The start of the 2016-17 school year might be 10 months down the road but during last Thursday evening’s Big Walnut school board meeting, district director of academic achievement Jen Young reported that the age the children will be able to enroll in kindergarten is changing.
“In 2010, the state of Ohio said school districts could go with one of two dates the student had to be age 5 by before entering kindergarten, Sept. 30 or Aug. 1,” Young said. “We chose to require student to be age 5 on or before Sept. 30.”
Young said Big Walnut has had a history of considering an age 5 on or before Aug. 1 kindergarten enrollment, and will make the change to the Aug. 1 date for the 2016-17 school year.
“To move that date back two months would make a big difference developmentally,” Young said. “There are 20 to 30 students in each grade level with birthdays in that two-month period, 9 percent of our total student population.”
Young said data shows that 15 percent to 20 percent of students falling in that Aug. 1 to Sept. 30 birthday gap receive intervention on entering school if they are held back a year by the Sept. 30 entrance date, and are three times more likely to need additional intervention during their public school years.
“Kindergarten has become so much more important academically with Common Core state standards coming in,” Young said.
Young said more information about 2016-17 kindergarten enrollment would be available later this school year.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093