MPS adjusts kindergarten policies

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) will implement standardized criteria to determine kindergarten readiness.

The district will now admit children who turn 5 by Oct. 1, as opposed to Sept. 1, its traditional cut-off date. Applications for early enrollment must be in by May 1.

The policy changes would help the district treat students more consistently and respond to individual needs, said Jackie Turner, MPS director of student placement in a statement about the new procedure.

Furthermore, it'll make MPS more competitive with neighboring schools districts, she said.

The policy revisions reflect mounting parent requests for earlier entrance to kindergarten, because of fewer High

Five programs and cutbacks to childcare subsidies.

As part of the early option, candidates will be evaluated in an early-childhood screening that could take up to three hours. A team of district assessors will observe a child &#8220culturally and linguistically” in a kindergarten classroom. Kids must achieve a score of at least 40 on MPS' Beginning Kindergarten Assessment to be granted admission into kindergarten.

Turner said that some kids who turn 5 years old after Sept. 1 have &#8220the academic knowledge, skills and social competencies needed for success in kindergarten.”

Families who want to apply for early enrollment to kindergarten should visit the Student Placement Center, 910 W. Broadway Ave., or call 668-1840. For more information about Minneapolis Public Schools, check out www.mpls.k12.mn.us.