Cohoes, Watervliet schools lower mandatory school age

September 14, 2017 05:19 PM

Cohoes and Watervliet Schools now require children 5 years old to attend kindergarten.

New York state law mandates children 6 and older attend school.

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These two districts are following the lead of some other districts in the state, lowering the age to 5.

Watervliet Superintendent Lori Caplan says in districts like Watervliet and Cohoes, absenteeism in kindergarten can be significant and she's hoping parents agree getting an early start on education is best.

"We want to make sure that they don't walk in the door in first grade without having picked up a book or knowing how to write," she explained. "I don't want it to be a hammer approach. I want it to be, 'This is what's best for your child.' We are providing the environment, highly-qualified teachers and my hope and my expectation is that parents will agree."

Caplan says they worked closely with Assemblyman John McDonald to mandate the change. She's hopeful that by getting kids in school earlier, they'll reduce absenteeism and see more students successfully complete their education.


WNYT Staff

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