Kindergarten changes to help students, families to a successful year

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Full-Day Kindergarten for all students starts this year

 

New for the upcoming school year, Lake Washington School District (LWSD) will be able to provide full-day kindergarten, funded by the state of Washington. The new kindergarten program will help students and families to a successful start to their education.

 

In past years, the district offered state-funded half day kindergarten. Parents had the option to pay for the second half of the school day. That meant some students attended half-day kindergarten while others attended for the full day. This year, all elementary schools in LWSD will provide full-day kindergarten.

 

The first day of school and classes for kindergarten will be September 9. Grades 1-12 begin school on September 6.

 

Kindergarten families will meet with their student’s teacher in a Family Connection meeting on September 6, 7 or 8. During these meetings, teachers will get to know the family and learn about the child. They can address any concerns or questions about the transition into kindergarten. Families get a chance to meet the teacher. They can share their child’s interests, strengths, fears and other characteristics. Parents will be contacted by their school to schedule a Family Connection meeting time.

 

These family meetings are part of the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS).

In addition to the Family Connection meetings, a whole-child assessment helps kindergarten teachers learn about the skills and strengths of the children in their classrooms. By October 31, teachers will observe and record each child’s developing skills in six areas: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy and mathematics. This information can help teachers better meet the needs of each child.

 

Staff will also work with early learning professionals serving our area. Their goal is to support smooth transitions for children from preschool to kindergarten.

 

“Full-day kindergarten and the WaKIDS process helps us to better serve all kindergarten students in our district,” noted Dr. Traci Pierce, superintendent. “We are pleased that we will be able to provide a full day kindergarten experience to all students.”