By Anne Arnold
Ready K!, a full-day, early entrance kindergarten program, launches this October. The program provides an equitable start for children in Highline who have not had access to quality early learning experiences.
We will identify eligible students through a process with early learning community partners beginning in late October each year. The process targets students who will start kindergarten in September the following year. Many of these students are on wait lists for admission to local ECEAP preschools, Head Start programs, community preschool and partner childcare programs. Once identified, students will be screened to determine if they qualify and need support to be ready for Kindergarten.
Ready K! is a strategic implementation of early entrance kindergarten to support students and families who we know will benefit from starting kindergarten 18 weeks early.
When does Ready K! begin?
Communication about the program begins in October with families and early learning partners. Then we begin recruiting students with the help of our early learning community. Identified students will be screened in January and begin full-day Ready K! in February. Our Ready K! students attend school every day through the end of the school year in June, then transition to the regular kindergarten program in September.
Where will we have Ready K! Classrooms?
We will place Ready K! classrooms as close as possible to where students live. We will work with schools to find available classrooms. We anticipate having only a few classrooms the first year.
Will transportation be provided for Ready K! students?
Yes; Highline will accommodate students through existing bus routes and new bus routes as needed.
What will a Ready K! classroom look like?
We are putting together Ready K! kits that include the same type of furniture, resources, and materials in all of our full-day kindergarten classes. These will be set up in the identified classrooms the week before Ready K! begins. At the end of the school year, the furniture and materials will be packed up and stored for the following year’s programs.
Who will teach Ready K! students?
Each Ready K! classroom will have one certificated teacher and one paraeducator, Recruitment and hiring begin in October.