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Manteca Unified lowering age for school admission
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School year 2012-2013 in Manteca Unified will have a new enrollment policy in compliance to recent changes in student admissions.

In particular, the revisions will address the new mandated program called transitional kindergarten, or TK. The ultimate impact will be students can enroll at a younger age.

The old policy simply stated that to be admitted to kindergarten, a child must turn 5 on or before Dec. 2 for the current school year, and by the sixth birth date for those enrolling in first grade.

The new law, Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, changes the required birthday for admission to kindergarten and first grade. It also established a transitional kindergarten program which is set to begin at the start of the new school year in August.

Under the new state mandate, and in accordance with the new district policy that the Board of Trustees will consider adopting at their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 24, the following:

“A child shall be eligible for enrollment in kindergarten or first grade, at the beginning of the school year or at a later time in the same year, if the child has his/her fifth or sixth birthday, respectively, on or before one of the following dates:

• Dec. 2 of the 2011-12 school year,

• Nov. 1 of the 2012-13 school year,

• Oct. 1 of the 2013-14 school year,

• Sept. 1 of the 2014-15 school year and each school year thereafter.

“Any child who will have his/her fifth birthday between the date listed above for the applicable school year and Dec. 2 shall be offered transitional kindergarten program in accordance with the law.”

The required birthdates when a child must turn 5 or 6 during the each of the above school-year periods have been staggered so as not to overwhelm the TK class sizes. The transitional kindergarten program is being funded by the state.

General student admission policy remains the same

The general student admission policy for those in kindergarten through 12th grade remains the same. Before they can enroll, students must be able to provide the district evidence of age – by way of a certified copy of birth certificate, certification of the date of birth by a local registrar or the county recorder, a duly attested baptism certificate, passport, or by affidavit of the parent, guardian, or custodian of the minor. They must also provide written evidence showing that they are in compliance with immunization requirements mandated by the California State Department of Health, unless exemption “under applicable law” applies. A photo ID of the parent or guardian also must be presented in person during the time the student is registered, with the district maintaining a copy of the photo ID in the student’s record file.

The law also requires that a child in kindergarten or first grade must have written evidence of a health examination. A state-adopted waiver form is available for parents who want to file an exemption to this requirement. The heath examination record is valid up to 18 months before the start of first grade, that is, March 1 of the calendar year of enrollment in kindergarten.

Students transferring from other schools within California or those from out-of-state who do not have all of the requirements ready at the time of enrollment, such as immunization records, will be admitted conditionally for 30 days pending receipt of those records.

The Board of Trustees will meet Tuesday, July 24, at 6 p.m. for the closed session, convening at 7 p.m. for the meeting that is open to the public. Meetings are held in the board room on the first floor of the district office at 2271 W. Louise Avenue, corner of Airport Way.