Early Entrance Kindergarten Readiness Screening
Thank you for choosing the Washington Elementary School District! Our district proudly utilizes an Early Entrance Kindergarten Readiness Screening Protocol (approved by the governing board) for children who are not 5 years of age by September 1 but turn 5 before November 1 of the current school year. This process aligns with Arizona state law regarding Kindergarten enrollment. Early Kindergarten Readiness Screening takes place in the summer. Dates for summer 2022 are TBD.
Early Entrance Kindergarten Readiness Screening FAQs
What is the entry age for kindergarten?
Arizona Revised Statute 15-821 states that a child enrolling in kindergarten must be five (5) years of age on or before August 31 of the current school year.
Are there any exceptions?
The Early Entrance Kindergarten Screening policy allows children who turn five (5) in September or October to be assessed.
My child’s birthday falls after October 31st, can I apply for an exemption and screening?
No. There are no exceptions to the Early Entrance Kindergarten Screening policy. Only children with September or October birthdays will be considered for possible early entrance into kindergarten.
What options are available for my child who has a birthdate in November or December?
Can I request an early entry Kindergarten screening if I do not live within the boundaries of the Washington Elementary School District?
Early Entrance Screening is reserved for those families that live within the Washington Elementary School District boundaries.
What is the expectation for children who enter kindergarten early?
Children who enter kindergarten early are expected to be ready for first grade the following year. Children admitted for early entrance to kindergarten should exhibit exceptional social and emotional maturity and advanced academic skills. They should be capable of working with children who are up to 14 months older.
What is involved in the screening?
The screening lasts approximately two hours, depending on the child. The child will work one-on-one with a group of certified teachers or therapists in a variety of short assessments. Teachers will observe attention span, listening skills and willingness to follow directions, fine and gross motor skills, speech and language skills, academic skills, and their social skills. All screening takes place during the specifically scheduled days in the summer.
Can I prepare my child for the screening?
No. The screeners look for readiness skills that develop naturally as children mature. You can’t prepare for this as you might for a traditional test.
When is the screening?
Dates for summer 2021 screening will be July 13, 14, 15.
Can I stay with my child during the screening?
No, however you must remain on the premises. Part of kindergarten readiness is the ability to separate from the parent.
What is the cost of the screening?
The $75 screening cost covers the screener’s time and materials. Your child will not be tested until the fee is paid. This fee must be paid by money order on the day of testing.
How do I request an early entry screening?
Screening request forms will be available on the district website starting in February. You will complete an online request form including: First/last name of both you and your child, your current address, current telephone number, and a current email, your child’s birthday, and the primary language spoken in your home.
Who will evaluate the results of the screening and determine if my child can enter kindergarten?
Your child will work with a team of professionals who have many years experience working with young children in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, cognitive abilities, and in social/emotional readiness. The team will score the evaluations using scoring rubrics provided with the testing materials and make a decision regarding whether or not to recommend for early entry to kindergarten based on each child’s readiness. A personal phone call will be made to each family to discuss the results.
Can I appeal the decision if my child is not accepted for early entrance?
No. Simply participating in the screening process does not automatically guarantee a recommendation for early entry into kindergarten. The team makes every effort to be sure the process is fair, equitable, and the best long-term decision for each child.
Is the screening fee refundable?
Screeners are scheduled based on the number of students. Fees are not refundable for no-shows or for children who do not pass the screening.
Can I register my child for kindergarten before the screening takes place?
No. Results of the screening will be delivered through phone calls on the day that the child tests. If children are recommended for early entrance to Kindergarten, parents will be directed to the district office to pick up the acceptance letter stating that the student has passed the early entrance screening for kindergarten. Parents will then be able to take the letter to the registration center to enroll their student.
What if I’m unavailable on the testing dates?
Due to the schedules of the various team members and the logistics of pulling the testing team together, the testing dates are the only time that the screening is offered.
My child passed an early entry screener in another district. Will you accept that?
No. Only children who pass the Washington Elementary School District early entry screener will be admitted into kindergarten.
Can my child attend before and after school programs if they are accepted as an early entrant?
Each program has different age requirements and parents will need to verify with their specific program to see if their child meets that program’s age requirements.
What are my options if my child is not recommended for Early Entrance to Kindergarten?
The Washington Elementary School District offers many programs to families with young children. Please visit the following links to learn more about these different programs.
In order for your child to be screened, the following must be brought on the scheduled day of screening:
- A valid birth certificate
- Money order for $75 made out to WESD **Money order is non-refundable regardless if child moves forward to kindergarten or not. **
- A current valid rent, mortgage, or utilities bill in parent’s name. The bill must be for the month before or during screening to show proof of residency within the district boundaries
Finally, it is important to understand that this is not a matter of pass or fail. The testing team considers multiple factors, both academic and socio-emotional; in order to make the most informed decision. Our ultimate goal is to set each child on the path to a successful learning career.
Curriculum and Instruction602-347-2641