Kindergarten Overview

kindergarten students and teacher

The kindergarten year is a critical time in a child's early development and learning. A quality kindergarten program supports children's physical, social, emotional, math, language, literacy and cognitive development. It gives them opportunities for joyful learning which will support them throughout school and life. The state education department outlines what children are expected to learn in kindergarten in Your Child's Progress. 

Full Day Kindergarten

Seattle Public Schools offers free full-day kindergarten at all elementary and K-8 schools. Making full-day kindergarten accessible for all students is important because research shows that children participating in developmentally appropriate, full-day programs make greater gains both socially and academically. Full-day kindergarten provides young learners the time they need to engage in learning in ways that effectively support them in building the foundational social and academic skills they need to support learning throughout their education.

Research shows that children who participate in full-day kindergarten have:

  • Stronger foundations and skills for the elementary grades
  • Greater overall academic achievement
  • Improved attendance
  • Enhanced literacy and language development and math
  • Better social and emotional development

Visit Enrollment for information about enrolling your kindergarten student.

Special Start Day for Kindergarten 

Full day (6-hour) kindergarten is free at all Seattle elementary schools. All elementary and K-8 schools participate in WaKIDS -- the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills, which includes a one-to-one teacher visits with every kindergarten family. These 30- to 40-minute "Family Connection" visits will be scheduled with each family on September 6, 7 or 8. Interpretation is available by request. This means that the first day of school for every kindergartner in Seattle Public Schools will be Monday, September 11. All other grades start on September 6.

Requesting a Part Day Schedule

Families who prefer to have their child attend for part of the day rather than a full day may do so. To request a part-day schedule, parents should contact the principal at the school their child will attend.

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