Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions

Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions

Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions

How old does my child need to be to attend kindergarten?

  • If you live within the Piqua City School District, a child is eligible to start kindergarten when he or she has turned 5 on or before August 1st of the school year.  According to law (Ohio Revised Code 3321.01), a child must be in school by age 6.  A family can choose to wait until a child turns 6 before enrolling the child in kindergarten.  If your child turns 5 by August 1st, you can register. If your child turns 6 by August 1st, you must register.

What if my child is younger than 5, but I think he or she is ready to attend kindergarten now?

  • Students who reside within the Piqua City School District may be referred for an evaluation for possible early admission as outlined through the District’s Academic Acceleration Policy.  What does an evaluation look like? Piqua City Schools follows the Ohio Department of Education early entry guidelines and uses the Iowa Acceleration Scale, 3rd edition to determine if a child is eligible for early entry into kindergarten.  Additional information can be found in our Parent's Guide to Early Entrance to Kindergarten.

What if my child is the typical age for kindergarten, but I think she could benefit from waiting another year to start?

  • Some parents choose to delay their child’s entry into kindergarten.  Just like early entry, this is a decision that will impact the child’s first year of school as well as the following years.  Schools should be ready to meet your child at his/her developmental level. Kindergarten teachers are prepared to begin working with your child according to his/her abilities at the time he or she is eligible for kindergarten.

  • If your child is enrolled in a preschool program, please discuss your child’s readiness with his/her preschool teachers.  You can discuss the advantages and disadvantages with the school’s principal or the school’s psychologist. There are pros and cons to holding a child back when he/she is eligible for kindergarten.  And, every child is different with different needs.

My child will be screened before starting kindergarten.  What if my child does not do well? Will he/she be denied entry to kindergarten?

  • The only eligibility requirement for kindergarten is age.  If your child is the right age to attend, he/she can attend.  Some parents hear or worry about “testing” that occurs before the start of the school year, but “testing” is not the right word to use.  Kindergarten students are given an assessment or a screening tool that helps the school learn about your child's strengths and areas that need extra support or development.  Looking at your child's needs before the start of the school year, helps teachers prepare for the range of learners who will be in their classroom and helps schools determine the right resources for students.

  • During the screening process, a teacher might spend 40 minutes or more with your child doing activities on paper, interacting, and completing various tasks that range from academic, social, speech, fine and gross motor skills.  You do not need to worry about your child’s “passing” or “failing” any part of the assessment. In general, all you need to do is to prepare is what you are already doing: encouraging and learning with your child.

  • You can help your child with this basic list of skills (keep in mind that every child is at a different stage with each of these skills when they enter kindergarten - which is why the screening assessment is helpful for the school.):

    • Sharing

    • Self-help skills

    • Taking turns

    • Waiting in a line

    • Listening to a story

    • Understanding spoken instructions

    • Identifying colors, shapes, letters, and numbers

    • Counting items

    • Sorting objects by color, size, type of object, etc.

    • Playing with puzzles

    • Writing his or her first and last name

    • Memorizing his or her street address

    • Recognizing rhyming sounds (cat/hat, mop/top)

    • Tying his or her shoelaces

  • The best thing parents can do to prepare their child for learning is to talk with them and read to them.  Let your child hear lots of different words. Read books aloud. Narrate everything and use synonyms (weird/odd, tasty/delicious, big/enormous, loud/noisy, tired/sleepy, etc.) to help a child learn a new word that has the same meaning as a familiar word.

I think my child might have a learning, behavioral, or physical challenge.  Do I need a special kindergarten assessment?

  • Parents with children who have learning differences, physical disabilities, or any other situation that might influence their transition into and their experience in the classroom should contact the school as early as age 3.  Some students will qualify for special education services and may need a 504 Plan or an IEP (Individualized Education Program). The district may have specialized assessments, recommendations, or resources for parents.

What documents are required to enroll a child in kindergarten?

  • The child’s certified birth certificate, proof of residency, parent ID, immunization records, child’s physical, and custody paperwork if applicable.

How do I prove custody?

  • If there is custody paperwork for your child, in order to enroll the child in school, the person designated as the residential parent or custodial parent or guardian would need to enroll the child and show custody paperwork.  You will need to provide the appropriate, certified court journal entry or documentation, like the Juvenile Court orders or Probate Court order, or possibly a divorce decree and shared parenting plan or placement information.

  • If you are a grandparent caring for a child and want to enroll the child into school, you would need either:

    • To have received from the parent or legal custodian a Grandparent Power-of-Attorney document (Ohio Revised Code 3109.53) that will allow you certain rights and responsibilities for the child, and it needs to be filed with the juvenile court;

    • Or complete a “Caretaker Authorization Affidavit”.  The Ohio Revised Code specifies the content needed in the affidavit, and it needs to be filed with the juvenile court.

    • Ohio’s Grandparent Caretaker Law does not allow any other relatives but a grandparent to execute these documents.  If you cannot obtain either of these documents, you will not be allowed to enroll your grandchild.  

  • If you are a relative of the child, but not a grandparent, and want to obtain custody so you can enroll the child in school, you will need to file for a motion of custody with the juvenile court.

Will my child’s pre-school or childcare program automatically enroll my child in kindergarten?

  • It is always the parent’s responsibility to complete the kindergarten enrollment process.  Many preschool programs support and inform parents about what they need to do to make the transition to kindergarten.

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