Some Weston parents face difficult choices when it is time to send their children to kindergarten. But the decision last week by the State Board of Education to decrease the age gap among children entering kindergarten is looking to make that process a little easier.
Hurlbutt Elementary School PTO President Caroline Schreder said the board's ruling, which requires legislative approval, makes sense. "This decision just really reflects what parents have been doing for a few years now by holding fall birthday kids back anyway," Schreder said. "I also think it is much more in line with what almost all U.S. states do already."
The current cutoff date is for a child to turn 5 by Jan. 1. When the board's decision is phased in over four years, the cutoff date would move to Oct. 1, which is more in line with other states.
Region 9 Superintendent Michael Cicchetti said closing the age gap would not significantly impact enrollment or curriculum in smaller school districts.
"I think that it will help the students be closer in readiness for learning," Cicchetti said. "I often worry about the [children with] December birthdays who come into kindergarten, may be a little bit young but ready to start. ... It could put them at a disadvantage."
Cicchetti agreed with Schreder's view that parents will benefit the most from the board's vote.
"Parents of children who have fall and late fall birthdays really struggle with the decisions of whether or not to send them to school," he said. "Just given the difference in age, at that age, you can see where it could be challenging."
Do you agree with this change? Is the age range in classrooms too large? Did you hold your kid back or push them ahead? Why?
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