Graphic by Emily Metcalf
Graphic by Emily Metcalf
Graphic by Emily Metcalf

HONOLULU – With public school slated to start in a month on August 1, the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is reminding parents about the new kindergarten requirements. Starting this school year, children must be 5 years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten. Also, kindergarten is now mandatory in the State of Hawaii.  Children who meet the age eligibility requirements for kindergarten may enroll in school anytime.

Parents of children born on or after August 1, 2009 have several options such as pre-school at a private provider or pre-kindergarten classes at select schools. Earlier this year, the State’s Executive Office on Early Learning (EOEL) announced 21 pre-kindergarten classrooms will be available at 18 schools statewide for children born on or between August 1, 2009 and July 31, 2010, and who are eligible for free- and reduced-price meals. Priority will be given to children born in 2009 to enroll in these pre-kindergarten classes. More information on the EOEL’s pre-kindergarten classes can be found at http://earlylearning.hawaii.gov/doe-eoel-prekindergarten-program/.

Parents whose children attended kindergarten outside of Hawaii, or at a private school in the 2013-14 school year can discuss enrollment options with their home school. Despite the many possible placement scenarios, the final decision for a child’s placement will be based on the principal’s discussions among the appropriate teaching staff and parents.

“We encourage parents to be aware of the changes and take appropriate action for their children,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Kindergarten is a critical time in ensuring children have a solid academic foundation.”

For more information about enrolling in kindergarten in the State of Hawaii, please visit our website at HawaiiPublicSchools.org, and enter “kindergarten” in the white search box on the home page. Parents can also search under “enrolling in school” to be sure they have the necessary documents to enroll their child, including birth certificate, tuberculosis clearance, a completed student health record, and proof of current address.

About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country.  It is comprised of 255 schools and 33 charter schools, and serves more than 185,000 students.  King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840.  The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org

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