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Since the 2006-2007 academic year, parents are required to enroll their children into Kindergarten IF their child turns 5 years old by September 1 of that particular year.
For example, if a child turns 5 on August 31, 2011 (or earlier), a parent must contact their local public school in May or June of 2011 to enroll their child in kindergarten for the upcoming Fall school year. If a child turns 5 on September 2, 2011 (or later), the parent waits until May or June of 2012 to enroll their child in Kindergarten.
The following exceptions are allowed to this compulsory school-age law:
- Parents may file a written request with their school district to request a one-year waiver from Kindergarten if they feel their child is not mature enough for school, yet. The child must be registered in Kindergarten the following year when he turns 6.
- A child is exempt from Kindergarten at the age of 5 if she is enrolled in a full-time licensed child care center; a full-time registered family day care home; or attending a part-time Head Start 5-year old program.
- Parents who file an Intent to Homeschool form with their local school board and are in compliance with Maryland homeschool regulations for providing "regular and thorough instruction" that is usually given in Kindergarten.
NOTE: Parents who plan to homeschool their children but wish to wait until their child turns 6 must still file a maturity waiver with their school district.
As long as a child is between the ages of 5 and 18, parents must file a Notice of Intent to Homeschool form with the county school board liaison. This form, required under Maryland regulations, must be filed 15 days before a parent can begin to homeschool their child.
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