The NYC DOE has a new regulation that states students must attend kindergarten in the year they turn five by December 31st, according to NY1. This seems to contradict a new law enacted in 2012 that set the cut-off date for kindergarten in New York City at December 1st. According to this law it would seem that kids who are five years old by December 1st attend kindergarten in the year they turn five. Others would wait until the following year. But a key word in the law is "authorize". The law states:
The board of education of the Syracuse city school district AND THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK [is] ARE hereby authorized to require minors who are five years of age on or before December first to attend kindergarten instruction.
Authorizing the DOE to make a change to a rule is not the same as requiring it to do so and it seems that the DOE has chosen not to change the cut off date from December 31st to December 1st.
What this means is, of course, that there will be some kids who start kindergarten in September who are just 4 years old but will turn 5 by the end of the year as is currently the case. Currently, parents could opt to not send their children to school that early and have them start kindergarten the following year when they were 5 in September. It's not easy to find a public school in New York City that does this, but they do exist. Starting this year that will no longer be an option. If parents want their child to attend Kindergarten they must do so in the year they turn 5. No exceptions. If they opt not to send them to kindergarten then then must start in 1st grade the following year.
Starting school at such an early age is not appropriate for every child, especially those that have not yet developed the impulse control to be a part of academic learning environment.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the DOE? Should kids start kindergarten at age 5?