By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii education and early learning officials are encouraging parents to see an upcoming change in the age children can enter kindergarten as a way to give late-born students an extra year of school preparation.
Executive Office on Early Learning Director GG Weisenfeld says an extra year of preschool will help children with the increasing rigors of kindergarten.
Starting next school year, students must be at least 5 on July 31 to enter kindergarten the same year. Previously, children could enter kindergarten if they turned 5 by December 31.
The Senate and House committees on education held a briefing Wednesday on what's being done to prepare families and preschools for the change.
Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi estimates about 5,000 late-born children won't be entering kindergarten next school year.