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Full-Day Kindergarten Information
C.R.S. 22-32-119. Kindergartens. (1) A board of education shall establish and maintain full-day or half-day kindergarten educational programs in connection with the schools of its district for the instruction of children one year prior to the year in which the children would be eligible for admission to the first grade. A board may prescribe courses of training, study, and discipline and rules governing the kindergarten educational programs. The kindergarten educational programs must be a part of the public school system, and the school district must pay the cost of establishing and maintaining the kindergarten educational programs from the general school fund.
See below for some important legislation regarding full-day kindergarten in Colorado.
Full-day kindergarten - legislative declaration C.R.S. 22-32-119.5
(1) (a) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:
(I) Rigorous research proves that full-day kindergarten is an effective way of improving a child’s academic performance;
(II) Research shows that children who have academic success are less likely to drop out of school and more likely to graduate from high school and enter an institution of higher education, leading them to higher-paying jobs that provide for a strong economy in the state;
(III) Studies show that full-day kindergarten educational programs address achievement gap issues and promote student achievement;
(IV) All children in Colorado deserve the chance to attend a full day of kindergarten, as the benefits of full-day kindergarten continue throughout a child’s educational experience and set the tone for future academic success.
(b) The general assembly further finds and declares that while the benefits of full-day kindergarten educational programs are evident, determining an approach to phase in full-day kindergarten educational programs is the first step toward potentially offering full-day kindergarten educational programs statewide. The development of a plan by each local board of education that is not offering a full-day kindergarten educational program as of the 2019-20 school year to phase in a full-day kindergarten educational program at the district level is essential to ensure that the appropriate mechanisms are in place to support and maintain high-quality, full-day kindergarten educational programs in Colorado.
(2) Each local board of education that is not offering a full-day kindergarten educational program as of the 2019-20 school year shall develop a plan to potentially phase in a full-day kindergarten educational program in the school district. In developing the plan, each local board shall consider the following:
(a) Available space in existing school district facilities for a full-day kindergarten program;
(b) The need and cost of new school district facilities necessary to offer a full-day kindergarten program, including but not limited to, the cost associated with construction, acquisition, reconfiguration, or renovation of new or existing facilities;
(c) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2019.)
(d) Professional development and staffing needs;
(e) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2019.)
(f) A plan for parent and community outreach and enrollment processes; and
(g) The anticipated enrollment in a full-day kindergarten program, including the percentage of eligible children in the school district that will choose to enroll in the program.
(3) Each local board of education that is not offering a full-day kindergarten educational program as of the 2019-20 school year shall submit its plan to phase in a full-day kindergarten educational program to the department of education on or before July 1, 2020. A school district that has developed a full-day kindergarten plan within the five years before July 1, 2020, may submit the previously developed plan to the department in lieu of developing a plan pursuant to this section.
(4) Nothing in this section:
(a) Requires a child to attend a full day of kindergarten; or
(b) Prohibits a school district from offering a half-day kindergarten educational program.
(c) (Deleted by amendment, L. 2019.)
Kindergarten Attendance Requirements
Compulsory school attendance C.R.S. 22-33-104
(1) (a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, every child who has attained the age of six years on or before August 1 of each year and is under the age of seventeen years, except as provided by this section, shall attend public school for at least the following number of hours during each school year:
(I) One thousand fifty-six hours if a secondary school pupil;
(II) Nine hundred sixty-eight hours if an elementary school pupil in a grade other than kindergarten;
(III) Nine hundred hours if a full-day kindergarten pupil; or
(IV) Four hundred fifty hours if a half-day kindergarten pupil.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), a school or schools shall not be in session for fewer than one hundred sixty days without the specific prior approval of the commissioner of education.
(c) A student who participates in an online program or online school pursuant to the provisions of article 30.7 of this title shall be deemed to attend school in accordance with the requirements of this subsection (1).
(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require a child who begins attending preschool or kindergarten at five or six years of age to advance to first grade in the following school year. A parent of a child who began attending preschool or kindergarten at five or six years of age may notify the child’s school of the parent’s wish that the child not advance to first grade in the following school year, and a school that receives such notice shall not advance the child to first grade in the following school year.