Home Auto Family Finance Health & Beauty House & Home Insurance Legal Pets Professional Services School & Work Seasonal Shopping & Fun Sports & Fitness Vacations & Travel
Kindergarten Requirements for the State of Alaska

Kindergarten Requirements for the State of Alaska

Share with friends


Although the Alaskan state statute regarding kindergarten attendance is quite lax (schools aren’t even required to offer kindergarten), school districts across the state have made early learning and the kindergarten environment a priority. In fact, according to, in 2011 the state spent $10,847 per student and almost two-third of kindergarten-age students across the state attend full-day programs. Here are the top laws and requirements in place for students entering kindergarten in the state of Alaska.

Kindergarten Not Mandatory

Kindergarten attendance is not mandatory by law in the state of Alaska.

Full-Day Kindergarten Not Required

Just as kindergarten attendance isn’t mandatory in Alaska, the state has no requirement in place for districts to offer kindergarten whatsoever. However, certain schools offer full-day options for parents, some tuition based and some funded. And larger school districts like Fairbanks are looking into offering full-day programs across all their schools. According to an Education Week study published in 2015, between 60 to 69 percent of Alaska’s kindergarten students were enrolled in full-day programs.

Educational Standards: Common Core NOT Adopted

In Alaska, the national Common Core standard has not been adopted. Instead, Alaska has implemented standards developed by its 9-member State Board of Education & Early Development in the content areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, geography, skills for a healthy life, arts, world languages, and across many other subjects. Adopted in June 2012, these standards were updated as recently as 2013.

Current Age Requirements

To qualify for kindergarten entry, a child must have turned 5 years of age before August 15 of the school year in question according to Alaska state law. Compulsory school age is 7.

Early Entry Rules

In Alaska, a child under the eligible age for kindergarten entry may be admitted to the school in his or her school district of residence at the discretion of the school board. The child must be able to meet minimum standards established by the board that evidence that the child has the mental, physical, and emotional capacity to perform satisfactorily in the kindergarten setting. That particular district must also allow for under school-age students to progress on to the next grade level by the following school year. Underage children may also be admitted to kindergarten if they were previously legally enrolled in a public kindergarten in another district or state.

Required Immunizations and Available Exemptions

In order to attend school in Alaska, students must have proof of all required immunizations (or a valid exemption as discussed below). Required immunizations include DTaP, polio, MMR, hepatitis B, and varicella. Seasonal influenza vaccine is not required for school attendance. See the list of required vaccinations here.

Alaska schools will accept vaccination exemptions based on medical and religious grounds. In the case of religious exemptions, the child’s parent or guardian must sign an affidavit affirming that immunization conflicts with the teachings and practices of their church or religious denomination. All religious exemptions must be documented and notarized on an official “State of Alaska Religious Exemption Form.” It’s important to note that exemption waivers must be renewed on an annual basis. There is no grandfathering of previously accepted waivers available.

Pre-Entrance Testing/Screening Requirements

The Alaska state Board of Education has developed a kindergarten/first grade development profile, which is administered to current kindergarteners as well as first-grade students who did not attend kindergarten and are attending public school for the first time. Basically, this profile is designed to assess where the child is at developmentally to give him or her the best chance of success in those early learning years.

Maximum Teacher to Pupil Ratio

There is currently no Alaska state statute in place that mandates a specific teacher to student ratio requirement.

All of these laws and requirements are reviewed in great detail on the state of Alaska’s Department of Education & Early Development website.


Share with friends