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Five-Year-Olds and Three-Year-Olds in Prekindergarten

 
  1. Can a child who is 5-years-old on September 1 be enrolled in prekindergarten?  
  2. Can 3- and 4-year-old children be served in the same class?  
  3. Can a district serve prekindergarten and kindergarten students in the same classroom?
  4. Are school districts required to serve 3-year-old students who are eligible?
  5. Can a child younger than five years of age enter kindergarten?
  6. Can a child be retained in prekindergarten?   

1. Can a child who is 5-years-old on September 1 be enrolled in prekindergarten?

  • A child who is five years of age on September 1 of the current school year is not eligible for enrollment in a prekindergarten class. It is the agency’s position that children who reach age five on September 1 are most appropriately served in kindergarten, and that the law specifically established the prekindergarten program to serve students who have not reached age five. Given the intent of the law, if a district enrolls a 5-year-old student in the prekindergarten program, the student must be reported as ineligible for ADA.
  • Citation: SAAH, Section 7.2.1

2. Can 3- and 4-year-old children be served in the same class?

  • Yes. Students of both ages (3- and 4-year-olds) can be served in the same class.
  • Citation: SAAH, Section 7.2.1

3. Can a district serve prekindergarten and kindergarten students in the same classroom?

  • Yes. Students of both grade levels can be served in the same class.

4. Are school districts required to serve 3-year-old students who are eligible?

  • No. A district may offer prekindergarten classes if the district identifies 15 or more eligible children who are at least three years of age. A child who is three years old is eligible for prekindergarten only if the district operates a 3-year-old prekindergarten program.
  • Districts may serve non-eligible 3-year-old students only after serving all eligible 3-year-olds. It is the agency’s position that districts need to first serve all 3-year-olds who meet the eligibility requirements before serving those 3-year-olds paying tuition or other 3-year-olds that do not meet the eligibility requirements. 
  • Citation: TEC §29.153(a), SAAH, Section 7.2

5. Can a child younger than five years of age enter kindergarten?

  • A student younger than five years of age is entitled to the benefits of the Foundation School Program if: (1) the student performs satisfactorily on the assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023(a) to students in the third grade; and (2) the district has adopted a policy for admitting students younger than five years of age.
  • Citation: TEC §42.003(d)

6. Can a child be retained in prekindergarten?

  • Districts are responsible for local policies on promotion and retention. However, prekindergarten is intended for 3- and 4-year-olds and not considered a proper placement for 5-year-olds or older on September 1 and state prekindergarten funding is not provided for these children.
  • Citation: SAAH, Section 7.2.1

 Contacts

Department of Federal and State Education Policy: 512-936-6060

Program Contacts:

Gina S. Day, gina.day@tea.state.tx.us

Howard Morrison, howard.morrison@tea.state.tx.us

 

Page last modified on 8/27/2013 11:16:27 AM.