K-12 EDUCATION

New potty training rule for Utah kindergarteners effective May 1

Apr 30, 2024, 5:00 AM

Kindergarteners Daleyza Plancarte Castro, left, Aitana De La Cruz and Alexis Bernal wait to change ...

FILE: Kindergarteners Daleyza Plancarte Castro, left, Aitana De La Cruz and Alexis Bernal wait to change classrooms at Daniels Canyon Elementary School in Heber City on March 29, 2022. Beginning May 1, 2024, kindergarteners in Utah will need to demonstrate they can use the bathroom properly. (Kristin Murphy /Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new potty training requirement for kindergartners in Utah goes into effect May 1. Earlier this month, and to prepare teachers and parents, the Utah State Board of Education set out guidelines to clarify the law that was passed earlier this year.

USBE Communications Coordinator Kelsey James said the guidelines define what it means to be toilet trained.

“To be toilet trained, a student should be able to communicate when they need to use the bathroom to an adult and then … use the bathroom without assistance,” James said.

That includes the ability to sit down on a toilet and use it without assistance, to dress and undress by themselves, and tend to their personal hygiene after using the restroom.

Yes, there is wiggle room in the Utah potty training rules

James said this is the expectation for incoming kindergarten students. But school administrators know this will not always be accomplished perfectly.

“We understand kids are young,” James said. “Accidents might happen, but it’s kind of the regular basis thing [to use the restroom successfully].”

The exception is for students with developmental delays that may need an IEP or Section 504 plan.

“If there is a parent that is worried about that with their student, we would just encourage them to work with their school’s IEP or 504 team. To get a specific plan set up for their student,” James said.

James also clarified that the law applies to incoming kindergartners. So those kindergarteners finishing out this school year should not be impacted.

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New potty training rule for Utah kindergarteners effective May 1