Early Admission to Kindergarten

Kentucky’s school readiness definition, “Ready to Grow… Ready to Learn…Ready to Succeed,“ means that each child enters school ready to engage in and benefit from early learning experiences that best promote the child’s success. Five developmental areas (approaches to learning, health and physical well-being, language and communication development, social and emotional development and cognitive and general knowledge), along with a series of readiness indicators, provide an overview of the expectations of primary schools for incoming students. The indicators provide teachers and parents a tool to better inform them about the specific strengths and needs of each individual child.

Health and Physical Well-being 

  • Eats a balanced diet 
  • Gets plenty of rest 
  • Receives regular medical and dental care 
  • Has had all necessary immunizations 
  • Can run, jump, climb and does other activities that help develop large muscles and provide exercise 
  • Uses pencils, crayons, scissors, and paints and does other activities that help develop small muscles

Language, Math and General Knowledge 

  • Uses 5-6 words sentences 
  • Sings simple songs 
  • Recognizes and says simple rhymes 
  • Can recite alphabet and can write most letters 
  • Can write name and is learning to write address 
  • Knows the difference between print and pictures 
  • Listens to stories read to them ● Asks questions 
  • Is learning to count, understand one-to-one correspondence, and recognize numbers ● Can identify and name basic colors and common shapes 
  • Beginning to sort and classify objects 
  • Is able to notice similarities and differences ● Understands simple concepts of time (night/day, today, yesterday, tomorrow)

Social and Emotional Developmen

  • Follows simple rules and routines 
  • Is able to express his or her own needs and wants in an appropriate manner 
  • Accepts direction or limit setting without temper tantrums 
  • Is curious and motivated to learn 
  • Explores and tries new things 
  • Plays/shares with other children 
  • Is able to be away from parent/family without being upset 
  • Is able to work well alone 
  • Has the ability to attend to tasks/listen for 10-15 minutes in a group setting 
  • Attends to and completes tasks without constant adult direction or assistance


  • Able to perform self-care task such as using the bathroom, wiping nose, and washing hands independently 
  • Able to dress self including outdoor clothing 
  • Takes care of personal items and classroom materials

The first year for primary school or kindergarten for JCPS begins with students who turn age 5 on or before August 1 for the 2022-23 school year. In accordance with KRS 158.031(6), JCPS has established criteria for early entrance into kindergarten, for students who have mastered early childhood benchmarks before age 5. Students who turn 5 years old between August 2 and October 1 may be eligible to enroll provided that the student meets predetermined criteria established by the Jefferson County Board of Education. Children with birth dates prior to August 1st or after October 1, will not be eligible. 

The online application to petition for early admission will be open between October 1, 2021 and March 1, 2022.  After the March 1, 2022 deadline, there will not be any opportunities to petition the district for early admission to kindergarten for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Criteria for Early Admission 

  • Child must be a resident of Jefferson County, Kentucky
  • Child must turn 5 between August 2 and October 1 of the admission year
  • Child must score 75% or higher on the rigorous early admission screening assessment
  • Child must meet social-emotional and self-help milestones as measured by the social-emotional/self-help survey

Early Admission to Kindergarten Petition Process 

  • Parent/guardian will complete the online application  as the initial step for petitioning for early entrance to kindergarten
  • Application will be reviewed by the JCPS Early Admission Team
  • Once an application is approved, parent/guardian may sign up for one of five screening dates as indicated on the online application 

Early entrance screenings will occur on November 19, 2021December 10, 2021, January 28, 2022, February 25, 2022, and March 25, 2022

  • Parent/guardian will receive email notification with an appointment with the time and format (online) of the assigned screening approximately one week prior to their assigned screening date
  • The student will be screened by qualified JCPS staff using an online video meeting service such as Zoom or Google Meet
  • Parents will be notified of their child’s screening results within two weeks of the screening
  • The decision based on screening results is final.  There is no appeal process. If a child does not meet the criteria there will be no opportunities to rescreen or appeal the findings

Applicants that qualify for early entrance to kindergarten will be referred to the JCPS Student Assignment office. The Student Assignment office will assist the family with completing the registration and application process for kindergarten.

Note: Being prepared for kindergarten is more than just mastering the basic academic skills. A child must be prepared academically, socially-emotionally,  and physically. Research shows that children are more likely to transition to kindergarten if they are the same age as their peers. An extended period of early childhood play yields mental health and social emotional developmental gains such as better self-regulation to attention and control. These skills provide a foundation in preparing young children to be successful in school and in life. 

Questions may be directed to the Early Admission Team at jcps.early-entry@jefferson.kyschools.us

Early Admission Petition: Online Application