With expectation of what should be learned in kindergarten growing, the Spearfish School Board is considering implementing junior kindergarten as a way for Spearfish children to learn to socialize and play, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The program would help provide an equal playing field to children who may otherwise not have had exposure to early educational programs prior to entering kindergarten.
Children must be five years of age on September 1 to attend kindergarten per South Dakota law. With some children entering kindergarten at just five years old, and others at five-and-a-half, there can be large discrepancies in learning levels. If a junior kindergarten is implemented, the goal would be to have junior kindergarteners at the same level by the end of the year as kindergarteners are after the first trimester.