Enrollment » Kindergarten Enrollment

Kindergarten Enrollment

Kindergarten is mandatory in Hawaiʻi.

 

Children must be 5 years old on or before July 31 to enter kindergarten in the upcoming school year.  For example, children who are 5 years old by July 31, may enroll for the upcoming school year.  Children who turn 5 on August 1 or later must enroll in the following school year.

 

Parents whose children attended kindergarten outside of Hawaiʻi or at a private school can discuss enrollment options with our administrators.  With many possible placement scenarios, the final decision for a child's placement will be based on the principal's discussions with parents and the appropriate teaching staff.

 

The Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (MIC3) rule is:
 
Kindergarten and First grade entrance age – Students shall be allowed to continue their enrollment at grade level in the receiving state commensurate with their grade level (including Kindergarten) from a LEA in the sending state at the time of transition, regardless of age. In the case of a Kindergarten student, the student must have been enrolled and attended class in the sending state in order to assure continued attendance in Kindergarten in the receiving state. A student that has satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade level in the local education agency in the sending state shall be eligible for enrollment in the next highest grade level in the receiving state, regardless of age. A student transferring after the start of the school year in the receiving state shall enter the school in the receiving state on their validated level from an accredited school in the sending state. 
  1. Any student who transfers from an out-of-state public school and who does not meet regular age requirements for admission to the school of the state being transferred into shall be admitted upon presentation of the data required in subsection (3). 
  2. Any student who transfers from an out-of-state nonpublic school and who does not meet regular age requirements for admission to a public school in the state being transferred, shall be admitted if the student meets age requirements for public schools within the state from which he or she is transferring, and if the transfer of the student’s academic credit is acceptable under rules of the school board. Prior to admission, the parent or guardian must also provide the data required in subsection (3). 
  3. In order to be admitted into a school of the state being transferred, such a student transferring from an out-of-state school must provide the following data: 
    1. Official documentation that the parent(s) or guardian(s) were resident(s) of the state in which the child was previously enrolled in school; 
    2. An official letter or transcript from the proper school authority which shows record of attendance, academic information, and grade placement of the student; 
    3. Documented evidence of immunization against communicable diseases; and 
    4. Evidence of date of birth. 

For more information about enrolling in kindergarten, please visit the Department's webpage on kindergarten and Frequently Asked Questions.

Parents of children younger than the mandatory kindergarten age have several educational options.
 
Families may opt for pre-school at private providers, pre-kindergarten classes available at 19 select schools statewide, and also through Head Start.  Visit the Department's Early Learning webpage for more details on pre-kindergarten programs.