Monday, March 19, 2012

Successful kindergarten readiness pilot going statewide by 2014

Gov. Gregoire signs WaKIDS bill
A valuable kindergarten assessment process that began as a pilot project two years ago will be administered to every incoming kindergartener in the state by 2014.  Today, the governor signed House Bill 2586, sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi, which moves up the statewide implementation schedule by three years.

The assessment, called WaKIDS, helps ensure that children get the best possible start in kindergarten.  It is an inventory of each child's developing skills - including social and emotional, physical, cognitive, and linguistic skills.  Parental involvement is a big part of the process, which creates a full support network of teachers and family members for each student.

This year, WaKIDS was used in 500 classrooms around the state, helping 11,000 entering kindergarteners be better prepared to succeed in school.  Statewide implementation will enable about 70,000 kindergarteners to be assessed each year, and the earlier start date is a result of Washington receiving a federal Race to the Top Early Learning grant.

A handout about WaKIDS can be found here.

A press release from Rep. Kagi when the bill passed the full legislature earlier this month can be found here.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.