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Kindergarten Curriculum Requirements
Kindergarten Curriculum - General Info
Alabama Students in grades K-12 inclusive must "receive instruction regarding how to study" (AL ST § 16-40-1.1).
Alaska "Each district in the state public school system shall be encouraged to initiate and conduct a program in health education for grades K-12" (AK ST § 14.30.360 ).

"The state board shall establish guidelines for a health and personal safety education. . . .The board shall encourage each school board to initiate and conduct a program of environmental education for grades K-12" (AK ST § 14.30.080)
Arizona Districts providing instruction in grades K-3 must "adopt a scientifically based reading curriculum" (AZ ST § 15-704).
Arkansas Public school grades K-12 must provide the minimum core curriculum established by the state board of education (AR ST § 6-18-104).

The director of the department of education must develop material for teaching African-American History for inclusion in "the appropriate curricula of all kindergarten through grade 12 of all public schools in the state of Arkansas" (AR ST § 6-16-121).

Every kindergarten through grade 9 student that is physically fit and able to participate must receive no less than one hour per week, and no less than 20 minutes three times a week, of physical education training and instruction (AR ST § 6-16-132).
California Districts with early primary programs (an integrated, experiential and developmentally appropriate educational program for children in preschool, kindergarten and grades 1-3) must provide "a program designed around the abilities and interests of the children in the program and one in which children learn about various subjects simultaneously…through 'hands-on' or 'active learning' teaching methods that are more appropriate for young children than the academic 'textbook' approach" (CA EDUC § 8971).
Connecticut Full-day kindergarten programs receiving money from the early reading success grant program must include language development and appropriate reading readiness experiences in the kindergarten curriculum (CT ST § 10-265f).
Delaware "Mandatory drug and alcohol educational programs [must be established] in each grade, kindergarten through grade 12. . . .Mandatory research-based fire safety education [must be established] in grades kindergarten through grade 6" (DE ST TI 14 § 122).
Florida The core curriculum for grades K-12 must include mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, reading and literature (FL ST § 1006.40).
Georgia "All elementary and secondary schools which receive any manner of funds from the state shall provide…a course of study in the background, history and development of the federal and state governments…a course of study in the history of the United States and in the history of Georgia" (GA ST § 20-2-144). "Each local board of education shall prescribe mandatory instruction concerning alcohol and other drug use in every year in every grade from kindergarten through grade 12" (GA ST § 20-2-144).
Hawaii Not specified in statute.
Idaho "It is legislative intent that curricular materials utilized by school districts for kindergarten through grade 3 shall align with the 'Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Plan'" (ID ST § 33-1614).
Illinois Students in each of grades K-8 must receive instruction "of effective methods by which pupils may recognize the danger of and avoid abduction," and "for the prevention and avoidance of drug and substance abuse" (IL ST CH 105 § 5/27-13.2).
Indiana The department of education must "develop curriculum for health and physical education for grades kindergarten through 12" (IN ST § 20-1-1.17).

"The governing body of each school corporation shall for each grade from kindergarten through grade 12 provide instruction concerning the effects that alcoholic beverages, tobacco, prescription drugs, and controlled substances have on the human body and society at large" (IN ST § 20-10.1-4-9.1).

The curriculum program for each of grades K-12 must be consistent with the academic standards established by the state board of education for English/language arts, mathematics, social studies and science (IN ST § 20-10.1-16-6).
Iowa "The kindergarten program shall include experiences designed to develop healthy emotional and social habits and growth in the language arts and communication skills, as well as a capacity for the completion of individual tasks, and protect and increase physical well-being with attention given to experiences relating to the development of life skills and human growth and development" (IA ST § 256.11). "The department of education shall develop a statewide violence prevention program. . .for grades kindergarten through 12" (IA ST § 280.9B).
Kansas Not specified in statute.
Kentucky Not specified in statute.
Louisiana The state department of education must develop a "balanced early childhood reading initiative" for students in kindergarten through grade 3. The program must be applicable for all kindergarten through grade 3 students, including students in special education. The program must provide phonics as a component of instruction (LA R.S. 17:24.9).

