The city Department of Education is proposing a few changes to its discharge policies concerning students moving out of the country and allowing parents to choose to have their students skip kindergarten.
The proposed regulations make a clearer distinction between transfers and discharges and adds the requirement of verification of reasons for discharge to the description of each discharge rather than have one blanket policy for all discharges. For example, parents or guardians of students removing their child from a city public school to another country must give a statement to the DOE as well as provide information on the new city and country to the child’s previous school.
The proposal also changes the language regarding parents’ withdrawal of students from kindergarten, as children whose fifth birthday falls within the calendar year of admission are required to attend kindergarten.
Under the proposal, parents of a child whose fifth birthday falls within the calendar year of admission may choose to voluntarily withdraw their child from kindergarten and elect instead to enroll him or her in first grade the following academic year; such a child may be discharged and must enroll in first grade the subsequent school year.
The new rules would make a distinction between transfers and discharges. Transfers will be reserved for students changing schools within the system or leaving school for home schooling.
The Panel for Educational Policy, the rule-making body of the DOE, is scheduled to vote on the proposal at its Aug. 21 meeting in Manhattan. Any questions and comments on the proposed regulations should be addressed by phone at 1 (212) 374-6095 or in writing to:
Office of Safety and Youth
NYC Department of Education
52 Chambers Street – Room 320
New York, NY 10007