'Highly gifted' 4-year-olds allowed to go to school - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

'Highly gifted' 4-year-olds allowed to go to school


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- If you have a youngster at home under the age of five, you'll want to read this. They could now be starting school as young as 4-years old.

Tuesday evening the Rochester School Board voted to allow some 4-year olds to jump start their education as kindergartners. The most important part of this story is to realize only "some" 4-years old, recognized as "highly gifted" will be allowed into classes early.

It was a unanimous vote among board members. Whether or not parents think their child is ready for a school at the age of four,  a team of professional within the district will decide that. The children will go through a psychological evaluation, a social evaluation and an academic procedure to make sure they're ready. Before voting Tuesday evening, board members discussed some key concerns of some parents within the district.

"This does not mean that 4-year olds are all going to be automatically eligible to go to kindergarten. This is not going to be something out of convenience that parents can say I'm going to send my kids to school at four, doesn't work that way," stated board member, Gary Smith.

"Bottom line is we want them to be successful and just having the academic piece is not all of it. They also need to have the social part as well and we need to look at both factors,' stated Superintendent Michael Munoz.

At this point there is only one student in the district who has gone through and passed the required testing.

We're told if you think your 4-year old child is "highly gifted" there is still time for them to take the tests this summer and become enrolled for fall classes.

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