Hauppauge school officials voted unanimously Tuesday night to change the entrance age for incoming kindergarten students.
Hauppauge Board of Education accepted Superintendent Patricia Sullivan-Kriss's recommendation to change the entrance age of incoming kindergarten students under policy 5140 to Dec. 1, instead of Dec. 31 of a given year, as has been the district's policy for several years.
"Through the years members of teaching staff, including kindergarten teachers, have asked me repeatedly to bring this forward to board to have us be in line with other districts in the area. Maturationally, some kids very young when they enter kindergarten," Sullivan-Kriss said.
Hauppauge Public Schools is one of a few school districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties who previous said as long a child turned 5 years old by Dec. 31 of a given school year, they could enter kindergarten, according to the superintendent.
The policy has been changed out of not only concern for the maturity of students, but staff's feelings that some students could benefit going through another year of preschool.
"We discussed some of our students are coming to us from preschool with special needs it would be better if they had that extra year in preschool and received services there," Sullivan-Kriss said.
The entrance age policy will take effect immediately in the Hauppauge School District.
Parents of those children registered to enter kindergarten this fall, whose birthday falls between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31 will be personally contact by their elementary building's principal, according to the superintendent. The parents will have the choice of having their child enter kindergarten or pulling the child out to start in 2013-14 school year.
The superintendent and Board of Education stressed this year's parents will be the only ones given this option, as the policy change comes less than a month before school's first day. Parents may have issues finding preschool or other child care if a student is pulled out.