The Mesa County Valley School District 51 Board has voted to change the cutoff date for kindergarten students.

At Tuesday's meeting, the school board voted to change the cutoff date for kindergarten from July 15 to August 31. That means students who turn age 5 by August 31 will be allowed to start kindergarten that same year.

The board had initially changed the cutoff date to July back in 2014 with the idea that making kids wait to start would make them better prepared for school, but statistics didn't reflect any significant difference.

The change to August 31 means kids who are just turning 5 can go ahead and be enrolled in kindergarten. That decision, however, will be up to the parents who can opt to have their children wait until the following year before being getting them started.

Growing up, I always felt like I was one of the older ones in my class. Since my birthday was in November, I was nearly 6-years-old when I started kindergarten. I always got good grades during those early years of school -and maybe it was partly due to the fact that I was a little older than most of the kids. However, even though I started a little later, believe it or not, I had to do speech therapy that first year in school so I could learn how to say my R's.

I would think the change in Mesa County will make most parents happy - giving them the option of enrolling their young ones in kindergarten right away or waiting a year if they feel they aren't quite ready.

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