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Applying for Early Admission to Kindergarten

Kindergarten early admission is based on rigorous academic standards

The State of Maryland has determined that five years of age is an appropriate age to begin kindergarten. 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 the kindergarten program.

Requirements

Age: fifth birthday falls between September 2 and October 13

Testing and developmental requirements:

For early admission in the 2019-2020 school year, the testing period for applicants will conclude May 10, 2019.
  • Applicants must be assessed by a certified early childhood educator and receive scores within a specified range.
  • Applications require completion of developmental checklists.

30-day trial period:

  • Once admitted, a teacher will closely monitor the student’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 student’s readiness for the program.
Admission determined by: Office of Early Childhood Programs

Testing Requirement

One testing date will be assigned to each applicant. Rescheduling of the testing date will only occur for uncontrollable circumstances (i.e., illness). The date, time, and location of the individualized testing will be mailed to parents/guardians; please allow 5-7 business days to receive the letter with individualized testing details. 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. We recommend making sure your child gets a good night of sleep before the testing appointment and has a meal or a snack as appropriate. The testing results, along with the other application information, will be used to determine early admission to school.

Early Admission Factors

The testing results and a child’s prior performance and experience are important to consider as decisions are being made. However, a child’s actual performance in the school’s classroom setting is a necessary part of determining if early admission is in the child’s best interest. Therefore, if a child is admitted to school, the teacher will closely monitor the child’s progress for the first month (30 calendar days) of school. The teacher’s observations of the child’s classroom performance during the trial period serve as the final assessment of the child’s readiness for the program.

Notification of Decision

Parents/guardians will be notified by letter from the Office of Early Childhood Programs regarding the decision of acceptance or denial for early admission. These letters will be mailed on May 24, 2019.

Admission Disclaimer

Early admission does not guarantee that the child will be promoted to the next grade. Decisions regarding promotion of early admission kindergartners to first grade will be based on performance during the kindergarten year. Applicants denied early admission to kindergarten will not automatically be placed in HCPSS Pre-K. Find out if you qualify for Pre-K →

Early Admission to Kindergarten for SY 2019-2020 is now closed.

2019 Early Admission Dates

Requirements: For early admission in the 2018-2019 school year, the testing period for applicants will conclude May 10, 2019. Notification of Decision: Parents/guardians will be notified by letter from the Office of Early Childhood Programs regarding the decision of acceptance or denial for early admission. These letters will be mailed on May 24, 2019.

Step 1: February 1 – March 29, 2019

  • Parent(s) and/or Guardian(s) submit Application and Developmental Checklist B to the Office of Early Childhood Programs.
  • Parent(s) and/or Guardian(s) request that preschool teacher or other adult (not related to the child) submit Developmental Checklist A to the Office of Early Childhood Programs.

Step 2: Between March 11 – May 10, 2019

Children take assessment at location specified in letter.

Step 3: All admission letters will be mailed on May 24, 2019

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) receive notification regarding acceptance or denial of application via U.S. Mail.
  • Parent(s)/Guardian(s) may appeal decision of early admission within 10 calendar days of receipt of denial for early admission

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

Step 4: September 3 – October 2, 2019

Teacher closely monitors child’s classroom progress during 30-day trial period.

Step 5: After 30-day trial period

Continuation after 30-day trial period decisions will be made based on teacher reccommendations. If denied, students will not automatically be placed in HCPSS Pre-K. In addition, early admission does not guarantee that the child will be promoted to the next grade.

Submitting Appeals

  • Appeals about early admission decisions can be made within 10 calendar days of receipt of denial for early admission (no later than June 3, 2019).
  • Appeals about non-continuation appeals can be made within 10 calendar days of receipt of notification of non-continuation (no later than October 12, 2019).
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