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Date Adopted: April 27, 1981
Date Revised: December 17, 1990; April 25, 1994; January 9, 1995; January 10, 2000; December 17, 2008

1. Purpose:

The Board shall establish age requirements for the admission of beginning students which are consistent with statutory requirements, sound educational practice, and ensure equitable treatment of all eligible children.

2. Definition:

    1. Beginning students are those entering either kindergarten or the first grade.
    2. Compulsory school age is six years on or before September 1.

3. Authority:

    1. The Superintendent shall be responsible for establishing a program for registration of beginners in accordance with the guidelines noted under section.

4. Guidelines:

    1. Beginners shall be admitted to kindergarten during the first two weeks of the school year, provided the child has attained the age of five years before September 1, in the following order of priority:
        1. Children 5 years old on or before September 1, who live within the school boundaries and who have registered by June 1.
        2. Those who meet the conditions above (4.i.) but apply after the registration deadline.
        3. Those who meet the age requirement and an approved EH-36 but live outside the school boundaries shall be admitted if space is available.
        4. Those who meet the age requirement and an approved EH-36 due to overcrowding at neighborhood school, but live outside the school boundaries shall be admitted where space is available.
        5. When a child is admitted to kindergarten from outside the school boundaries, an EH-36 must be filed to request placement in the first grade of the school. For the remaining grades of the school, no additional EH-36 shall be required.
        6. A child who has reached the compulsory age of six by September 1, but has not attended a full year of kindergarten may, at the written request of the parent, be assigned to kindergarten instead of first grade, if space is available.
    2. Beginners shall be admitted to first grade provided the child has attained the compulsory school age of six years on or before the first day of September.
        1. Where, because of parental request, a child has had a late admission to kindergarten, he/she may enter first grade as late as age seven.
        2. Upon written request of the parent or guardian, a child whose chronological age is not less than five years and seven months on September 1, and who has completed a full-day kindergarten program may be admitted to first grade if such early admission is recommended by a School District psychologist and approved by the District’s administrative designee on the basis of a developmental standard set by the District.
    3. Parents or guardians requesting admission of a child to the School District of Philadelphia for the first time must present documentary evidence of the child's date of birth to the principal.
        1. Documentary evidence may be one of the following in order of preference: Official Birth Certificate, Baptismal Certificate, Passport of Foreign Board Child, Other Document Evidence (adoption papers, court placement record, hospital record, institutional home record, social service agency record, or alien number and I-94 number).
        2. The correct date of birth of each pupil must be on file in his/her school as a reference for eligibility for admission to school or subsequent legal right to leave, and in evaluation of academic progress, and grade placement.
        3. Where there is a delay in obtaining documentation of age, the child shall be permitted to attend school. When the principal is convinced that no effort is being made by parents to obtain documentation or if they refuse to provide the documentation, the principal shall send a report, in writing, to the Regional Office.
    4. The compulsory school age of 6 years old does not apply to children who are being home schooled. For those children, the compulsory school age is 8 years old.
      1. If a parent or guardian plans to home school their child, they must file an intent to home school with the District when the child turns 6 years of age. However, they are not required to begin their home schooling program until the child is 8 years old.
      2. Once the child reaches 8 years old, the parent or guardian must submit home schooling plans to the District for approval prior to the school year and also furnish evidence at the end of the school year that the home schooling took place.

State School Code: Section 1301