Early Entrance

The Early Entrance application deadline is February 15.

Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District has developed standardized criteria and procedures to allow for careful consideration of parents’ requests for early entrance to kindergarten and first grade.  Early entrance and admission age information is also available by reading Board of Education Policy No. 421.

Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District follows Wisconsin law which specifies that, to enter kindergarten or first grade, children must be five years of age by September 1st of their kindergarten year or six years of age by September 1st of their first grade year. Occasionally, exceptions are made for children whose potential and skills are in the very superior range to apply for early entrance into kindergarten or first grade.

Early entrance is not available for the MCPASD four-year-old kindergarten program (4K). Students who attend four-year-old kindergarten must be four years old on or before September 1 in the year he/she proposes to enter four-year-old kindergarten. Attendance or non-attendance in four-year-old kindergarten does not preclude a family from applying for early entrance to kindergarten or first grade.

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District has identified early entrance to kindergarten or first grade as full-grade acceleration, appropriate for those students who are intellectually gifted. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has defined intellectually gifted, versus those being specific academic gifted, as:

Intellectually Gifted children show early and rapid development of language ability; large vocabulary; strong powers of reasoning, analysis and/or synthesis; and advanced ability in critical thinking and problem-solving. Typically, these children are noted for being several years beyond their peers in their cognitive ability. In addition, they understand complex concepts, draw inferences between content areas and enjoy hypothesizing.

Specific Academic Gifted children who show early and rapid development of interest and ability in one or more of the specific academic areas of literacy, science, social studies, or math. Their vocabulary, enthusiasm, memory and recall for their area of giftedness are often outstanding. They demonstrate strong powers of reasoning, analysis and/or synthesis, and advanced ability in critical thinking and problem-solving in their subject area. Achievement or ability testing in their area shows high aptitude for the subject(s). 

Current enrollment for Kindergarten or first grade will be a factor in whether early admission is granted or the school the child may attend if granted early enrollment. However, additional assessments may be done and completion of a Kindergarten or first grade program alone will not meet early entrance criteria. Parents should not presume that the child’s neighborhood school will be the school assigned for early admission.

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Please Consider

The decision for a child to enter school early can have a profound effect on his or her academic and social performance for the remainder of the child’s school career. It is a decision that needs to be taken very seriously.

Research indicates that early entrance and/or early reading ability is not a predictor of success in school. In fact, children with strong early reading skills often plateau by third grade. Children who enter kindergarten or first grade early may demonstrate social or emotional difficulties due to their relative immaturity. As they progress through school, children who are young for their grade level may have more difficulty fitting in with their peers in social situations. These and other possible effects of being younger than others in their classes should be considered carefully. Very few children screened meet the criteria to enter kindergarten or first grade early.

How to Request Early Entrance

  1. Parents/guardians seeking early entry for their child will make a written request (not e-mail) to the Director of Elementary Education (MaryBeth Paulisse) at the District Services Center (7106 South Avenue, Middleton WI 53562) postmarked by February 15 of the previous school year. This letter of request should include the child's full name, date of birth, grade level into which early entrance is being sought, and parent contact information (names, phone numbers, emails and mailing addresses[es]).

  2. District staff will send a screener for parents to complete. These screeners must be submitted to the District by March 1st to ensure completion of needed assessments prior to registration deadlines. Children meeting achievement and behavioral criteria on the screener will be referred for additional evaluation.

  3. Parents will receive a call from district staff, usually a school psychologist, who will discuss additional assessments that are needed and schedule a date and time to begin the assessments.  Additional assessments will consist of: 

  1. Cognitive assessment

  2. Academic Assessment in reading and mathematics

  3. Iowa Acceleration Scale based upon observation, interview and formal assessment results as determined by the District, to determine academic ability, achievement levels and developmental readiness for Kindergarten.

  4. Other assessments as determined by the District may be administered based upon the results from any of the above assessments.

Please note that these assessments will be administered in order. Students not meeting district criteria in a particular assessment will not be assessed further.

  1. Once assessments are completed, a written summary of the student’s performance compared to district standards as well as whether the request is approved or not will be sent to the parents/guardians. 

  2. A student moving into the District after the start of the school year who is younger than the state’s September 1st cut off date, and has attended a four-year-old oOne Columnr other kindergarten program will not automatically be admitted to kindergarten. The early entrance evaluation team will consult and determine how to proceed with the evaluation.