Early Entrance to Kindergarten
The early entrance process involves an objective evaluation of your child’s cognitive, gross and fine motor, visual-motor integration, communication, and social/emotional development. To increase the likelihood that your child will have a successful first year of school, he/she will be expected to meet standards approximately six months above his/her chronological age in all areas assessed.
Children meeting the early entrance standards will be recommended for a six-week trial period in kindergarten beginning at the start of the following school year. Learn more about Early Entrance to Kindergarten by reading Procedure 3110P.
If you were unable to attend the recommended Parent Information Night on Jan. 29, 2019, please review our PowerPoint slides to help you make a decision on whether or not to proceed with the early entrance testing. Please use the checklist to submit a complete application packet.
The spring Early Entrance to Kindergarten application period opens Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 and closes Monday, April 1, 2019. The spring application period is open to families who currently live within the Bellevue School District boundary. Please complete all required forms and submit all materials no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019. The Teacher forms DO NOT have to be part of the application materials you turn in. We must receive them from the Teacher and will notify you if they have not been received.
The summer Early Entrance to Kindergarten application period opens Monday, July 1, 2019 and closes Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. The summer application period is open to families who moved to Bellevue after April 1, 2019 and didn’t have the opportunity to apply for Spring testing. Please complete all required forms and submit all materials no later than 4 p.m. on Aug. 15, 2019. The Teacher forms DO NOT have to be part of the application materials you turn in. We must receive them from the Teacher and will notify you if they have not been received.
The summer application period for Early Entrance to Kindergarten has closed. If you are interested in finding a high-quality preschool classroom in the Early Learning Program, please visit the Early and Extended Learning Program page for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to enter kindergarten early?
State and BSD guidelines require that students entering Kindergarten in the fall must be five years of age on or before August 31st. However, a child whose birthdate falls on or between September 1st and November 30th may enter kindergarten if he or she meets the early entrance requirements.
What kind of information is used to determine if my child is eligible for early entrance to kindergarten?
Your child’s eligibility for early entrance to kindergarten will be based on an evaluation of your child’s readiness for kindergarten. To increase the likelihood that your child will have a successful first year of school, he/she will be expected to meet standards approximately six months above his/her chronological age in all areas assessed.
The early entrance process involves an objective evaluation of your child’s cognitive, large and fine motor, visual-motor integration, communication, and social/emotional development. Children meeting the early entrance standards will be recommended for a six-week trial period in kindergarten beginning at the start of the school year. Determination of final placement in kindergarten is the decision of the school’s guidance team.
How do I appeal the results of EEK testing?
Appeals must be based upon one of the following conditions:
- An extraordinary or temporary circumstance that negatively affected the validity of the test results (e.g. fire alarm during testing session)
- A condition or circumstance believed to have caused a misinterpretation of the test results (e.g. scoring error due to incorrect birthdate)
NOTE: Illness will not be considered a valid reason for an appeal.
All appeals must be received no later than 14 days from the date of the decision letter. The appeal committee conducts a file review and re-testing is not an option. The parent/legal guardian will be notified of the decision in writing within 10 school days of the Appeal Committee’s decision.
The decision of the Appeals Committee is final.
What is the evaluation process for determining student eligibility for early entrance into kindergarten?
Step 1: Individual Testing
The individual testing takes approximately 60-90 min. and takes place at a centralized location within the district.
Step 2: Outcomes of Individual Testing
Families are notified of the testing results approximately 2 weeks from the testing date. There are two possible outcomes of the individual testing:
- The student did not demonstrate above average skills and is not recommended for early entrance into kindergarten, or;
- The student did demonstrate above average skills and is recommended for early entrance into kindergarten. Families of students found eligible for early entrance must complete the regular registration process through their neighborhood school to enroll the student into a kindergarten program for the following school year.
Step 3: Trial Period
Students eligible for early entrance who enroll in a kindergarten program are assigned a trial period beginning at the start of the school year. Within six weeks, the guidance team (including your child’s kindergarten teacher) will review your child’s performance in the classroom to determine whether your child should continue as a kindergarten student. Determination of final placement into kindergarten is the decision of the guidance team. If the kindergarten placement is determined appropriate, additional reviews may take place near the end of both the kindergarten and first-grade year.
