Our transitional kindergarten (TK) program was a pilot this year. Due to a funding structure change, we will not be continuing with TK next school year and into the future school years. We will be incorporating everything we learned into our existing preschool program classrooms.
Our district preschool classrooms provide an inclusive environment for children 3 to 5 years old at 12 sites through the school district. Additionally, tuition assistance and scholarships available for qualifying families.
The application window for Transitional Kindergarten now closed.
Learn more about the program below.
What is Transitional Kindergarten?
Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is an exciting opportunity to bring a free early childhood education experience to eligible children in Bellevue School District. TK is a program made available by public school districts for children who are identified by school districts through a screening process as needing additional preparation to be successful in kindergarten the following year. It serves children who are not currently enrolled in preschool and who don’t have access to other high-quality early learning experiences prior to entering kindergarten.
When and where is Transitional Kindergarten?
Transitional Kindergarten is scheduled to start on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023, and go through the last day of the school year. Transitional Kindergarten is a full day program. TK will be located at Woodridge Elementary. The program will follow the same schedule and breaks as Bellevue School District. District transportation will be provided. Transitional Kindergarten will focus on essential academics, social-emotional skills, and learning habits to empower children as they launch into their academic journey.
Who is eligible for Transitional Kindergarten?
To be eligible for TK, children must turn 4 years old on or before August 31 (and expect to attend kindergarten in the fall of the following year. For the class starting in January 2023, students will have birthdays between 9/1/2017 and 8/31/2018. Children can qualify for TK regardless of their family’s income. For students to attend TK in Bellevue School District, they must reside within the Bellevue School District boundaries. Students must be fully enrolled including residency verification. TK enrollment is expected to follow your child to kindergarten without any additional steps.
Students will be screened by appointment in January and students will qualify based on need.
How do students qualify for transitional kindergarten?
Qualifying Criteria for Transitional Kindergarten (Students need to show a need in at least one of the following):
- Pre-Academic/Cognitive Development
- Social-Emotional Development
- Fine and Gross Motor Skills
- Self-Help Skills
- Speech and Language Development
- Lack access to a licensed preschool opportunity due to availability or financial circumstances
- Qualify for free/reduced meals
What is the application process for my child?
Complete the application for your child. After the application is completed, you will receive a follow-up phone call from the Bellevue School District to schedule a screening (if your child is eligible) that will take place at the district office in January. Students will be identified based on need (qualifying criteria) and space availability. Children who are selected for transitional kindergarten will receive enrollment and orientation information.
What happens for my child in the fall as they enter kindergarten?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can children who are eligible for kindergarten due to age enroll in Transitional Kindergarten instead?
No. Children who are age 5 by August 31 are eligible for traditional kindergarten programs per OSPI
Is there a cost for Transitional Kindergarten?
No, it is a free program!
What is the screening process?
We will use this time to get to know your child and their developmental strengths and needs. This will be done by playing, counting, drawing, movement, and other fun activities. After the screening we will meet with the family to ask questions and get to know more information about your child.
What will the class makeup of students be?
Similar to traditional kindergarten classrooms, the Transitional Kindergarten program will consist of a diverse, heterogeneous makeup of students representing varying levels of skills, abilities, race, and other demographic indicators.
Why apply for Transitional Kindergarten?
Transitional Kindergarten is intended to reduce opportunity gaps and help ensure that students have access to an early learning experience. Our goal is to provide high quality preschool experiences that empower students and families as they enter Bellevue School District.
Where will the Transitional Program be located?
Our pilot transitional kindergarten class will be at Woodridge Elementary.
Is transportation available?
Yes! Students receive transportation services to and from school if needed, just like other students in the Bellevue School District.
Are lunch and breakfast available for students?
Woodridge does not have breakfast available for students. Lunch is available for students.
What does the class size and staffing model look like?
Each Transitional Kindergarten classroom is staffed with a full-time, certificated teacher and a full-time classroom paraeducator. A target classroom size of approximately 20 students per class has been identified.