Every student in kindergarten through grade 9 must receive a minimum of 16 hours/year of grade-appropriate instruction in alcohol, drug and substance abuse prevention, education, information and counseling (LA R.S. 17:404).
Maine "The basic course of study for the elementary schools must provide for the instruction of all students in career preparation, English language arts, foreign languages, health and physical education, mathematics, science and technology, social studies and visual and performing arts. . .the course of study must also include physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of substance abuse, including alcohol, tobacco and narcotics upon the human system" (ME ST T. 20-A § 4711).
Maryland "Each public school shall have a program of physical eudcation that is given in a planned and sequential manner to all students, grades K-12" (MD EDUC § 7-409). Each local school system shall provide an instructional program in grades K-8 in the following subjects: 1) Reading (MD ADC 13A.04.06.02) 2) Social Studies (MD ADC 13A.04.08.01) 3) Science (MD ADC 13A.04.09.01) 4) Mathematics (MD ADC 13A.04.12.01) 5) Physical Education (MD ADC 13A.04.13.01) 6) English Language Arts (MD ADC 13A.04.14.01) 7) Fine Arts (art, music, dance, theatre) (MD ADC 13A.04.16.01) 8) Comprehensive Health Education (MD ADC 13A.04.18.01)
Massachusetts Core subjects in elementary and secondary schools are "mathematics, science and technology, history and social science, English, foreign languages and the arts" (MA ST 69 § 1D). American history and civics must be taught in all elementary and high schools. MA ST 71 § 2 "The department of education. . .is directed. . .to establish a task force for the purpose of developing a model curriculum for grades K-12 in global education and international studies. . . .The department shall encourage each school district to implement this curriculum or a variation thereof" (MA ST 71 § 1). "The advisory council on violence prevention. . .shall recommend for approval by the board of education a model curriculum for grades K-12 in education programs on violence prevention. . . .The department shall encourage school districts to implement said curriculum or a variation thereof" (MA ST 71 § 1).
Michigan Not specified in statute.
Minnesota Not specified in statute.
Mississippi Teachers are to use, at a minimum, the resources developed by the Mississippi Department of Education in curriculum planning such as the Mississippi CurriculumFrameworks. Other additional resources may be added as desired by each school district.

(MS Code 36 000 071 (1.6))
Missouri Not specified in statute.
Montana Not specified in statute.
Nebraska Each school district "shall develop for incorporation into all phases of the curriculum of grades kindergarten through 12 a multicultural education program" (NE ST § 79-720). Each school "shall provide regular periods of instruction in the subject of fire dangers and in methods of fire prevention" (NE ST § 79-706). Pupils in all public schools shall be instructed "in a comprehensive health education program, which shall include instruction (1) as to the physiological, psychological and sociological aspects of drug use, misuse and abuse and (2) on mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. . .their causes and the prevention thereof through proper nutrition and the avoidance of the consumption of drugs" (NE ST § 79-712). All grades below the 6th grade shall devote at least one hour per week to patriotic instruction and the teaching of American history (NE ST § 79-724). "Each teacher employed to give instruction in any public, private, parochial, or denominational school in the State of Nebraska shall arrange and present his or her instruction to give special emphasis to common honesty, morality, courtesy, obedience to law, respect for the national flag, the United States Constitution, and the Constitution of Nebraska, respect for parents and the home, the dignity and necessity of honest labor, and other lessons of a steadying influence which tend to promote and develop an upright and desirable citizenry" (NE ST § 79-725).
Nevada Not specified in statute.
New Hampshire Not specified in statute.
New Jersey Kindergarten students are specifically exempted from physical education classes which are required for students in grades 1-12 (NJ ST 18A:35-7). Drug prevention education is required in each grade from K-12 (NJ ST 18A:40A-1).
New Mexico Full-day kindergarten must be child-centered and developmentally appropriate (NM ST § 22-2-79).

Specific instructional requirements for kindergarten do not exist in statute as they do for grades 1-12 (NM ST § 22-2-8.3).
New York Students in grades K-12 shall receive instruction in civility, citizenship and character education (NY EDUC § 801-a).

All elementary school students shall receive instruction regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (NY EDUC § 804).
North Carolina Drug and alcohol use prevention education and health education must be available to every child in North Carolina schools in grades kindergarten through high school (NC ST § 115C-81 ).

Schools serving kindergarten and 1st grade students must include in their school improvement plan a plan for preparing students to read at grade level by the time they enter 2nd grade (NC ST § 115C-105.27).

The North Carolina State Board of Education Policy Manual delineates the "North Carolina Standard Course of Study for Grades K-12" in the following subjects:
1) Mathematics
2) Social Studies
3) English Language Arts
4) Computer and Technology Skills
5) Healthful Living
6) Science
7) Information Skills
(NC SBE Policy Manual #HSP-F-002 through HSP-F-010)
North Dakota Kindergartens must follow a developmentally appropriate curriculum (ND ST 15.1-22-02).
Ohio The state board of education requires the use of phonics as a technique in the teaching of reading in grades K-3 (OH ADC 3301-33-01).

The state board of education shall adopt model curricula for reading, writing and mathematics for each of grades K-12. These curricula must be sufficient to meet the needs of students in every community and must be aligned with state standards. Districts are not required to use the model curricula (OH ST § 3301.079(B)).

After completing the model curriculum for reading, writing and mathematics, the board must adopt model curricula for fine arts and foreign language for grades K-12 (OH ST § 3301.0718).

