ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — August 22, 2008 — DoDEA will make an important change to its entrance age eligibility requirement that will affect the Kindergarten Program for the 2009-2010 School Year. The entrance eligibility birth date will be adjusted from October 31 to September 1. That means a child must be five years old by September 1 to enroll in kindergarten. The change aligns DoDEA with national trends as well as the age requirement in many military-impacted states.
This change will also affect students in DoDEA's Pre-Kindergarten, Sure Start, and first grade programs. A child must be four years old by September 1 to attend Pre-Kindergarten or Sure Start and six years old by September 1 to attend first grade.
"DoDEA wants to inform families about this change well in advance so everyone can plan ahead to make the beginning of their child's educational journey a rewarding experience," said DoDEA Director, Dr. Shirley A. Miles.
This decision is the result of careful consideration and coordination between parents, educators, and administrators as well as extensive coordination with the Military Services. Current trends were reviewed and researched, resulting in a recommendation to change the minimum entrance age requirement.
During the 2009-2010 School Year, exceptions to this change will accommodate all students who have attended a DoDEA Kindergarten in the 2008-2009 School Year and families who move under Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders after the start of the school year and whose dependents are already enrolled in an accredited kindergarten or first grade.
Defense Dependents Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) Pre-Kindergarten programs; DoDEA Preschool Services for Children with Disabilities (PSCD); and other Pre-Kindergarten programs will not be grandfathered in, but will be allowed to attend the DoDEA programs for an additional year if they do not meet the new entrance age. Families should coordinate with their school principal for further details.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.