Published: 12/22/2014 10:12 AM

Kentucky's primary program is that part of the elementary school program in which children are enrolled from the time they begin school until they are ready to enter the intermediate program (fourth grade). The primary program includes the following critical attributes: continuous progress; developmentally appropriate educational practices; authentic assessment; multiage and multiability classrooms; qualitative reporting methods; professional teamwork; and positive parent involvement.
Placement of students has always been at the discretion of the local district, provided they can assure they are meeting the child’s developmental needs.  Through KRS 158.031, districts may advance students through the primary program when it is in the best educational interest of the child. The process districts must follow is identified in 702 KAR 7:125 Section 7 (2) (a through d), and it applies to students who are at least five but less than six years of age. The principal/school district always has the final decision on student placement (KRS 158.140) and there is no statutory or regulatory provision for an appeal process. 
Please visit this wiki for the most current, research-based information around best practice when making decisions around student placement, specifically when making decisions between retention or intervention​

  • Accelerated Placement in Primary

    Senate Bill 35, enacted during the 2006 Regular Session, permits a child who is at least 5 years of age (on or before October 1) but less than 6 years of age to be advanced through the primary program if the student is determined to have acquired the academic and social skills taught in first level primary (kindergarten).  The Act also provides that the student may be classified as other than a first level primary (kindergarten) student for purposes of funding.


  • Assessment and Accountability for Primary

    Information about assessment and accountability within the primary program, the reporting of student progress and determining the successful completion of the primary program is provided.
  • Common Kindergarten Entry Screener

    ​Kentucky's Common Kindergarten Entry Screener, the BRIGANCE Early Childhood Kindergarten Screen III, provides a quick and accurate assessment of a child's development in five areas: Academic/Cognitive, Language, Development, Physical Development, Self-Help and Social-Emotional Development.

    The Common Kindergarten Entry Screener (704 KAR 5:070)​ is aligned with Kentucky's School Readiness Definition and the Kentucky Early Childhood Standards​.

  • Curriculum Documents for Kentucky's Primary Program

    Documents relating to what primary students should know and be able to do prior to exiting the primary program are posted including the Core Content for Assessment, 4.1, the Primary Program of Studies, and the Combined Curriculum Documents.
  • Early Learning Leadership Networks (ELLNs)

    Early Learning Leadership Networks (ELLNs) are being launched. There will be two network ‘strands,’ one for teacher-leaders and another for administrative-leaders, to develop capacity to implement Kentucky’s Early Childhood Standards and support school readiness.


  • Primary Program Resources

    On this page you will find educational resources that provide resources regarding developmental and educational issues affecting primary children.
  • Primary Statutes and Regulations

    On this page you will find the Statutes and Regulations that govern the appropriate implementation of Kentucky's Primary Program.
Karen Kidwell
Office of Next-Generation Learners
Division of Program Standards
500 Mero Street, 18th Floor CPT

Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2106
Fax (502) 564-9848