmental checklists.

30 day trial period:

  • A teacher will closely monitor the child’s progress for the first month (30 calendar days) at the school they are admitted to. The teacher’s observations during the trial period serve as the final assessment of the child’s readiness for the program.

For early admission in the 2017-2018 school year, the testing period for applicants will begin March 13, 2017 and conclude May 12, 2017.

Admission determined by: Office of Early Childhood Programs

Find out more about early admission to Kindergarten →

First Grade

Age: sixth birthday falls between September 2 and October 13

Standard Requirements

  • Early admission applicants must pass an assessment at their school by designated school staff in a one-on-one setting.
  • Applications require completion of developmental checklists.

Admission determined by: child’s prospective school

Find out more about early admission to first grade →