Early Entry - Kindergarten or First Grade


Early Entrance for Kindergarten or First Grade

Entrance for First Grade without attending Kindergarten

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR KINDERGARTEN/FIRST GRADE:  The School Board has established guidelines for enrollment that are consistent with Indiana law, sound educational practice, and ensure equitable treatment and proper placement. 

Indiana statute, I.C. 20-33-2-7 establishes a statewide entrance date for public school kindergarten.  Based on state law, a student residing in Indiana must be at least five (5) years of age on or before August 1 in order to enroll in public school kindergarten and six (6) years of age on or before August 1  to enroll in first grade.  In accordance with the South Madison School Board’s Entrance Requirement policy (5112), each child of legal settlement shall be eligible for Kindergarten providing that s/he has attained the age of five (5) on or before August 1.  First-grade students must be six (6) on or before August 1. This requirement shall also apply to children who transfer into the School Corporation and who may have attended private or public kindergarten in another locality. Additionally, an incoming first-grade student who has not attended a kindergarten program shall be screened to determine the best placement for that child. 

South Madison believes that as a general rule, it is beneficial for students to meet the state requirement to enter kindergarten or first grade.  However, it is also recognized that there are some children who are advanced -- socially, emotionally, and academically -- who would benefit from early entrance.  Based on board policy, South Madison will consider appeals to this rule.  

Consideration for early enrollment requires the parent/guardian to submit an appeal form no later than two (2) weeks prior to the start of the school year for any child of the legal settlement who has not attained the age of five (5) by August 1 to be eligible for entrance into the kindergarten program nor who is not six (6) years old by August 1 for entrance into first grade, and whose birthday falls in August or September.  Following the submission, potential kindergarten/1st-grade students will be screened by South Madison Community School Corporation staff.

In summary, appeals may be requested by the parent/guardian for a student who does not meet the state enrollment age for consideration based on the following guidelines:

  • The child must be of legal settlement within the South Madison Community School Corporation to be enrolled in kindergarten.
  • The child’s birthday falls after August 1 or in September.  No child whose birthday is later than September 30 of the state-mandated cut-off year will be considered for an appeal.
  • The child’s screening results meet minimum expectations on screening.
  • Space is available in the requested school in kindergarten/1st-grade classes.

Such an appeal is to be submitted digitally to Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Curriculum and Instruction by no later than two (2) weeks prior to the start of the school year and shall include the following information:

  • Name of the child
  • Birthdate
  • Home address
  • The parent’s reasons as to the child’s readiness for kindergarten 

Again, applications for early enrollment will only be considered for children with August or September birthdays.  

Prior to making any decision on early entrance, the child will participate in a screening program.  Within two weeks of submitting your appeal, parents will be contacted to schedule an appointment for screening.  Parents will be asked to bring their child to a testing location.  The screening process will take approximately 30-40 minutes.  Once the screening is finished and scored, the decision whether or not to approve the appeal and enroll the child in the kindergarten (or first grade) program will be made. You will be notified by mail within two weeks of your child’s screening date.  In addition to the screening results, approval of the enrollment shall be dependent upon the availability of space in the kindergarten or first-grade classes.

APPEAL FOR ENTRANCE TO FIRST GRADE WITHOUT COMPLETION OF A KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM:  South Madison believes that as a general rule, it is beneficial for students to complete a kindergarten program prior to first grade.  However, based on board policy, South Madison will consider appeals to this rule.  


Click Here for Early Entrance or First Grade without Kindergarten Request Form

Click Here for Early Entrance or Entrance without Kindergarten Appeal Screening Process

As of the spring of 2020, Early Entrance to Kindergarten applicants no longer need to attend Kindergarten Round-Up or Blast-Off.  Please DO NOT attempt to register your child until you receive notification the waiver has been approved.