Kindergarten

Presented are summaries of requirements and related information about kindergarten attendance and administration. Topics covered are curriculum, length of school year, dates by which children must be age 5 before entering kindergarten, kindergarten schedules (half-day and full-day) by county and district, and health and developmental screenings.

Choices on Kindergarten Entrance Date (ORC 3321.01)

Beginning with the 2001 school year, school district boards may choose to adopt either the first day of August or the thirtieth day of September as the date by which a child must be 5 years of age to be admitted to kindergarten, and 6 years of age to be admitted to first grade.

Age Requirement

A student must be age 5 to enter kindergarten or age 6 to enter grade one.  Compulsory school age is 6.  However, if a child enters kindergarten at age 5, he or she is considered to be of compulsory school age.  No district shall admit to the first grade a child who has not successfully completed kindergarten.

Early Entrance into Kindergarten

A parent may request early admission to kindergarten if the child turns age 5 after the district’s kindergarten entrance date (August 1/Sept. 30) and before January 1. The Ohio Department of Education recommends that districts follow their Academic Acceleration Policy for Advanced Learners in making decisions about early admission.

Available Reports: (Please check with local district for any recent changes)

Screening (ORC 3313.673)

A child’s screening and assessment data cannot be used to determine eligibility to enter kindergarten. The only criterion for entrance into kindergarten is age eligibility. By November 1 of the school year in which a child is enrolled for the first time, the child must be screened for vision, hearing, speech and communication, medical problems and any developmental disorders. If the screening reveals the possibility of potential learning needs, the district must provide further assessment. Schools must note that screenings are not intended to diagnose educational disability or to be used for placement procedures. A parent may sign a statement that they do not wish to have the child screened.  Mandatory Kindergarten (ORC 3321.01)

Amended Sub. H.B. 281 declares a child who attends kindergarten to be of compulsory school age for purposes of the mandatory attendance law.

Kindergarten Transfers

After a child has been admitted to kindergarten in a school district or chartered non-public school, no school district or board of education to which the child transfers shall deny admission based on the child's age.

Successful Completion of Kindergarten [who can operate a kindergarten] (SB140)

  1. A public or chartered nonpublic school OR
  2. A kindergarten program that is a.) offered by a day-care provider licensed under Chapter 5104 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC); and b. if offered after July 1, 1991, is directly taught by a teacher who holds one of the following:
    • A valid certification/educator license issued under ORC Section 3319.22;
    • A Montessori preprimary credential or age-appropriate diploma granted by the American Montessori Society or the Association Montessori Internationale;
    • Certification for teachers in nontax-supported schools pursuant to Section 3301.07.1 of the revised code; or
    • Determined to be developmentally appropriate.

Instruction Time and Length of School Year (ORC 3313.48)

For the purpose of instruction, schools must be open for not less than four hundred fifty-five (455) hours in the case of pupils in kindergarten unless such pupils are provided all-day kindergarten (ORC 3321.05), in which case the pupils shall be in attendance for nine hundred ten (910) hours.

Full-day Kindergarten (ORC 3321-05)

Any school district may operate full-day kindergarten.  If a district provides full-day kindergarten and the parent requests half-day services (minimum hours), the district must accommodate the request.

Teacher-to-Student Ratio (ORC 3301-35-05)

The ratio of teachers to students in kindergarten through fourth grade on a school district-wide basis shall be at least one full-time equivalent classroom teacher per twenty-five student in the regular student population. Said ratio shall be calculated in accordance with sections 3317.02 and 3317.023 of the Revised Code.

Last Modified: 7/18/2014 9:16:00 AM