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4K • Mrs. Barcus

Welcome to 4K! 

Our 4-year-old Kindergarten is taught by Mrs. Barcus with Instructional Aide Mrs. Kroes in to assist. If you are interested in learning a bit more about Wisconsin State Statutes and regulations as they align to Kindergarten courses, please scroll down to find more information provided by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 

A Day in the Life

4K classes take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7:25 a.m. - 2:25 p.m. There are no 4K classes held on Monday or Friday, though many families use Little VIP in Wind Lake for coverage on those days when its needed. Additionally, Dousman Transport Co., our bus company, can provide transportation to Little VIP after school any day that is needed.

A sample schedule in 4K may look like the following:

  • Students start with morning work and social opportunities. This often involves checking in on a skill already learned or revisiting an important concept.
  • Read aloud
  • Students participate in a whole group lesson
  • Students attend a special (Tuesdays: Art, Wednesdays: Library, Thursdays: Physical Education)
  • Snack
  • Mathematics activities and games
  • Lunch & Recess
  • Rest time
  • Read aloud
  • Handwriting (Handwriting Without Tears as a main resource)
  • Snack
  • Recess
  • Choice time through interactive centers with both interactive and parallel play
  • Dismissal


Information from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction:

While Wis. Stat. Sec. 121.02(1)(d), requires all Wisconsin school districts to offer five-year-old kindergarten (5K), school districts have the option of offering four-year-old kindergarten (4K). If they offer 4K, they must make it available to all age-eligible 4-year-olds. The following questions and answers are designed to provide information to parents and school districts about kindergarten admission policies and practices for both 4K and 5K.

  1. At what age can a child enter kindergarten? 

    State law, Wis. Stat. Sec. (118.14(1)(a), specifies that children are eligible for kindergarten based on their age. To be eligible for 4-year-old kindergarten, a child must be 4 on or by September 1 of the school year. To be eligible for 5-year-old kindergarten, a child must be 5 on or by September 1 of the school year.

  2. Are parents required to enroll their 5-year-old children in 5K programs? 

    No. The new law, Act 41, does not require parents to enroll their 5-year-old children in 5-year-old kindergarten. However, Act 41 does prohibit a school board from enrolling a child in first grade unless the child has completed 5-year-old kindergarten or has received an exemption.

  3. If a child turns 4 or 5 after September 1 of the school year; can he or she still enter 4- or 5-year-old kindergarten? 

    That depends on local district policy and practice because Wis. Stat. Sec. 120.12(25), allows school districts to develop policies and procedures to allow early admission to kindergarten and first grade. As long as children are admitted through a district's early admission policy, they can be counted for equalization aid. If you are considering early entry into 4K, 5K or First Grade, please contact your school district. Decisions, policies and procedures related to early entrance are made at the school district level. The DPI is not authorized to make these decisions for individual school districts. If a district does have early entrance procedures, the following procedures are suggested best practices for districts to observe.

    1. A personal meeting with the parents to determine their reasons for requesting entrance prior to the legal age.

    2. An assessment of the child's potential to benefit from early admission and to successfully participate in the grade level, including consideration of emotional stability, social and mental maturity, and physical health.

    3. A process for appeals to the school board. 

  4. What documentation and health records are required for kindergarten entrance? 

    Parents need to provide verification of the child's age. This can be through a birth certificate, passport, baptismal record, or other document that the school district has indicated as acceptable.

    Requirements for health records are guided by statutory language.

    • Wis. Stat. Sec. (120.12(16)(a)(b), requires schools to develop and implement a plan to encourage compliance with state immunizations laws and requires parents to present written evidence that their child has received specific vaccinations. Parents may claim waivers based on personal conviction or religious belief, or a physician may sign a health waiver if the immunization is harmful to the health of the student
    • Neither physical nor dental examinations are required by state statute or code; however, school districts may require or provide physicals.
    • Wis. Stat. Sec. (118.135), requires that schools encourage parents to obtain an eye exam for their child from a licensed practitioner prior to kindergarten entrance.
      Typically, the school will provide health and vision report forms that can be completed by the child's physician to indicate that a child is up-to-date with immunizations and vision and hearing screenings. The form may also be used to indicate any special health care needs of the child. 

      Parents and legal guardians may look up their child's immunization record in the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) by logging on to registry at

      Districts with both 4K and 5K should assure that these policies are consistent and not duplicative.

  5. Does a child have to be tested in order to enter kindergarten? 

    No, entrance to kindergarten is based on age and not on a child's ability.

    Some school districts screen incoming student to assess the skills of the children so they are better able to determine needed support services as well as develop an educational program that meets the needs of the children.

    Some districts use child development days in collaboration with other child-service agencies. This voluntary service helps profession staff to better serve families and children by

    1. Identifying young children who are in need of further assessment.
    2. Educating families about normal child growth and development
    3. Developing community awareness of resources available.
  6. Can a district deny entrance to an age eligible child because there is a concern about the child's "readiness"? 

    No. State statutes clearly define that age is the only criteria required for entrance into kindergarten. The district is responsible for providing a welcoming environment for all age-eligible children and their families through curriculum adaptation, teacher placement options, consultation with school specialists, and referrals for further evaluations.
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  7. If a child is age eligible for kindergarten, can a parent "hold their child out" for one year? 

    Compulsory school age in Wisconsin is 6 years (Wis. Stat. Sec. 118.15), so legally, parents may wait until their child is 6 before sending him or her to school. However, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction encourages parents to send their children to kindergarten when they are age-eligible. If parents have concerns about their child being among the youngest in the class or not socially mature enough for kindergarten, the parent should talk with the staff to learn more about the program and how they can work together for a quality experience for their child. 