What are the dates and times for this year’s testing?
The Early Entrance to Kindergarten spring testing occurs end of April/beginning of May. For only those families that move into the district over the summer there is summer testing end of August. Please refer to the district website for more specific information.
How do I apply for an early entrance to kindergarten assessment for my child?
Step 1: Application forms are available at the BSD website: http://bsd405.org/eek
Step 2: Attend the mandatory Parent Information Night in January presented by the Coordinator of Early Entrance to Kindergarten or watch the presentation posted on website.
Step 3: Complete the application packet, which includes the following forms:
- Application form
- Parent questionnaire
- Teacher questionnaire (if your child attends daycare or preschool)
- Application Packet Checklist
Step 4: Mail the completed application packet with the additional materials:
- A check or money order for $350 is made payable to Bellevue School District and is nonrefundable. Note: Free and reduced lunch qualifications can be applied towards the registration fee. Qualification of free lunch will waive the fee; qualification for reduced lunch reduces the registration fee to $25. You may request a free/reduced lunch application form from the Early Learning Programs office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 425-456-4030.
- A copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport
- Proof of residency (Provide one copy, choose from one of the following categories: copy of a utility bill, or lease agreement, or mortgage payment book coupon, or bank or credit card statement, or cell phone bill, or most recent W-2 statement, or property tax statement, or auto/homeowner’s)
- Mail all application materials to Bellevue School District, Early Learning Programs, P.O. Box 90010, Bellevue, WA 98005. Applications may be dropped off at the Early Learning Programs Office, 12111 NE First St., Bellevue, WA. Applications must be received by April 1 for spring testing and by August 15 for summer/fall testing.
How will I know you have received my application? How will I know when my child is scheduled for the testing?
The early registration period is from February 1st until mid-March and the following week you will be mailed a letter with your testing appointment place and time. If you submit your application packet after mid-March and before April 1st you will be mailed a letter in early April about your testing appointment place and time. If you have not received a letter one week after these two separate due dates, please call the Early Learning Programs Office at 425-456-4030.
If found eligible to enter kindergarten early, how do I enroll my child?
Parents may submit enrollment forms to the neighborhood school. If your child is eligible for early entrance to kindergarten, information about the enrollment process will be provided with your child’s testing results. If your child qualifies for early entrance to kindergarten, we will send a copy of the test results to the child’s neighborhood school or if you applied for open enrollment to that particular school written on the application form.
When will I know the results of the testing?
Test results will be sent to parents approximately two weeks after the testing date. The results include a letter with the assessment team’s recommendation as well as a summary sheet of scores to show the developmental areas that the child did or did not meet eligibility criteria.
How can I prepare my child for the testing?
There is no studying for the tests; they are standardized tests given to four and five year olds to assess readiness skills and reasoning abilities. You can prepare your child by having him/her get a good night’s sleep and a healthy meal before the testing appointment.
If my child attends a private kindergarten program can they start first grade in public school?
Our district policy states that underage children who have previously been enrolled in a state approved private school whose kindergarten program standards equal or exceed 450 hours of instruction provided by a certificated teacher and the curriculum meets WA state grade level expectations that they may be eligible for first grade.
The parents must provide a written statement from the private school that certifies their child successfully completed a kindergarten program which met the basic education requirements. A form is available from the district’s website, the Student Placement Office, and/or at the elementary school site.
The school’s guidance team may make adjustments in grade placement based on information obtained from the private school and/or assessment data of the student’s present levels of performance if they suspect a child may not succeed in grade 1.
What percentage of children tested qualify for early entrance?
It depends on the group of children that particular year and has ranged from 4-10% of the children tested have met or exceeded the eligibility criteria and been recommended for early entrance to kindergarten.
What if my child is sick on the scheduled testing day?
If your child is too sick to be tested or comes down sick the morning of the scheduled testing appointment, please call the Early Learning Office 425-456-4030 or email email@example.com to notify us before the testing appointment. We will get back to you to reschedule the testing appointment. If a parent writes an appeal letter that their child was sick during testing and requests re-testing, the appeal committee will not accept it.