The cutoff date for starting public school kindergarten in the 2013-14 school year was changed by the state legislature.  Your child now needs to be five by August 31st, 2013 in order to start Kindergarten.  The old cutoff date was September 30th, and starting in the 2014-15 school year the date will be August 15th.  You can read all this here.


My first kindergartener

According to this, parents of children who turn five between September 1st-30th can have their child tested to determine if they are “sufficiently mature emotionally and academically.”  According to MCS on Twitter, parents who want to do this should contact the Office of Student Enrollment at 416-5830.  No word yet from SCS.  If anyone knows the specifics please let me know.  I’d recommend you contact the school directly as well as sometimes you get different answers.


A couple of comments from parents on this issue:

I am a Kindergarten teacher and LOVE the new cut-off. With the rigor of the common core curriculum, younger students are developmentally inappropriate for curricular experiences. I urge parents to not bypass the cutoff. It’s about social/emotional development, not “how smart” your child is.

My experience from this year is to really really examine the readiness of the child for Kindergarten. Our son has a late summer birthday and actually started kindergarten when he was 4 turning 5 two weeks in. It was a huge struggle and despite my insisting (even arguing alot) he repeat his pk4 class, I lost the battle. He will be repeating kindergarten next year at a different school. It was not a great experience for our family as a whole.. Todays kindergarten requires lots of self control, paying attention, following directions without lots of assistance….. The younger 5yo’s, especially boys, just don’t have that emotional maturity. Read a couple of books on the subject of age and school. “Outliers” is a really great one to start with.

The schools did not have a clue what was going on the last time I called them directly. I spoke with someone last week and she told me that starting May 1, they will take appts to test September birthdays. There will be 2 dates in June & 2 in July. Parents will be in the room during the test. It should take 20-30 min. A machine will later grade the test & parents will receive a letter in the mail that they can take to register the child.

My son is 5 Sept 22nd, currently attends a Catholic school PK4. I spoke to SCS board just last Thursday and they are grandfathering in 4yr olds that attended an accredited PK4 school or program. This is for all TN schools as I also got this info from MCS. Kiddo does not need to be tested if they attended a school on the list. You can call SCS, MCS or the school in your district to check the school list.

This is obviously of some concern to parents who had plans to have their child start school this year.  Here are some options to consider if you’re trying to decide what to do next: