Compulsory School Attendance Age

Esther - posted on 01/04/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I was looking up at which age kids are required to start attending school in my state and I found a list of the compulsory attendance laws by state and was kind of surprised (and in some cases somewhat shocked) to see how long some states allow kids to stay home. In Pennsylvania and Washington, kids do not have to attend school until they are 8 years old. That seems extremely late to me. What do you all think?

http://www.schoolengagement.org/Truancyp...

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Danielle - posted on 09/25/2011

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It also depends on the school district also. I live in Pennsylvania. Our school district said 7 is the highest age for kindergartion.

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I think Kindergarten is optional in Tennessee where I live, but most kids go because it's free. Kids can go into first garde at 6, but some are nearly 7 when they start.

There are pleanty of pre-school places, but most of them are private. I pay $120 per month for my 4 year old to attend 2 days per week. There are cheaper options out there, but I like this one and it's right next to my house.

Jodi - posted on 01/09/2010

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In Australia it is state based, but where I live, the age is 6 (I think all the states may be the same, but I couldn't be certain on that - I know WA has some pretty wacky school system). Pre-school, prior to that, is not compulsory. I personally think it should be, because it provides the children with those basic skills they need to start school (not academic ones, but independence and social skills, teamwork, etc).

With regard to the drop out age, it used to be 15 here, but it has recently been increased to 17 unless the child has entered a trade or a Tafe course of some sort, etc. I am not 100% across this new legislation because it doesn't affect me yet, but it is forcing kids to stay at school. I am also not sure who is held responsible, or what the penalties are, so we'll see if it works.

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In Louisiana kids don't have to attend kindergarten, they can legally start at first grade. Most kids do attend kindergarten because it is free. Pre-K is a different story. In my public school district it is $300/month!!!! So ridiculus, I mean who can afford that?? I don't understand the law because the state curriculum starts at pre-k and builds on itself. HELLO...you are asking for kids to be behind if you don't provide free pre-k and make it law that everyone has to go.



I have a friend that teaches first grade and has only ever had one kid that didn't attend kindergarten at all. It was special circumstances, he was in foster care, etc. Most kids to go, but I still think it needs to be law.

Amie - posted on 01/05/2010

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Quoting Lindsay:

The amount of public PreK programs aren't very easy to get into here either. I don't know about the state as a whole but in my city you can only enroll the child for the PreK at the elementary school district you are living in. The school Madeline and Cooper are in has 1 PreK teacher and it's a half day class. So that's 40 open spots for our district. They have 6 full day Kindergarten classes so that gives you an idea of the demand to get into PreK. Madeline was put on the list when she was 2 for the following year. She got in this year, when she was 4. Cooper is in speech so he was technically supposed to be reserved a spot for his "need". He passed the evaluation saying that he didn't really need speech when he clearly did. I pushed my way through and finally got him a spot for this year so he was able to continue with his speech program. And he will automatically get to return next year since he's already in. And since Madeline is a "normal" student, we pay the public elementary school $200 a month for her to attend. I can't complain because they have done so well with it and Cooper has made HUGE progress since school started. But my biggest issue is that if I wasn't home, there is no way they would be able to attend. It needs to be more readily available and accessable for all families regardless of their work and financial status.


=O OMG. That's insane. It's $45 a month here.





Here's the really stupid part though. For the entire year of public school that my oldest two now attend, it's $5 per kid.

Sarah - posted on 01/05/2010

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Cadence is one of the very youngest in her class. She started when she was 4 (only just 4) she was totally ready for it tho, she'd been going to nursery 5 afternoons a week, and i just kinda knew that she was ready for school. I could have kept her back a year, but as i said i personally didn't see the need to.

I think 5 is about right really. I don't think Cadence would be doing so well as she is if she was at home with me instead of at school! :)

Lindsay - posted on 01/04/2010

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The amount of public PreK programs aren't very easy to get into here either. I don't know about the state as a whole but in my city you can only enroll the child for the PreK at the elementary school district you are living in. The school Madeline and Cooper are in has 1 PreK teacher and it's a half day class. So that's 40 open spots for our district. They have 6 full day Kindergarten classes so that gives you an idea of the demand to get into PreK. Madeline was put on the list when she was 2 for the following year. She got in this year, when she was 4. Cooper is in speech so he was technically supposed to be reserved a spot for his "need". He passed the evaluation saying that he didn't really need speech when he clearly did. I pushed my way through and finally got him a spot for this year so he was able to continue with his speech program. And he will automatically get to return next year since he's already in. And since Madeline is a "normal" student, we pay the public elementary school $200 a month for her to attend. I can't complain because they have done so well with it and Cooper has made HUGE progress since school started. But my biggest issue is that if I wasn't home, there is no way they would be able to attend. It needs to be more readily available and accessable for all families regardless of their work and financial status.

JL - posted on 01/04/2010

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I think it is absurd that most states don't provide enough public pre-K programs. Hello, you want to fnd a way to alleviate the need for Affirmative Action and end the cycle of poverty..then start every child off on a fair base when it comes to education.....make sure every child has access to a decent pre-K program to begin with.



In the state of Georgia there is a free full-day pre-K program that is a part of the headstart program, but it only provides for a limited number of classes for each county. You have to sign your kid up the Spring before the school year they would start and their name is thrown into a lottery.They draw the exact number of kids that the classrooms can hold and it is like 2 to 3 classrooms in each area. Your talking 1000s of families vying for 40 slots. The schools each have maybe 2 to 3 full-day pre-k classrooms and it is first sign up first serve and there are crap loads of parents who sign up their kids for those slots hoping their kid gets in.



If you cannot get your kid into one of the minimum number of free programs then you have to look for a paid program...a reasonably priced yet qualified educational program..those are far and few between and most are part time. Many parents cannot afford the decent pre-K programs so they end up putting their kids on the waiting lists for the free and even if an opening does not come up until the last 2 months of the school year they take it.



It irritates me because you have some kids coming in far more prepared and others not as prepared because of Pre-K. Yes, some of the kids who don't get into pre-K are lucky enough to have parents at home preparing them educationally,but some don't have the time or the ability to do so and those kids end up always being behind constantly trying to catch up and are held back in Kindergarten.

Lindsay - posted on 01/04/2010

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Wow! I just looked up Kentucky and as far as I can see, it is required. The first day of school is typically the second Wed. in August and any child turning 5 by Oct. 1 can enroll. All of our public school are full-day Kindergarten as well.

JL - posted on 01/04/2010

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Heck I was shocked when I moved to Georgia and found out that state laws don't require kids to attend Kindergarten..SAY WHAT!?

Amie - posted on 01/04/2010

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Depending on the province school age for Canada is between 4-7. Haven't found out which provinces it starts at 7 though, still looking. In Saskatchewan ours start when they turn 5. However they can start when they are 4 if they are ready and have completed pre-kindergarten. It is not a prerequisite for kindergarten though. All children across Canada must attend school until they are at least 16, except in Ontario and New Brunswick where the mandatory age is 18.

The way it works though is that a child must turn 5 by the end of the beginning half of the school year. Jonathan turned 5 in September, if his birthday had been in January he would have had to wait until next year to start. It keeps the kids that are relatively the same age together.

I think 5 is a good age for them. Most Kindergarten classes are still half days. A few around our city have gone to full day kindergarten. Some kids handle it well. Others not so much. Jonathan it has benefited greatly. He loves going to school and was actually quite miffed the last week of Christmas holidays because he wasn't going. lol!

While searching too I found out that only 8% of students attend private schools. The minority of those are elite with a lot of prominence and prestige one would think of when thinking private school. It is not uncommon for the rich in Canada to send their kids to public school. The majority of private schools are religion based. There are also some that are used to study outside of the country but follow our curriculum. I never even thought of private school for our kids so it was interesting to find that stuff out.

Esther - posted on 01/04/2010

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In Holland kids have to start attending school on the first day of the month following their 5th birthday. So if they turn 5 on October 15, they'd have to start attending on November 1. Most kids therefore find themselves starting school when they are 4 so they can go through a full school year and not join late in the year. I guess it's just what I'm used to so it seems like a good age to me. Of course I've never been the parent of a 4 year old yet, so that might make me change my mind, but then again Lucas has been going to daycare since he was 12 weeks old and they already have an age appropriate curriculum for all the kids at that daycare. For example, Lucas just turned 2 and some of the goals for his class are to learn to count to 20, know the days of the week, use words like "please" and "thank you", increase their vocabulary, encourage the use of a potty etc. All age appropriate. As he gets older the goals will become more challenging and more academically focused. I think I'll probably be OK with him going to a more formal school setting when he's 4 or 5 (I have the option of having him go through Kindergarten at his daycare).

Lindsay - posted on 01/04/2010

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Wow! 7-8 seems entirely too late for me! I think 6 is a good age for the requirement because I could understand if the birthday fell around the start of school. Cooper will be turning 5 within his first week of Kindergarten more than likely. But I could see a parent holding a child off until the following year when it falls so close. I was also shocked to see kids being able to drop out as young as 15. I really think it should be 18 unless they graduate before then.

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