To begin kindergarten in the state of Illinois, a child should be 5 years old on or before September 1 of the kindergarten year and live within the boundaries of the school district.
In addition to age and residency requirements, districts may choose whether to consider an assessment of a child's readiness for school.
According to the Illinois School Code, children who will be 5 years old on or before September 1 may begin school. Based upon an assessment of a child's school readiness, a school district may choose to permit a child to attend school prior to that date, or it may choose not to do so. In a school district operating on a year-round school basis, children who will be age 5 within 30 days after a term starts may begin to attend school that term. For the full text of this code, see Illinois school code, 105 ILCS 5/ § 10-20.12. School year-School age.
Although September 1 seems to be the most frequently used cutoff date for kindergarten entry in the United States, states use dates ranging from January 1 to December 31. Some states, such as Colorado, let local education authorities decide upon a date.
At present, Illinois requires districts to offer kindergarten but does not require that children attend kindergarten before being permitted to enroll in first grade.
Source: Pupils-Compulsory Attendance
In August 2013, the age at which children are required to begin school in Illinois was lowered from age 7 to age 6. The new age requirement will take effect beginning with the 2014–2015 school year. (Public Act 098-0544)
Based upon the school’s assessment of her readiness, a child who will be 6 years old on or before December 31 may begin first grade in the fall under certain conditions. She must have attended a non‑public preschool, continued her education at that school through kindergarten, and been taught by an appropriately certified kindergarten teacher.
Source: Public Act 096-08642013
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