Early Entrance to Kindergarten

A parent may request early admission to kindergarten if the child turns five years of age after the district’s kindergarten entrance date (August 1) and before January 1.  The local board of education shall determine entrance through a standardized testing program.

Children who will not yet be the proper age for entrance to kindergarten or first grade by the first day of January of the school year for which admission is requested shall also be evaluated for possible early admittance if referred by an educator within the district, a pre-school educator who knows the child, or pediatrician or psychologist who knows the child.


Early entrance to kindergarten is a subject typically addressed through gifted education.  It is covered in the State of Ohio’s Model Student Acceleration Policy.  According to the Ohio Revised Code (3324.01), “gifted” means students who perform or show potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment and who are identified under Division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of Section 3324.03 of the Revised Code.


The Tiffin City School District considers a child eligible for entrance into kindergarten if s/he attains the age of five on or before August 1 of the year s/he applies for entrance.  A child under the age of six (6) who is enrolled in kindergarten will be considered of compulsory school age.


By parental request a child may be tested for early admission to kindergarten if s/he will be five (5) years of age between August 2nd and December 31st, inclusive, and exhibit the mental, social and emotional standards established by the Tiffin City Schools Board of Education.  If your child turns 5 years of age after January 1st and you believe s/he is a viable candidate for early entrance, please contact Paula Zirm, TCS Gifted Supervisor, at the Office of Gifted Education at 419-447-3358 by May 1 of the year in consideration.


During the 2006 school year the Tiffin City Schools Board of Education adopted the State of Ohio’s Model Student Acceleration Policy for Advanced Learners:


“A child who does not meet the age requirement for admittance to kindergarten or first grade, but who will be five or six years old, respectively, prior to January 1 of the school year in which admission is requested, shall be evaluated for early admittance in accordance with District policy upon referral by the child’s parent or guardian, an educator employed by the district, a preschool educator who knows the child or a pediatrician or psychologist who knows the child. Following an evaluation in accordance with such a referral, the Superintendent/designee decides whether to admit the child.


If a child, for whom admission to kindergarten or first grade is requested, will not be five or six years of age, respectively, prior to January 1 of the school year in which admission is requested, the child is admitted only in accordance with the District’s acceleration policy adopted under State law.”


The Early Entrance to kindergarten process shall be reviewed annually by the Early Entrance to Kindergarten Committee.  The District early entrance to kindergarten board policy can be found here.

Is requesting early entrance to kindergarten the best choice for your child?


Early entrance should be viewed as a means of meeting a child’s needs.  The key to determining whether or not early entrance is appropriate is developmental readiness.  Even though a child may have a lot of ability, s/he may not be ready for kindergarten.  Social maturity, personal development, and motor development are important factors for a child’s success in school. 


Early entrance is designed for the exceptional child who is both academically ready as well as developmentally mature when compared to others his or her chronological age.  This opportunity is designed as a measure to meet individual differences in school readiness.


Some considerations when determining if early entrance is right for a child:


  • Is my child capable of working in a classroom setting with children who are one year older than him or her?
  • Will my child be frustrated by this placement?
  • What are the possible long-term impacts for my child as s/he progresses through elementary, middle and high school (e.g., beginning college at a younger age).
  • Early entrance is not designed as a replacement for child care.  Is this a need or awant?
  • Do I understand the expectations for students in kindergarten today?


There is a difference between ability and achievement.  Some children may appear exceptional simply because of their access to opportunities (e.g., preschool programs, parents working with them on skills, or access to learning materials).  Early entrance is designed for the child who not only has ability but easily achieves when presented new material.


Once the decision has been made for early entrance, the choice is difficult to reverse.  If a child is evaluated as a good candidate for early entrance to kindergarten, it is important that all stakeholders are supportive of the decision.   


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If you are reaching out during non-school hours, your email may not be addressed until the next business day. If you prefer to phone our district office, please call (419) 447-2515.

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