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Frequently Asked Conventional Non-Public School Questions - Kindergarten

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Is there a birthday cutoff date for students to be admitted in to a non-public school kindergarten program?

No.  Non-public school laws give such schools the freedom to establish their own policies regarding the age cutoff for admission. 

See G.S. 115C-554 & G.S. 115C-562

For example, a non-public school may require that the child turn age 5 by November 1 of the school year during which the child seeks admission to its kindergarten program.

Also, see the third and fourth questions below.

Must non-public school kindergarten programs operate on full day schedules?

No.  Non-public school kindergartens may utilize a half-day schedule all year long, if the school so desires.

What is the Public Schools of North Carolina birthday cutoff date for children to be eligible for kindergarten enrollment?

The child must have reached his/her 5th birthday on or before August 31 of the school year for which the child is seeking kindergarten enrollment. 

See G.S. 115C-364.

Will there be any potential legal ramifications for the student or parent if a non-public school chooses to set its kindergarten entrance age cutoff date later than the Public Schools of North Carolina?

Yes.  G.S. 115C-288a grants to the principal of a local public school authority to grade and classify students presented for enrollment in his/her school. 

There is a distinct possibility that the public school principal may not move a younger non-public school kindergarten student in to his/her public school first or second grade. 

Read the Attorney General's Office Legal Opinion on this subject.

In addition, non-public schools which use a kindergarten entry cutoff date later than August 31 may encounter some problems with the NC Division of Child Development involving its Child Care statutes as well as its Rules and Regulations.

Also, read the FAQs about non-public school student transfers in to local public schools.

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