Early Admission Regulations and Procedures
State of Maryland Age Requirements:
According to COMAR 13A.08.01.02, the age for school attendance is as follows:
- Prekindergarten – A child admitted to the Prekindergarten program in the public school shall be 4 years old or older on September 1 of the school year in which the child applies for entrance.
- Kindergarten - A child admitted to the kindergarten program in the public school shall be 5 years old or older between September 2 and October 15 of the school year in which the child applies for entrance.
Early Admission Regulations
If a child meets the Anne Arundel County Public Schools early admission criteria, they may be granted early admission. Per COMAR 13A.08.01.02 Age for School Attendance, all local boards of education adopted a regulation permitting early admission to prekindergarten and kindergarten. While COMAR requires that local school systems adopt regulations for early admission, the content of the policies and procedures must be determined by the local boards of education. Regulation IFA-RA lists the Anne Arundel County Public Schools requirements for Early Admission.
- Requests for early admission must be submitted by May 15, 2018.
Prekindergarten – A 3-year-old child who will be 4 by October 15th, upon request by the parent or guardian, may be admitted to prekindergarten if the child is determined to be “economically disadvantaged,” has an active Individual Educational Plan (IEP), and given a recommendation from the Coordinator of Preschool Special Education.
Kindergarten - Children who turn five between September 2 and October 15, 2018 are eligible for consideration for the early enterance to kindergarten process, upon request by the parent or guardian, may be admitted to kindergarten if the child meets the mandated criteria on the required assessments. The standards for early entrance are very high to ensure that students are not frustrated by their advanced grade placement. There will be no consideration, including an appeals process, for children with birthdates beyond October 15th.
Prior Enrollment in Nonpublic Schools
Per COMAR 13A.08.01.01C., an age eligible child who attends a nonpublic kindergarten program for part of the year many transfer to a public kindergarten.
A child may not transfer into Anne Arundel County Public Schools kindergarten unless he/she is 5 years old or older by September 1 of the school year per COMAR 13A.08.01.02B., Parents who request a transfer during the kindergarten year for a student admitted early into kindergarten in the nonpublic setting must apply for Early Admission to Kindergarten and the student must meet the established criteria.
Children who did not meet the age requirements and were admitted early to a non-public kindergarten (or prekindergarten) program will not automatically be enrolled in grade 1 (or kindergarten) in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. The child’s parents/guardians can apply for early admission to kindergarten/grade 1 and if the child meets the performance requirements required by AACPS regulations then the child will be granted early admission.
The first step in the early admission to grade 1 process is registering for kindergarten at the elementary school assigned to the family’s residence and completing the early admission to grade 1 application.
Out of State Enrollment
Per COMAR 13A.08.02-2C., Non-State Residents, a 5-year-old child who moves into Maryland who has had a public kindergarten experience in another state for part of the school year shall be enrolled in kindergarten. This recognizes that the state from which the child is transferring may have established a different regulation for determining the age for school attendance. These students are enrolled as transfers without using the early admission to kindergarten regulation.
Students who are five years old and have completed a Public Kindergarten program in another state, with a later age of entry (up to October 15) are eligible for full reciprocity and will be enrolled in grade one. This does not apply to students who attended a Kindergarten program outside of the United States
Accommodations for Non-English Speakers
The Maryland State Department of Education has determined that a local school system is not required to make adjustments in its early admission regulation to pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade for non-English speaking students. Assessments for early admission to kindergarten and first grade will be administered in the language of instruction – English.
Home School Option
COMAR allows a student to be enrolled in kindergarten home schooling if they are 5 years old by December 31. A student, who was home schooled, must be 5 years old by September 1 to enroll in public kindergarten or meet the early admission criteria. A student who has completed a home school kindergarten program and requests transfer to first grade must meet the age requirement of 6 year old by September 1 or the Early Admission to Grade One criteria.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools will not assess students for nonpublic placement for early admission.