Early Admission to Kindergarten

Kindergarten for JCPS begins with students who turn age 5 on or before August 1 for the 2024-2025 school year. In accordance with KRS 158.031(6), JCPS has established criteria for early admission into kindergarten, for students who have mastered established benchmarks and if the child has above-average skill levels 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 or exceeds predetermined physical, behavioral, academic, and social/emotional criteria established by the Jefferson County Board of Education. Only children that meet or exceed this criteria will be considered for early admission to Kindergarten. 

The online application to petition for early admission will be open between October 1, 2023, and March 1, 2024, for those that feel their child has above-average ability levels and wish to petition the district for early admission to kindergarten.  After the March 1, 2024 deadline, there will not be any opportunities to petition the district for early admission to kindergarten for the 2024-2025 school year. 

Criteria for Early Admission 

  • A child must be a resident of Jefferson County, Kentucky with the intention of enrolling in a JCPS Kindergarten program
  • Screening for private or parochial schools for placement in their kindergarten program is not permitted
  • A child must turn 5 between August 2 and October 1 of the admission year
  • A child must meet or exceed benchmarks on a rigorous early admission screening assessment
  • A child must meet social-emotional, self-help milestone, and reading readiness milestones as measured by the social-emotional/self-help/reading readiness 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
  • The JCPS Early Admission Team will review the application
  • Once an application is approved, the parent/guardian will be contacted by the Early Admission Team to set up an appointment for a screening. 
  • Parent/guardian will receive an email notification with an appointment with the time and format (online) of the assigned screening approximately one week prior to their given screening date
  • The student will be screened by qualified JCPS staff using an online video meetings service such as Zoom, Ring Central, Microsoft Teams, 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 qualifying for early kindergarten admission 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 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. 

For a handy list of kindergarten readiness skills check out the JCPS Kindergarten Readiness Checklist here: Kindergarten Readiness Checklist

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

Early Admission Petition: Online Application