    There are several reasons why a child should attend kindergarten with children in their own age range: 

    Advice for Parents Considering Delaying their Child's Entrance: A variety of suggestions for advising parents can be found including: 

    Note: The practice of delaying entrance to kindergarten is met with varied opinions.  You can find more information on the research and practices related to delaying entrance to kindergarten, at "Voices from the Field" and Youngest Kid, Smartest Kid? 
    • All school districts are responsible for meeting the needs of all kindergarten students, regardless of their age or state of development. Kindergarten curriculum is designed to meet the wide variation in development levels of all children.
    • Children arrive in kindergarten with a wide variety of abilities, and that is perfectly normal. There will always be a child who is the youngest - or the oldest.
    • If a child is an English Language Learner, he or she receives support in kindergarten programs to learn English at an early age.
    • Staff are trained to identify problems that may affect a child's ability to learn and provide appropriate services. The earlier the problem is identified, the sooner the child can receive special services that may help overcome the problem and improve his or her ability to achieve throughout the school years.
    • Research indicates that keeping an age-eligible child out of kindergarten does not always result in any long-term benefits.
    • Kindergarten is an important part of a school's educational program and is part of the overall developmental curriculum.
    • Kindergarten instruction promotes learning of many skills that are the foundation of the curriculum through Grade 12. For example, early reading instruction is especially important to all learners.
    • Be clear about the characteristics that cause concern about readiness for kindergarten. Don't delay entrance just because the child is likely to be the youngest in class.
    • Find out what the school expects and check the school's kindergarten screening procedures to help prepare your child before school entry.
    • Find out about the nature of the kindergarten program. Lower class size and "learning center" organization can accommodate greater developmental ranges among children in the class.
    • Consider what the child would be doing if not in kindergarten. Are other quality, affordable preschool opportunities available?
  8. When a district has both 4- and 5-year-old kindergarten, and a child is age-eligible for 5-year-old kindergarten, can the parent place the child in 4-year-old kindergarten? 

    State statutes do not clearly define this situation. The statutes define eligibility for 4K and 5K in terms of age by September 1 of the school year. The statutes also define a district's ability to determine grade level placement.

  9. Can a child who has completed a 4- or 5-year-old kindergarten be "held back" or "retained" at that grade for another year prior to moving into the next grade level? 

    School districts have the ability to "retain" a pupil who has not made progress in a prescribed program, based on established school board policy and/or promotion criteria. Because all school districts are required to offer 5K, districts are required to report 5K retention data on the School Performance Report. Since 4K is an optional program, the district is not required to report 4K retention data.

  10. If a child is enrolled in 5K, does the new law require the child to attend all the time? 

    Yes. This law requires a child who is enrolled in 5-year-old kindergarten in a public or private school to regularly attend kindergarten during the school year.

  11. Does the new law, Act 41, apply to all 5K programs no matter how many hours they operate per day? 

    Yes. The law does not make a distinction in the type of 5K program. Districts may still offer full-day, part-day, or both full and part-day 5K programs. Attendance is mandatory for whatever program the child is enrolled in.

  12. Do any special exceptions to compulsory school attendance apply to enrolled 5K students? 

    The same exceptions to compulsory school attendance under Wis. Stat. Sec. 118.15(3) which apply to older students now also apply to 5K students. More information is available in the DPI publication Answers to Frequently Asked Compulsory School Attendance Questions.

  13. May a parent withdraw a 5-year-old enrolled in 5K from school? 

    The statute does not specifically address whether a parent may withdraw the student and/or whether truancy procedures would then apply. Districts may attempt to enforce truancy provisions and the courts would determine whether those provisions apply. Local Truancy Committees (Wis. Stat. Sec. 118.162) may make recommendations on truancy enforcement for 5-year-olds.

  14. Do any national practices or principles exist for kindergarten entry and placement? 

    Two national associations, the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists/State Departments of Education, have been alarmed at continuing attitudes and practices which erode children's legal rights to enter public school and participate in a beneficial educational program.

    These associations believe that a number of highly questionable practices have resulted from the trend to demand more from kindergarten children; including: inappropriate use of screening and readiness testing, denial or discouragement of entrance for eligible children, the development of segregated transitional classes for children deemed unready for the next traditional level of school, and an increasing use of retention.

    These associations have developed principles for kindergarten entry and placement including:

    • enrollment in kindergarten is based on the legal right to enter;
    • retention is rejected as a viable option for young children;
    • tests used at kindergarten entrance are not used to create barriers to school entry or to sort children into homogeneous groups; and
    • children are welcomed, as they are, into kindergarten settings.


  1. Are district truancy notices to parents required for 5-year-old 5K students who do not attend or are withdrawn? 

    Districts are required to notify parents or legal guardians if their 5-year old 5K student is absent without an acceptable or legal excuse following the same procedures as other students for truancy and habitual truancy. Beyond notice, truancy enforcement steps are controlled by local board polices [Wis. Stat. Sec. 118.15(1)(am)].

  2. Do compulsory school attendance enforcement steps apply to 5-year-old 5K students? 

    The statute does not specifically address whether truancy enforcement procedures would apply. Districts may attempt to enforce truancy provisions, and the courts would determine whether those provisions apply. Local Truancy Committees (Wis. Stat. Sec. 118.162) may make recommendations on truancy enforcement for 5-year-olds.


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