LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A new state law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, that will require any Nevada student entering kindergarten to be five years old on the first day of school. However, the Nevada State Department of Education is allowing for some flexibility on this first academic year. (See statement below)

In a memo, Superintendent Jhone M. Ebert said that it is in the best interest of the students who fall in this window to be allowed to continue to the next grade level. Adding that the this would include both 4-year-olds who have attended one year of pre-kindergarten and are ready to advance to kindergarten, as well as 5-year-olds who have attended one year of kindergarten and are ready to advance to first grade, even if their birthdate falls within the window.

Prior to the law, there had been some wiggle room that allowed for students to start school as long as they turned 5 by Sept. 30.

School start dates vary depending on private and public schools but most start by mid-August. This change will mostly impact families who were planning to enroll their 4-year-old — who will turn 5 shortly after school starts — into kindergarten.

This change would impact close to 2,200 students in CCSD and could cause some parents to scramble to find a pre-K program, or even repeat a program until their child meets the age requirement the following school year.

Allegra Demerjian with the Nevada Department of Education explained the law noting that state schools will not have to adhere to this new law until July 1, 2022 and further clarified that parents will have an option to choose to have their child start Kindergarten in the fall of next year or have them wait until fall of 2023.

Overview of the change:

Effective July 1, 2022, the Kindergarten qualification cut-off date will change from September 30 to the first day of school, which is August 9, 2022 in Clark County School District. By this cut-off date, children must be five years old in order to qualify for Kindergarten in a Nevada public school. It should be noted that the first day of school is established at the school district level, so this date range will vary for districts throughout the State. This change was established in Senate Bill 102, passed in the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session.

Options for Nevada parents:

As clarified in a memo from Superintendent Jhone Ebert, for the 2022-23 school year, parents of children who will turn five years old during the window between August 9 – September 30, 2022 have the option to decide whether they would like to have their children start Kindergarten in fall 2022, or to have them wait until fall 2023. The attached memo provides Nevada’s school districts and State Public Charter School Authority with the permission to act based on the parent’s decision.

Allegra Demergian, Public Information Officer for the Nevada Department of Education

At CCSD, children currently enrolled in pre-kindergarten or kindergarten and whose fifth birthday falls before September 30, 2022 will be allowed to continue to the next grade level. The first day of school for the district schools is August 8.

Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, students will need to be at least five years of age by the first day of school to enroll in Kindergarten. Online registration for the 2022-2023 school year begins in April 2022.

Before the new law took effect, students had to be at least five years of age by September 30 of that school year. It is anticipated that approximately 2,200 kids locally could be affected.

Please note that any student currently enrolled in and on track to complete pre-kindergarten or kindergarten will be allowed to continue to the next grade level at the start of the upcoming school year (2022-2023) if the child turns five or six between the first day of school and September 30, 2022.

Clark County School District

Senate Bill 102 was passed by the Nevada Legislature during the past session. The sponsor Republican State Senator Scott Hammond pushed for the change saying students are better prepared if they wait until they are 5 years old.

The bill would effectively assure that children entering first grade are 6 years old and children entering second grade are 7 years old.