Early kindergarten entrance - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester schools may allow some 4-year-olds to start kindergarten

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Rochester Public Schools could soon be offering early entrance for kindergarten to kids at age four. But it's not just any 4-year-olds, and it wouldn't be just up to the parents to determine their child's readiness.

Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Rochester Public Schools, Jean Lubke explains that entrance would be based on whether or not the child is "highly gifted."

At this point there's only one student in the district who has gone through and passed the testing that would be required. Charlotte Voss misses the cut-off date by just two months. Her older brother was in the opposite situation. He started school a year later.

Kathy Voss explains her situation saying, "There is a difference between a bright child who is just a little precocious and like a gifted child or a child who was reading at two like she was."

Many parents say if their child is ready, they fear boredom will set in before they're able to be engaged in a classroom.

Patrick Nah says of his daughter, "She can talk well, she holds a pen at the age of three and writes and colors so I think it's necessary, rather than waiting for the age of five, that she could go at 4."

It would be on an individual basis and school officials stress that actually few students are truly ready but believe it's important to bring back the option for those that are.

Stacy Lequire says, "We try to make kids this cookie cutter that they are all ready at five and everything that they do they develop at a different speed."

The school board will vote on August 21.

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