School districts are required to prescribe curriculum to schools. Prescribed curriculum must include language arts, geography, U.S. history, mathematics, natural science, health education, nutrition, drug abuse prevention, venereal disease education, physical education, fine arts, first aid and, for grades K-6, instruction in personal safety and assault prevention (OH ST § 3313.60).
Oklahoma "A kindergarten program shall be directed toward developmentally appropriate objectives for such children" (OK ST T. 70 § 10-105). Kindergartners are expected to meet standards in eight curriculum areas (See "Kindergarten Standards"). "The Oklahoma State Board of Education has identified languages (foreign, Native American, American Sign Language) as core curriculum along with science, mathematics, social studies, language arts, and the arts (visual art and general music). All districts are required to implement a sequential program of study of at least one language other than English in the curriculum" (OK ADC 210:15-5-151).
Oregon The Early Childhood Improvement Program requires efforts to improve kindergarten through 3rd grade curriculum so that it is consistent with research and sensitive to individual differences (OR ST § 329.237).

The state board of education and each school district shall provide instructional materials on explicit phonics with decodable text from which classroom teachers may select for use as part of the reading instruction program in grades K-2 (OH ST § 337.275).
Pennsylvania "Each public school student shall receive mandatory instruction in alcohol, chemical and tobacco abuse in every year in every grade from kindergarten through grade 12." (PA ST 24 P.S. § 15-).
Rhode Island There is a "mandated state health education, alcohol and substance abuse curriculum for grades K-12" (RI ST § 16-1-5). Each district must draft a strategic plan which "include strategies to improve the performance of students in mathematics, reading, and writing. Each plan must describe a scientific research based, as described in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,. . .reading instruction [plan] to improve the reading skills of all students in the early grades (kindergarten through grade 3)" (RI ST § 16-7.1-2). All K-3 classes must focus instruction for all students on "literacy: reading, writing, speaking, listening and mathematics" (RI ST § 16-67-2).
South Carolina Students in grades K-5 must receive comprehensive health education including community health, consumer health, environmental health, growth and development, nutritional health, personal health, prevention and control of diseases and disorders, safety and accident prevention, substance use and abuse, dental health and mental and emotional health (SC ST § 59-32-30).

The state board of education must develop an early childhood development initiative plan that includes the "development and implementation of a developmentally appropriate curriculum from early childhood education through grade 3" (SC ST § 59-139-10).

Each school must provide instruction in "orthography, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, English grammar and instruction in phonics, the elements of agriculture, the history of the United States and of [South Carolina], the principles of the Constitutions of the United States and of [South Carolina], morals and good behavior, algebra, physiology and hygiene (especially as to the effects of alcoholic liquors and narcotics upon the human system) and English literature" (SC ST § 59-29-10).
South Dakota Not specified in statute.
Tennessee The curriculum and program structure for children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades 1-3 shall be organized to support developmentally appropriate practice (TN ADC 0520-1-3-.05).

Instruction in the following subjects shall be provided and shall be based on the state curriculum standards:
1) Language arts
2) Mathematics
3) Science
4) Social studies
5) Health, physical education and wellness
6) Fine arts (visual arts, music, theatre arts and dance)
7) Computer technology
Texas "Each school district that offers kindergarten through grade 12 shall offer, as a required curriculum. . .English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, health, physical education, fine arts, economics, career and technology education, technology applications and, to the extent possible, languages other than English (TX EDUC § 28.002).
Utah Not specified in statute.
Vermont Not specified in statute.
Virginia Local school boards must implement programs in grades K-3 that “emphasize developmentally appropriate learning to enhance success” (VA ST § 22.1-253.13:1(D)(1)).
B “In the elementary grades of every public school the following subjects shall be taught: Spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, health and physical education, drawing, civil government, history of the United States and history of Virginia” (VA ST § 22.1-200).
Washington Not specified in statute or state code.
West Virginia “The state board shall adopt a three-year plan to provide for the transition to developmental programming and instruction to be provided to the students in kindergarten through 4th grade” (WV ST § 18-2-5).
Wisconsin In the elementary grades, including kindergarten, regular instruction must be given in reading, language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, health, physical education, art and music (WI ST 121.02).

Each school district shall "develop and coordinate a comprehensive reading curriculum in grades K-12" (WI ST 118.015).
Wyoming Foreign languages instruction must be provided for students in grades K-2 (WY ST § 21-9-101).

Instruction in the United States and Wyoming constitutions must be provided in at least three of the grades K-8 (WY ST § 21-9-202).

The information in this report was collected as part of ECS’ study, "Full-Day Kindergarten: An Exploratory Study of Finance and Access in the United States," which is funded by a grant from the Foundation for Child Development.


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