In Kindergarten Cop (1990), why are there kids above 6 learning inside a normal school? Are they special, or is something off? For example, the bad guy is searching a kindergarten for his kid, while stating his age is 6.

  • 2
    6 years old is the common age for American children to be in kindergarten.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 21:33
  • 3
    I don't want to put this under any specific answer, as it needs to be more generic than that, but... I think someone is going to have to explain for the rest of the world what all these 'grades' mean. In the UK, Kindergarten is where you go before you're old enough to go to an actual school; so from perhaps age 3 - 5. At 5, you go to school. So we clearly have a terminology clash that needs to be part of the answer.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 7:02
  • @Tetsujin - My answer below includes a link to the wiki for US schools, which should contain info to answer your question. Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 14:46
  • 2
    In general, K = age 5, Grade 1 = age 6, Grade 2 = age 7, etc... There's some fluctuation based on certain cases where children begin schooling early or late, but that's a pretty average look at "grades". In general, it goes up to Grade 12, which would be the last year before college (or "university" as it's said in some countries) begins. So, in general, you're 5 + 12 + 1 = 18 when you enter college. Again, not always, but most of the time. Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 15:43
  • 1
    Seems so. Kindergarten over here is definitely "not school" it's pre-school.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 13:15

3 Answers 3


It's not uncommon for a 6 year old to be attending kindergarten, especially near the end of the school year. Most children turn 6 during the course of school year.

In most states a child must be the age of 5 by August 31st or September 1st to enroll in kindergarten. A typical school year ends in late May or early June, if a child entered kindergarten at the age of 5 and was born before May they would leave kindergarten at the age of 6.

  • Why they are learning inside a normal school?
    – Ori Marko
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 20:26
  • 2
    @user7294900 Most American public elementary schools include kindergarten (typically elementary public schools go from kindergarten to 6th grade, but there are variations depending on the state and district).
    – onewho
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 20:31
  • @user7294900 Why are they not?
    – user25738
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 18:15
  • @SiXandSeven8ths I thought and expect that elementary will be separate from kindergarten
    – Ori Marko
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 19:34

There are schools that run Kindergarten through 8th grade, primarily in smaller towns where population is smaller and thus more grades occupy the same school to minimize educational funding.


Kindergarten Cop is said to take place in Astoria, Oregon, which (last census) had a population of less than 10,000. So, it's not unreasonable to see children from 6 to 14 walking the same halls.

  • Isn't this statement relevant to "until the years following World War I"?
    – Ori Marko
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 20:25
  • @user7294900 - As I said in my answer, it depends on the size of the town/city. In heavily populated areas, you'd expect to see Kindergarten in its own building. In smaller towns, with less financial resources, you'd see them lumped together with older children in the same school. And the town where the movie takes place is one of those smaller towns. Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 15:46

Astoria Elementary School [Image Source]

The John Jacob Astor Elementary School was used for the exterior scenes of the fictional Astoria Elementary School in the movie.

On the school's current Facebook page it says:

Lowest grade taught: Kindergarten
Highest grade taught: 2nd Grade

But according to this article from 1991 (the movie came out in December 1990):

For nine days last June, many of the 400 students in kindergarten through fourth grade at the John Jacob Astor Elementary School got paid $35 a day to act as extras ...

So seeing kids older than 6 years at the school wouldn't have been unusual back then.

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