New Kindergarten Start Dates for 2015-2016 School Year

Kacie Kefgen

By Kacie Kefgen, MASB Assistant Director of Labor Relations and Legal Services

DashBoard, Feb. 25, 2015

As districts begin their kindergarten round-up activities, they will have new kindergarten start date rules to keep in mind, including changes made by the legislature in December (MCL 380.1147).

Change #1 – General Start Date

A child who resides in the school district may enroll in kindergarten if the child is at least 5 years old on Sept. 1 (instead of Oct. 1).

Change #2 – “Young 5” Start Date

If a resident child or a schools-of-choice child is not 5 years old by Sept. 1, but will be 5 years old by Dec. 1, a parent or guardian (“parent”) may enroll the child in kindergarten for that school year if the parent notifies the school district in writing.

Change #3 – Notification

There is no longer a requirement that a parent inform the school district by June 1 if the parent intends to enroll a young 5 child.

Furthermore, districts may not refuse to enroll a schools-of-choice student based on the child’s age (MCL 388.1705c(7)). Therefore, a district with available schools-of-choice seats in kindergarten must allow a nonresident “young 5” child to apply, just as any other potential kindergartener.

Regardless of residency, the school district may make a recommendation to such a young 5’s parent that the child is not ready to enroll in kindergarten, but the parent retains sole discretion about whether or not to enroll the child.

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