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NEWS RELEASES 2008-09 :: FEBRUARY 3, 2009


The transition from pre-school to elementary school can be an exciting but uncertain time for many students and parents. This month, as North Carolina school districts kick off the kindergarten enrollment period for the 2009-2010 school year, parents are encouraged to register their children early to save time and stress. Due to a change in state law, only children who will turn 5 years old on or by Aug. 31, 2009 will be eligible to register. The revised law moves the legal school entry age up by a month and a half in an effort to reduce drop-out rates in later grades and make sure students are ready for formal school when they begin kindergarten.

"Although the general kindergarten enrollment period lasts until schools start in August, the sooner you begin the registration process, the better," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "Especially with the new changes in state law, parents who contact their school districts, get their records in order and register now will be ahead of the game in the fall and will greatly assist schools in preparing for our youngest new learners."

Before beginning the enrollment process, parents should contact their local school districts to determine which elementary school their child will attend and what information they will need to bring with them for registration. Many elementary schools hold special registration and orientation times to help youngsters make the transition to kindergarten before the school year begins. To register a child, most districts require parents to take the following documents:

  • a certified copy of the child's birth certificate;
  • proof of residence (i.e. current utility bill, property deed or rental lease); and
  • the child's updated immunization record.

North Carolina law also requires that every child have a completed Kindergarten Health Assessment form on or before the first day of school. The form must be completed no more than 12 months before the date of school entry. Kindergarten Health Assessment forms are available at the local school districts and/or local health departments.

For more information about the legal school entry age, visit Additional questions should be directed to the NCDPI Communications division at 919.807.3450.

Help spread the word about kindergarten registration! Download the following posters and display them in schools, childcare centers, health departments and other public locations in your community.

Kindergarten Countdown 1
(pdf, 1.2mb)

Kindergarten Countdown 2
(pdf, 2.2mb)

Kindergarten Countdown 3
(pdf, 2.6mb)

Kindergarten Countdown 4
(pdf, 1.3mb)

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.