FRIDAY EARLY DISMISSAL (December 2) for Elementary and Middle students!

Kindergarten Program

Early Childhood

Overview of the QACPS Kindergarten Program

Kindergarten is a full-day mandatory program for all students who reach the age of five by September 1 in accordance with COMAR requirements. The overall goal of kindergarten is to provide a time of discovery where children are learning many new things with an emphasis on math, literacy, and science. QACPS offers a quality kindergarten program that provides children with a strong foundation to build skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for lifelong learning.

Kindergarten Registration Process

The State of Maryland requires children to attend kindergarten before entering first grade. During the 2022-2023 school year, children who are five years of age by September 1st must register and attend kindergarten before entering the first grade. There are some exceptions to this law. Parents may:

  • Apply for a home school instruction program as an alternative to the school attendance requirement
  • Request a one year level of maturity waiver if they believe a delay in school attendance is in the best interest of their child
  • Enroll their five-year old child in one of the following three alternative settings:
    • Full-time in a licensed child care center
    • Full-time in a registered family day care home
    • Part-time in a Head Start five-year-old program

A parent who elects to enroll a child in one of the three alternative settings shall file their intent to do this with the local school system before the opening of school of the year in which the child becomes five years old. The parent must provide the following information:

  • Name of program
  • Address of facility location
  • License or registration number and registration data

If your child is currently enrolled in a QACPS pre-kindergarten program, they will automatically be enrolled in Kindergarten.

If your child is not currently enrolled in a QACPS pre-kindergarten program, you will need to register him/her by calling the school to set up an appointment. When registering your child you will need the following:

  • The child’s birth certificate 
  • The child’s completed Immunization and Health Inventory forms
  • Proof of residence in Queen Anne’s County 
  • Approved Out of Zone Form if child is not attending his/her home school for place of residence

Registration Dates

Registration Dates for the 2022 – 2023 School Year – English

Registration Dates for the 2022 – 2023 School Year – Spanish

Early Admission to Kindergarten

If your child’s 5th birthday is between September 2nd and October 14th, your child may be eligible for early admission to kindergarten. Please review the Parent Guidelines very carefully before making a decision to apply for early admission. The guidelines include the process that must be followed, as well as a section on “Frequently Asked Questions.”

Level of Maturity Waivers

Can the parents or legal guardians of a child who is age-eligible for kindergarten delay the child’s entrance into kindergarten if they believe the child is not mature enough to attend?

Yes. State Board of Education regulations allow parents or legal guardians to submit a one-year level of maturity waiver for a kindergarten-age child if they believe that a delay in kindergarten attendance is in the best interest of their child. The child, however, must attend kindergarten the next year.

What must parents or legal guardians do to defer a child’s kindergarten attendance for one year?

If a child’s parents or legal guardians wish that kindergarten attendance be deferred for one year due to the child’s level of maturity, they must do the following:

  • File a written request with the local Superintendent of Schools before the opening of the school year in which the child becomes five years-old, asking that enrollment be delayed due to the child’s level of maturity; and
  • Register the child for enrollment in kindergarten the following school year.

If parents or legal guardians decide that it is in the best interest of their child who is already enrolled in kindergarten to be withdrawn, what must they do?

If parents or legal guardians feel that it is in the best interest of their child to be withdrawn from kindergarten, they must do the following:

  • File a written request to withdraw the child from the program; and
  • Register the child for enrollment in kindergarten the following school year.

Forms

Health & Vaccine Form 

Physical Exam Form

Lead Testing Form 

Verification of Residency/Proof of Residency  (only if required)

Prior Care Form

Resources

Vaccine Requirements

MCCRSS K-2 Reading Standards

Parent Guidelines for Early Admission to Kindergarten

Maryland Early Learning Standards

Programs for Pre-School Children

Maryland School Guide – English

Maryland School Guide – Spanish

Ready to Read Act

Each student is screened to identify if they are at risk of reading difficulties. Students are screened if they:

  • are in kindergarten,  
  • are in first grade and were not screened by the school in kindergarten or demonstrated difficulty mastering grade-level reading in kindergarten, 
  • enter or transfer to a public elementary school, unless the county board makes a  determination that the student has already been screened and does not demonstrate difficulty mastering grade-level reading.

QACPS uses the Edmentum Exact Path Diagnostic Screener. The screener assesses foundational reading skills that include phonological and phonemic awareness and processing.

If screening results indicate that the student is at risk  of reading difficulties, the county board shall provide supplemental reading instruction in identified areas of need. Supplemental reading instruction means evidence-based, sequential, systematic, explicit, and cumulative instruction or intervention to mastery of foundational reading skills including: phonological or phonemic awareness and processing phonics and vocabulary to support development of decoding, spelling, fluency, and reading comprehension skills to meet grade-level curriculum.

Contacts

Cheryl Cox, Supervisor, Early Childhood
Queen Anne’s County Board of Education
202 Chesterfield Avenue
Centreville, MD 21617
(410) 758-2403, Ext. 197
cheryl.cox@qacps.org