Welcome to Kindergarten Academy Class of 2033
Welcome to Kindergarten Academy Class of 2033
Posted on 01/31/2020

It was an exciting day for more than 100 four- and five-year-old students on January 21 as they started their first day of school in the district’s new Kindergarten Academy classes. They said goodbye to parents and family members and their journey through school began. kinder academy student

These students represent the first class of a transitional kindergarten program designed to support children who have not had an opportunity for preschool and show an ability and/or need for a developmentally appropriate kindergarten readiness experience.

There are six transitional kindergarten classes strategically located amongst the three regions in the district. Classes are held at Dessie F. Evans, Firgrove, Northwood, Pope, Spinning, and Wildwood elementary schools. These locations provide options for local access for families.

In the State of Washington students must be five years of age by August 31 to enroll in kindergarten.  Kindergarten Academy is designed as a transitional full-day kindergarten program for students who turn five after August 31 and will be five the following school year.

Assessments for the program began last fall for children who turn five years old on or before August 31, 2020 and who have never attended a formal preschool or Pre-K program. Children were tested to determine who would most benefit from a transitional kindergarten experience. The assessment included letter (lower/uppercase) and number recognition as well as shapes and colors.

The goal is that students will be well prepared to enter kindergarten next fall after attending Kindergarten Academy.

student workingKindergarten readiness

Statistics show that less than 50 percent of children begin school meeting kindergarten readiness performance indicators.

The achievement gap of incoming kindergarten students is far greater than other achievement gaps found in later grades. This is due mostly to the fact that some of our youngest learners do not have the opportunity to attend a formal preschool program or any other type of early learning experience prior to entering kindergarten. 

For this reason, the district has set a goal to increase the percentage of children entering kindergarten who can demonstrate specific learning characteristics.

In 2016 a small committee was formed to explore the possibility of a implementing a Puyallup School District early learning plan and make a recommendation to the school board. The committee considered district programs, staff, and curriculum.   The implementation of Kindergarten Academy is a result of that work.