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Kindergarten Early Entrance

In the state of Washington, students must be five years old by August 31 to register for kindergarten. Children whose 5th birthday falls between September 1 and October 31, and whose parents believe them to be exceptionally qualified, may apply for early entrance to kindergarten. Children whose fifth birthday falls after October 31 are not eligible to apply for early entrance to kindergarten. 

The Shoreline School District does not recommend the placement of children in kindergarten before their 5th birthday. It is the desire of the district that children have a successful kindergarten experience and, in most cases, this is best achieved when they enter kindergarten at an older, rather than younger, age.

Please take into consideration that each year, a number of early entrance students end up withdrawing at the end of the evaluation period (30 days). For the majority of the withdrawn students, the chief obstacle to their success was emotional maturity and the ability to handle a five-day, high-demand educational setting - not their academic readiness.

Also, keep in mind that the decision to enter school early is not just a kindergarten decision. It is a decision that impacts the student's entire school career including when they enter puberty, start driving, and meet other developmental milestones relative to their classmates.

However, recognizing that a single cut-off date does not meet the individual needs of all students, and some may be sufficiently advanced to succeed in the program, the Shoreline School District has established an evaluation process for early entrance to kindergarten for those students turning 5 between September 1 and October 31.

An assessment by a Washington licensed psychologist or a Washington certificated school psychologist is required before your child can be considered for early entrance. Please note, the district does not offer testing nor referrals. To qualify, your child's performance must demonstrate above average ability in each of the following areas: cognitive development, fine motor development, visual discrimination, and auditory discrimination. No substitutions of the assessment areas will be allowed. Scheduling and paying for the assessment is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

Required Steps:

  1. Assessment: Contact a licensed psychologist or a certificated school psychologist in the state of Washington to schedule your child's assessment. Assessments will be accepted starting March 1 through August 15. Please have the psychologist complete this form, and return it to the address indicated.
  2. Notification to Parents/Guardians: You will receive a letter from the district within 10 working days of receipt of the assessment results indicating whether or not  your child is eligible for conditional placement into early entrance kindergarten.
  3. Registration: If approval has been received, you may register your student online or at your neighborhood school for conditional placement into kindergarten.
  4. Evaluation Period: Continued kindergarten placement will be determined at the end of the 30-day temporary placement.

If you have any questions regarding early entrance, you can email