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Applying for Early Admission to First Grade

First grade early admission is based on rigorous academic standards

The State of Maryland has determined that six years of age is an appropriate age to begin first grade. In many cases, children admitted early to school will be working in a setting with older children. To develop a positive perspective about the school experience, children should feel comfortable, competent, and confident as they learn in the classroom setting. Therefore, only children who meet rigorous admission standards will be accepted early into first grade.

Requirements

Age: sixth birthday falls between September 2 and October 13

Standard Requirements

  • Applicants must demonstrate mastery of HCPSS end-of-year kindergarten standards by completing assessments administered by designated school staff.
  • Applications require completion of developmental checklists.
  • Applicants must present evidence of having completed an MSDE approved kindergarten program.

Admission determined by: child’s prospective school

Interested in early admission? Find out more about applying ↓

Testing Requirement

Early admission applicants will be assessed at their prospective school by designated staff in a one-on-one setting between May and July. Curriculum-based assessment tools will be used to measure their abilities in reading and mathematics in order to ensure their readiness for first grade.

Children do not need any type of special preparation for the test. Children who already possess the needed skills will have an opportunity to show them during the assessment.

Early Admission Factors

As stated in the Howard County Public School System Policy 9000 (Student Residency, Eligibility, Enrollment and Assignment), children accepted for early admission must demonstrate a high level of academic, social, emotional, and physical development.

An assessment of academic skills, as well as a developmental checklist of non-academic competencies, are primary factors for early admission.

Notification of Decision

Parents/guardians will be notified by letter from their prospective school regarding the decision of acceptance or denial for early admission. These letters will be mailed following their assessment.

Applying for Early Admission to First Grade

Early Admission to First Grade for School Year 2019-20 is now open. To apply, parent(s)/guardian(s) must submit the following documents to their assigned school:

Application Timeline

Step 1: March – May

Parents submit all required documentation to their prospective school.

Step 2: between April – May*

*Soon after receipt of application packet.

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are contacted by school regarding assessment appointment.

Step 3: between May – June*

*Soon after receipt of application packet.

Children are assessed at prospective school.

Step 4: After assessment decisions

Parents/guardians will be notified by letter from their prospective school regarding the decision of acceptance or denial for early admission. These letters will be mailed following their assessment.

Students should be registered as soon as possible after receipt of acceptance letter for early admission. Find out more about student registration →

Submitting Appeals

Upon receipt of denial for early admission, parent(s)/guardian(s) may appeal decision of early admission.

Send appeals to:

Division of School Management and Instructional Leadership
Howard County Public School System
10910 Clarksville Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Attn: Performance Officers

Contact Us

For additional questions, please contact early_admission@hcpss.org