Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the cut-off date for kindergarten entry in New Jersey?

A. Local school districts can establish a cut-off date for kindergarten entry on October 1 or later.  Residents must follow their local school board policies regarding cut-off dates.
N.J.S.A.18A:38-5 - Admission of Pupils Underage

Q.  Can my child be admitted to first grade after transferring from a kindergarten program in an out-of-district public or private school?

A. Regardless of whether the child has attended kindergarten, no board of education is required to accept a transfer student from public or private school who has not turned six by October 1 of that school year. However, the board can admit any pupil if he or she meets such entrance requirements as established by rules or regulations of the board in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:38-5.

Q. Is kindergarten mandatory in New Jersey?

A. Kindergarten is not required under state law with the exception of certain school districts mandated to offer kindergarten due to high concentrations of lower-income families.  However, most school districts provide at least half-day kindergarten for five-year-old students.

Q. What is the cut-off date for preschool entry in New Jersey?

A. The cut-off date for entry to preschool is the same as the district’s cut-off date for kindergarten.  A child must be three by the district’s cut-off date.

The only exception would be for children with disabilities who are eligible for preschool any time during the school year after reaching their third birthday.

Q. Is preschool mandatory in New Jersey?

A. Some districts with high concentrations of lower income families must offer preschool, but it is not mandatory for a parent to send his or her child to a preschool program.

Q. What can you do if your child or another student is being bullied?

A. Parents should report the incident(s) to their child’s teacher.  If the teacher cannot resolve the issue, it may be necessary to take the matter to the school or district administration.  Schools are encouraged to promote safe schools and have bullying policies in place in accordance with N.J.A.C. 16-7.9.  For additional information and resources on bullying, visit: http://www.nj.gov/education/students/safety/behavior/hib/

Q. Can a New Jersey school district adopt a dress code policy?

A. Yes.  New Jersey  school districts can adopt a dress code policy in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:11-8.

Q. Can a New Jersey school district retain a student? 

A. Yes.  Local boards of education must adopt policies and procedures for pupil promotion and remediation in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:35-4.9.

Q. How many days can a student be absent from school?

A.  Local boards of education must adopt policies and procedures regarding attendance of students in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.8It is important to know the district’s attendance rules before the school year begins.  The rules are often included in student handbooks.