Investment in a strong early childhood program is a top priority for ¥Public Schools, as stated in our strategic plan, . With the support of ¥voters who approved a supplemental levy in 2010, ¥was out of the gate early in Washington state in moving to full-time kindergarten for all elementary school students. We continue to learn from the experience of our teachers and students in ways that shape programmatic decisions to ensure that all entering kindergartners can experience early and continuing success. We continue to build excellent preschool opportunities for ¥students, and to provide the necessary program leadership for our preschool offerings. Over time, we envision that every student in the ¥community will enjoy access to a high-quality preschool experience that will enable them to come to kindergarten ready to learn. Scroll down the page for information on:

  • Promise Kindergarten
  • Developmental Preschool
  • Full Day Kindergarten
  • Kindergarten Registration and Open Houses
  • Early Entrance to Kindergarten
  • School entrance for children older than 5
  • Community Partnerships
  • Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS)
  • Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3 Alignment (P-3)
  • Child Care Information

Promise K(indergarten)

¥ Promise K

Promise K is a program for 4-year-olds who do not have access to high-quality early learning experiences.

Children may enter Promise K based on ability and/or need, such as, social emotional or developmental needs.

Promise K is one of many early learning programs in our community. For more information about community programs, please visit our early learning community partners web pageor contact Gladys Serrano.

Apply Now to Promise K

To apply and learn more about qualifications, please click here to visit the Promise K application web page.

Developmental Preschool

Early childhood preschool programs provide a language-based classroom to students ages 3-4 who have been identified with developmental delays and qualify for special education services. Programs provide direct, integrated, and/or consultative services to students with mild to moderate disabilities in general education. The ¥School District participates in“Child Find” activities.
Preschool programs are based in the following locations:
  • Alderwood Elementary
  • Cordata Elementary
  • Happy Valley Elementary
  • Sunnyland Elementary

If you are interested in participating in screening activities for the purpose of locating, identifying and evaluating your child’s potential disabilities and need of special education services, click here to apply.

For more information contact Debbie Haney at 360-676-6470 ext. 4432.

Full Day Kindergarten

Thanks to supportive voters, ¥Public Schools got a jump-start on early learning to become a state leader in providing full-time kindergarten for all students since fall 2011. Now as the state funds more full-time kindergarten, ¥is again taking the lead to offer more preschool opportunities.

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration generally runs from mid-February through the end of April (although registrations are accepted all year). Children must be 5 before Sept. 1 to attend kindergarten. Check with your school office for early entrance opportunities. View the registration webpage for information.

Ideas for you and your child to explore:

  • Play board games with your child to practice taking turns.
  • Visit the local library.
  • Set up several play dates this summer.
  • Visit your child’s school playground and practice playing on the equipment and following rules such as ‘slides are for going down.’
  • Have your child practice following one-step and two-step directions. This could easily be done by making lunch together, or having them pick up their toys.
  • Read to your child for a combined total of at least 20 minutes a day.
  • Draw together, allowing your child time to practice using different tools (crayons, markers, pencils, side walk chalk).
  • Have your child practice writing their name multiple ways (with playdough, using a stick in the dirt/sand, in shaving cream, using side walk chalk, or on paper for example).
  • Have your child practice sorting objects around the house, this is especially fun while doing chores together (sort clothes, silverware, their toys).
  • While driving in the car or shopping in a grocery store, notice letters, numbers, colors on signs, or in the objects around them.
  • Practice counting to 20 while taking a walk or driving in the car.
  • Count objects together. Count everything in and out of the home. While collecting rocks is especially fun!
  • Engage in pretend play together. For example, use a plain cardboard box to go on an adventure to the moon!
  • Visit local parks and beaches and take time to notice the amazing wonders nature has to offer.
  • Provide plenty of opportunity to allow your child to engage in free play both inside and outside the house on a daily basis.

Early Entrance to Kindergarten

If your child’s fifth birthday falls after August 31 and you are interested in having your child evaluated for early entrance to kindergarten to attend school in the fall, please view our early entrance policy, procedure and form(form in Spanish). When applying for early entrance, please complete the Parent Questionnaire and have your child’s current preschool or childcare teacher complete this form, Teacher Questionnaire. Return both questionnaires and the early entrance application (3111F) to the District Office. You may also apply online. Applications are due by May 1. Assessments and evaluations for early entrance occur in May.

School entrance for children older than 5

recommends that school districts use a student’s age as the primary determinant of the grade in which they will enter school. Children who are older than 5 before Sept. 1 and are entering school for the first time will generally be placed with their age cohort. For example, a student who is 6 will generally enter school in first grade, even if they have not attended kindergarten. This placement aligns with research and best practices for children’s social and emotional development, both in early elementary school and throughout their school career. Additional information about individual children may be considered in partnership with school leadership, early childhood personnel and the child’s family. Please contact your school’s principal if you have questions about your child’s placement.


GRADS (Graduation, Reality And Dual-role Skills) is a program for pregnant and parenting students that provides the academic and childcare support necessary to stay in high school and graduate. GRADS is available at no cost to pregnant teens and young parents under the age of twenty-one who live in ¥or Whatcom County and have not graduated from high school. The program is located at Sehome, Optionsand Squalicum high schools. Students attend regular high school courses as well as receive instruction in units of study related to: pregnancy, parenting, positive self-image and economic independence.

View the program brochure.

grads graduation 2

Community Partnerships

Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS)

WaKIDS is a transition process that helps to ensure a successful start to the K-12 experience and connect the key adults in a child’s life. Please visit the for more information.

Three Components of WaKIDS

  1. Family connectionwelcomes families into the Washington K-12 system as partners in their child’s education.
  2. Whole-child assessment gives kindergarten teachers information about the social-emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy and mathematics development of the children in their classrooms, so they may tailor their instruction to the individual needs of each child.
  3. Early learning collaborationaligns practices of early learning professionals and kindergarten teachers to support smooth transitions for children.

Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3 Alignment (P-3)

P-3 is a comprehensive reform strategy, focused on ensuring that all children develop the cognitive and social skills that establish strong foundations for future learning.Please visit the website for more information.

Child Care Information

Child Care Aware of Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every child in Washington has access to high-quality child care and early learning programs. Created by state statute in 1986 and incorporated in 1989, it is the only statewide child care resource and referral program in Washington.

Dr. Debbie Haney
Assistant Director
360-676-6470 ext. 4432

Gladys Serrano
Executive Administrative Assistant