Main navigation

Early Entrance to Kindergarten

EEK Information

What you should know about Early Entrance to Kindergarten

Early Entrance to Kindergarten is not Advanced Learning eligibility. Only students currently enrolled in K-8 can be evaluated for advanced learning.

Before continuing, please go to the WAKids link describing state expectations for kindergarten readiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate in early entrance evaluation in the spring?

Washington state and Seattle Public School legally require that students entering kindergarten in the fall must have turned five (5) years of age on or before August 31 of the enrollment year. A child whose fifth birthday falls on or between September 1 and October 31 may enter kindergarten if they meet rigorous entrance-screening requirements. These are rare exceptions. To assure that your child will be more likely to have a great first year of school, they will be expected to meet standards at least six months above their age in all areas assessed.

How should I decide whether to apply for early entrance to kindergarten?

“Readiness” is exhibited socially, emotionally, physically and academically. These pieces are equally important for parents to understand when deciding to have their child evaluated for EEK. Parents should take these factors into consideration as the potential risk of frustration, embarrassment, and sense of failure is substantially increased for these youngest students throughout their school years.

Since the development of self-esteem is an important goal for all students, setting them up to be successful should be of foremost concern. Research findings point out that, on a national level, the youngest students in any classroom perform at lower levels in almost all areas compared to their classmates.

Please Note: It is highly advised you retain your preschool or daycare plan for school year 2022-23 until you receive your final notification of eligibility.

What is the evaluation process for determining student eligibility for early entrance into kindergarten?

Step 1: Screening evaluation for all applicants

All applicants will be evaluated using an online social emotional skills inventory. This process helps us determine if a child has the developmental skills necessary to be successful in a kindergarten classroom. The online screening form will be completed by both the family and their preschool teacher, caregiver or other non-family adult.

Outcomes of the Social Emotional Screener

A multi-disciplinary committee will review each student’s screening form, after which a very small number of students will be asked to an in-person school-based evaluation. Results will be sent to parents by email approximately a week after the evaluation. If there is no email address, results will be sent by US Postal Service. The notification will have one of the following possible outcomes:

  • The student did not demonstrate the needed readiness skills and is not eligible for early entrance into kindergarten; or
  • The student did demonstrate the needed readiness skills and is eligible for an in-person school-based observation.
  • There are no appeals of the screening evaluation results.

Step 2: In-Person Evaluation

This small group receiving in-person evaluations will be assessed by kindergarten teachers observing how each child interacts socially and emotionally in a classroom environment. Teachers will also complete a basic check of each child’s academic readiness skills at this time.

Outcomes of In-Person Evaluation

Results will be sent to parents approximately 7-10 days after the evaluation. The Multidisciplinary Selection Committee will identify the most highly qualified applicants. The notification will have one of the following possible outcomes:

  • The student did not demonstrate the needed readiness skills and is not eligible for early entrance into kindergarten, or
  • The student did demonstrate the needed readiness skills and will be recommended for a four-week trial period in kindergarten, beginning at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Determination of continuation in kindergarten is at the discretion of the school principal.

Families of students found eligible for early entrance to kindergarten must complete the regular registration process through Admissions in June to ensure the student’s enrollment in a kindergarten classroom for September 2022.

How do I apply for an early entrance to kindergarten evaluation for my child?

Step 1 : Complete the Application and pay Processing Fees*

Complete the application and pay processing fee. The processing fee for early entrance screening is $65, plus a transaction fee for online payment. For families that qualify for reduced fee based on family income, the processing fee is reduced to $15.00 (see table within application for qualifying criteria). Payment can be made through a link in the online application.

If your child moves on to in-person evaluation, there will be an additional $75 fee, plus transaction fee ($20.00 for those who qualify for reduced fee) collected before the evaluation can be scheduled.

* Please note: All fees are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Step 2 : Submit Application by Deadline: March 21, 2022 at 4pm.

How will I know you have received my application?

An e-mail confirming the receipt of your application will be sent only to those whose applications are complete and on-time. 

What if my child doesn’t meet Early Entrance requirements, and I do not believe the decision represents my child’s kindergarten readiness skills?

There is no appealing the initial screening decision. If your student moves on to in-person evaluation and does not meet the Early Entrance requirements, you may appeal the decision to the Multidisciplinary Selection Committee. First, submit a letter informing us of your intention to appeal. Then, compile compelling, written evidence of your child’s academic skills, language development, physical coordination, and social maturity. Mail all documentation in one packet to the Advanced Learning Office by June 3, 2022. These appeals will be considered and resolved by June 10, 2022.

All appeals and supporting assessment information must be received by the Advanced Learning Office no later than 4 PM on Friday, June 3, 2022 for consideration.

Early Entrance to Kindergarten Key Dates

  • Application Opens: Tuesday, March 1, 2022
  • Application Deadline: Monday, March 21, 2022, 4 pm to Advanced Learning Office
  • Online Survey decision notifications: Late April
  • In-Person Evaluations : Saturday, May 14, 2022
  • Appeals Deadline : June 3, 2022