Kindergarten and First Grade Entry
Section 160.053, RSMo, states that:
- A child is eligible for admission to kindergarten if the child reaches the age of five (5) before the first day of August of the school year beginning in that calendar year.
- A child is eligible for admission to kindergarten/first grade if the child is a military dependent and has successfully completed an accredited prekindergarten program or has attended an accredited kindergarten program in another state.
- A child who reaches the age of five (5) prior to the cut-off date is eligible for admission to the summer school session immediately preceding kindergarten.
- A child is eligible for admission to first grade if the child reaches the age of six (6) before the first day of August of the school year beginning in that calendar year.
- "Any child who completes the kindergarten year shall not be required to meet the age requirements of a district for entrance into grade one." This law does not specify the type of kindergarten program that must be completed prior to promotion to the first grade. Most school districts accept successful completion of kindergarten at any accredited public, private or parochial school as sufficient basis for promotion to the first grade. A child transferring from an unaccredited school, such as a home school, may be subject to additional evaluation to determine promotion.
- Pursuant to statutes 160.054 and 160.055, RSMo, the St. Louis and Kansas City School Districts may establish a later kindergarten/first grade entry date.
- A school may enroll a transfer student that has attended kindergarten or first grade in another state with a different entry age date on the theory of giving "full faith and credit" to the other states' entry age law.
- Parents seeking information regarding the above-referenced exceptions to kindergarten/first grade enrollment should contact the school district in which they intend to enroll their child.