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    Board Approves Expansion of Preschool and Accepts State Kindergarten Fee Subsidy
    Posted on 03/18/2016
    Young students read in the classroom

    Seattle School Board approves expansion of preschool program and acceptance of state subsidy for free kindergarten

    The Seattle School Board recently made two momentous decisions in support of the city's youngest learners.

    On Wednesday, March 16, 2016, the Board voted to approve the expansion of Seattle Preschool Program classrooms. In addition, they agreed to accept state subsidy for full day kindergarten in all of the district's elementary and K-8 schools.

    The Board also approved the continuing operation of three Seattle Preschool Program classrooms that opened last fall at Bailey Gatzert, Van Asselt and “Original” Van Asselt.

    These three classroom were opened as a result of the voter-approved initiative to broaden high quality early learning opportunities in Seattle.

    New Preschool Classrooms Fall 2016

    In Fall 2016, four additional classrooms will open, bringing district-run, city-funded preschool to:

    • Thornton Creek
    • Arbor Heights
    • Highland Park
    • Louisa Boren STEM K-8

    Enrollment for these classrooms, which will operate on the same school-day schedule as the other grades in their buildings, will begin March 28, 2016.

    Tuition is subsidized for families with incomes at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

    No Kindergarten Fees for All Families Begins 2016-17

    Additionally, the Board approved accepting state subsidy for full day kindergarten at all Seattle elementary and K-8 schools.

    Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, families will no longer pay tuition for a full 6-hour day of kindergarten.

    It also means SPS will provide:

    Family Connections visits: an opportunity for families to meet individually with their child's kindergarten teacher at the beginning of the school year

    District-wide implementation of the WaKIDS whole child observational assessment – an inventory of how each child is developing skills in six areas (social-emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy and mathematics). WaKIDS helps teachers find out what each child knows and can do at the beginning of the school year. Knowing more about children’s entering skills and strengths helps teachers and parents work together to support student growth in the kindergarten year

    Stronger collaborations between schools with community-based early learning centers and childcare providers who teach and care for children prior to kindergarten

    Read more about Early Learning at Seattle Public Schools.