School Attendance Age

Each child must attend school beginning in September of the calendar year in which he or she attains the age of six (per Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education*). A child entering kindergarten must have attained the age of five by August 31 of that year. Children who do not meet our age criteria (age 5 by August 31) for kindergarten, who are not currently enrolled and attending a kindergarten program in a public school in the United States will not be eligible for kindergarten. Effective January 1, 2012 a child entering:

  •   First grade must have attained the age of six by August 31 of that year

  •   Second grade must have attained the age of seven by August 31 of that year

  •   Third grade must have attained the age of eight by August 31 of that year

  •   Fourth grade must have attained the age of nine by August 31 of that year

  •   Fifth grade must have attained the age of ten by August 31 of that year

    There are two possible exceptions for consideration:

  1. For grades 1– 5 students who move into the district: who were enrolled in grade 1 through grade 5 in their prior community and do not meet the above age requirement may be considered for an exemption. (This provision respects a grade level reciprocity for students moving into the district from other public schools within the United States only.)

  2. For an exception to be admitted to first grade: for students who did not meet the kindergarten age requirement - if a child turns six years of age between August 31 and October 31, exceptions may be made by the Principal and Superintendent for those children who, in the opinion of the Principal and Superintendent have:

    a. Attended and completed a rigorous kindergarten program, and
    b. Can demonstrate academic, social, and emotional readiness for first grade in

    accordance with criteria established by the School Department

    All kindergarten exemption requests must be made in writing to theSuperintendent’s office by June 1 prior to the child beginning the new schoolyear.

The decision on whether to grant either exception to the age policy can be made only by the Principal and the Superintendent and their decision is final with no further appeal.

Legal Reference: *Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

First Reading: 10/23/12
Second Reading: 11/13/12
Adoption of the revised policy by the Burlington School Committee: 11/13/12