GREEN RIVER — The Wyoming Legislature recently changed the kindergarten entry age in Wyoming, making it so kids must be five-years-old by August 1 to enroll in kindergarten rather than the previous timeline of September 15. This will go into effect for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Sweetwater County School District (SCSD) No. 2 Board of Trustees heard the legislative mandate during the school board meeting Tuesday night, in which they approved it with two protest votes coming from Chairman Steve Core and Trustee Mark Sanders.
“I am not in favor of this, even though it’s a legislative mandate. So out of protest, I’m voting no,” Core said.
The Board of Trustees was concerned about the effects this change would have on the district’s junior kindergarten program, which operates as a classroom to better prepare students for kindergarten.
SCSD No. 2 Human Resources Director Jason Fuss, and Curriculum Director Greg Figenser said it could have potential impacts on the junior kindergarten program, as they typically have about five to 10 kids who fall in the “very late category” that they pull from to put into the program.
The new mandate cuts 45 days out of the enrollment deadline.
“It is a concern that the 45 days is no longer now something that we can consider, and would potentially have an impact on how many junior kindergarten [spots] we can fill,” Figenser said.
The mandate does include an option for parental request to register a student in kindergarten in the year his or her birthday falls on or before September 15. However, this will only be granted if the kindergarten readiness assessment determines the student is mature enough to attend kindergarten, both academically and socially.
Additionally, parents can opt to hold their kids back a year before registering them for kindergarten.
Core asked Fuss to do some research to figure out why the Wyoming Legislature decided to change the entry age.
Fuss said he would look into it. He added that the district wants an entry age policy in place so they can start kindergarten readiness assessments by January or February 2021.
The district will hear this mandate on second reading at their November meeting.