Cut-off for starting first grade (USA)?

If baby is born in August, he/she will be one of the youngest in the class. Right?

In my neck of the woods, the age cutoff is September 1. There is an appeals process for kids who are born in the early fall months - they can be evaluated for kindergarten readiness and start school when they’re not quite 5 with school district approval. I know a couple of kids who have done that.

Same for me, but I started when I was 5, no kindergarten where I was. I didn’t turn 6 until after Halloween and when I started school there was a very large first grade class and a smaller ‘other’ class that I got put into. It was a small, primary school that only had first and second grade.

I went home a bit dejected and told my mom that I got put in the dumb class. She made a concerned call to the principal and learned that I had been put into the second grade class because of space reasons and they would move me later if it became a problem. It wasn’t a problem. I did not get to skip a grade but I was still 17 when I graduated high school and got a bit of a jump from that first year in second grade.

When I started college I wasn’t supposed to get a key to the outside doors of the dorm until I was 18. They gave me a key anyway because I’m male but the underage girls had to wait for their birthday.

Another November 26th birthday here! November 26th birthdays REPRESENT! WOOT!


To the OP, When I entered elementary school in Maryland the mid-70s, the cutoff was December 1st. I did have a friend whose birthday was December 5th and somehow her mother was able to get her in ahead of the cutoff, so I was not the youngest in my kindergarten class.

It sure sucked during fall semester of my senior year of college, when all my friends could drink legally but I couldn’t.

Here in California, the cutoff was December 1st until a few years ago, when they started moving it up by a month each year, with the target of a September 1st cutoff.

In Los Angeles in 1976, the cutoff date was December 2nd. My mother was pregnant with my younger brother that year, and knew all along she would be having a C-section. She had the choice of choosing the 2nd or the 3rd for his birthday, and went with the 3rd so that he would be old for his class, rather than young.

I’m sure my mother could have held me back in kindergarten because I was so close to the December 1 cut-off, but my thirteen month older brother was in first, my twenty five month old brother was at home, and she was pregnant with my sister. There was no way that I wasn’t going.

I don’t know what the procedure was, but my mom got my sister into school a year earlier than would have been standard, so there’s apparently some parental override process in Cleveland.

Everywhere I’ve lived there was flexibility. In NY my kids were both born in January and we had a choice of what year to start them (we waited until they were older). I’ve heard of many cases where the guidelines were put aside at a parent’s request. I assume in most cases it’s not worth arguing about if the child seems prepared to start first grade, but I guess some school districts will get on a power trip about it.

It was December 1 in Michigan when I grew up. So as a November baby I graduated at 17 and was able to have my first legal drink at college in my freshman year thanks to the then 18 year old drinking law.