SCHOOL ENTRANCE AGE ELIGIBILITY FOR KINDERGARTEN/GRADE 1 REQUEST FOR A WAIVER
The following waiver (exception) process has been established. It includes criteria, timeline and financial responsibility for parents/guardians of children who exceed the state-mandated age of entry for Kindergarten/Grade 1 by no more than 45 calendar days. The process and timeline includes:
- Parent/Guardian completes the Request to Waive School Age Eligibility for Kindergarten/Grade 1 (by February 1st)
- Parent/Guardian signs Release of Information form to permit Smithfield Public Schools to obtain all cognitive, social, emotional and developmental records from child’s current pre-school and physician (February 1st and records must be received by March 1st)
- The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee will make arrangements for the parent/guardian to meet with the Principal of the attendance area elementary school that the child would attend (April 1st)
- The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee will contact the parent to make arrangements for the parent/guardian who requested the waiver to schedule dates for formal assessments and observations, to be conducted by school personnel, to ensure the child excels in all areas necessary for success: cognitive, social, emotional, developmental, behavioral and achievement. The assessments will be identified by the School Department prior to the evaluations. The child must score in at least the high average range in all areas to be considered for a waiver.
- The Smithfield evaluators make a recommendation to the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee (by June 30th)
- The parents/guardians are informed of a conditional acceptance or denial of their waiver request by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee (by July 15th). If a conditional acceptance is granted, a final decision will be rendered by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee no later than one week after the start of school. A waiver will only be granted if space is available in the area of attendance school Kindergarten/Grade 1 program. The Superintendent shall determine whether there is adequate classroom space to accommodate students for early enrollment so as not to place a burden on the school system.
- A probationary period occurs for any student offered early entry. The classroom teacher, school social worker, school psychologist, building principal, and parent/guardian will meet to review the child’s progress to determine whether the probationary early entrance status is continued or terminated (September-October). If the decision is to terminate, the parent/guardian will be given written notice of the team’s decision.
- Students who transfer into the Smithfield School District from an accredited school system and have completed Kindergarten, are exempt from this policy regarding age for attendance in the first grade.
- The parents have the right to appeal any decision to the Smithfield School Committee. The decision of the Smithfield School Committee is final.
ADOPTED: K - 10/20/2003; Gr. 1 - 9/5/2006
REVISED: 9/4/2007, 5/4/2009, 9/3/2013