550: Entrance Ages

Policy reflects Minnesota statute and aligns with other District 270 policies.

Minnesota Statute requires children to be at least five years of age on September 1 of the school year for which the pupil seeks admission in order to be admitted to kindergarten, but permits school boards to establish a policy for admission of selected pupils at an earlier age.

Recognizing that a limited number of underage children may be ready for or benefit from early school entry, families shall have opportunity to request consideration for entry into or referral to kindergarten children who will turn five before November 1 of the kindergarten year. Since decisions for early entry should be made only after careful deliberation, parents of children who will turn five between September 1 and before November 1 of the kindergarten year are strongly recommended to participate in a District-sponsored parent-education/information session in order for their children to be considered for kindergarten entrance.

This meeting, which shall be well-publicized and conducted on a timely and convenient schedule, will present information designed to help parents/guardians and Hopkins School District staff to reach decisions about the state of kindergarten readiness of children who are less than five years of age by September 1. Candidates for early entrance to kindergarten must also have completed pre-school screening and share the results of the screening with the school early entrance review team. An early entrance review team at the school building of attendance shall assist parents/guardians in making this important decision.

In no case will children be admitted to kindergarten later than 10 days after the official start of the school year.

M.S. requires children to be at least six years of age on September 1 of the school year for which they seek admission, or to have completed kindergarten, in order to be admitted to first grade. Admission of children to other grades shall involve a consideration of chronological age, previous school history, and apparent readiness to meet the expectations of those grades.


Adopted: November 3, 1988
Revised: April 6, 1998, June 19, 2003, January 8, 2009, September 17, 2015, April 7, 2022


Fall Early Entrance Spreadsheet

September through May 1

  •  Parent register for the parent information event with Early Childhood.
  •  Parents are encouraged to attend the Early Childhood Parent meeting (generally this   happens the first week of April). 

• any families moving in after the first week of April and before the elementary committees have met with families, will be asked to view the recorded google meet and will receive the application.

• Once the elementary committees have completed their May process, no further applications will be distributed by Harley.

  •  After the Early Entrance meeting (which is where parents receive the application) parents complete the District application for Early Entrance to Kindergarten, & submit it to the Enrollment Office by May 1st.  The Enrollment Office (EO) will input the application information into the Early Entrance Google spreadsheet (linked above), which records the Early Entrance process and is shared with all administrative assistants.  The EO office will confirm receipt of application with parents and advise them that paperwork has been sent on to the school and that all further questions should be directed to the school.
  •  After the first week of May, parents are instructed to reach out to the elementary admin assistant to confirm receipt.  (This direction is written into the application currently).  The admin assistant may reach out to the parent as well.  during this connection, assessment paperwork is provided to the family by the elementary admin assistant.
  •  Prior to that assessment meeting, parents complete the elementary-provided parent questionnaire, including preschool screening results & preschool references, when possible.
  •  At each elementary school, the scheduled appointment will include:
  • The Kindergarten teacher & elementary counselor will work with the child to assess kindergarten readiness skills, both academic & social/emotional.  Common assessment tools will be used at all schools.
  • The school principal & elementary staff will interview the parents, using a common interview protocol.
  • The school team meets, using a standard rubric, to recommend early entrance to Kindergarten or enrollment the following year with the child's same-aged peers.
  • The principal contacts the parent AND sends a follow-up letter, providing the school determination of early or typical Kindergarten entrance.
  • Principal notifies the Enrollment Center of Early Entrance approvals.
  • This early entrance decision is binding across the district.

June 1-last week of August

After committee meetings are completed, and through summer break:

  • Harley will provide electronic handouts and recorded google meet to elementary school admin for their use during the summer
  • If families move into the district and are interested in Early Entrance, Harley will refer family to their home elementary school.
  • Harley will not provide application or Early Entrance information to families during this time.
  • The school will determine when/if they pur together a committee for early entrance based on the number of summer applicants.

Moving into the next year:

  • Harley will create the Early Entrance spreadsheet for Fall and register families and maintain the spreadsheet throughout the year.

Enrollment Questions answered;

  • Early Entrance families applying for Open Enrollment, and/or In-District Transfer, Juntos Spanish Elementary and XinXing need to submit these applications in accordance with their respective deadlines, as they occur prior to the Early Entrance process.
  • Residents:  Early Entrance applications will be processed along with all others received and if approved, will become place-holders until the Early Entrance process has been completed.  At that time if the child is determined to qualify for Early Entrance, the family moves forward with enrollment into Kindergarten at approved elementary.
  • Open Enrollment Applicants:  Students must be approved for early entrance prior to being eligible to apply for open enrollment.  Enrollment will hold the open enrollment application for process until the family has been notified that the student has been approved for early entrance.  The submission date for the open enrollment application shall be the date the student was approved for early entrance.  Once this is completed, the district's open enrollment placement policy/process is in effect.
  • For all applications:  The decision reached by a principal and their team regarding eligibility/appropriateness will be honored at all elementary buildings.
  • Measures for Distance Learning Routine (in case we need it again)
  • Any family inquiry during the Safe at Home with Distance Learning orders will be given an informative packet by our Parent Educators via email around the process of determining whether or not they should utilize the Early Entrance process.
  • The families will also receive the application in the same email from our ECFE staff so that they may proceed with the Enrolment for Early Entrance.
  • Families will then send the application for Early Entrance to Enrollment, then Enrollment will forward the application and information to the appropriate Elementary School Administration.
  • The Principals and Administrators will then form their committees, assess the student, and form their findings for the student's entry to Kindergarten or not.