Early Entrance

For Kindergarten and 1st Grade

Washington state law requires that students entering kindergarten turn five on or before August 31, and entering first graders must turn six on or before August 31. The law also allows districts to have a process for granting exceptions. Tahoma has a district board policy regarding early entry into kindergarten which is designed to locate children who are exceptionally advanced in all areas of development. Research has shown that these are the only children who benefit from early entrance.

Steps in the early entrance process include:

  • Parents attend a meeting in May with our early childhood school psychologist and a central office coordinator to provide information to help parents make this decision. Parent meeting invitations are emailed out two weeks prior to the meeting.
  • Parents arrange to have their child assessed by an independent, certified child psychologist of their choice. The district provides contact information of professionals we have worked with in the past. Parents may select any qualified child psychologist.
  • The psychologist who did the assessment provides the parents and district with a report comparing test results with eligibility standards, including age equivalency, no later than August 15.
  • Parents are notified in writing on the early entrance decision. A letter indicating eligibility allows them to register their child at their boundary school.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Why Independent Testing?

The independent, rather than district, testing is done to gain the most objective assessment of the child. District psychologist time is limited and prioritizes working with currently enrolled students.

  • Cost?

Approximately $600 - $1,000

  • Eligibility Standards?

Kindergarteners need to perform at a five years, six month level (5.6) in all seven assessed areas. First-grade students need to perform at a six years, six month level (6.6) in all areas.

Parents can view student work samples to see the expectation for the levels indicated above. There are also blank pages available for you to print to have your child complete the same work so you are able to compare their ability level to help you better determine their early-entrance readiness.

Kindergarten Student Work Samples: Reading, Writing, Math

1st-grade Student Work Samples: Reading (with parent activity), Reading (with student writing activity), Writing, Math

Click here to view Tahoma’s Early Entry Board Policy and Procedures 3110. The packet contains all the necessary forms and information needed to request early entry.

If you would like an Early Entry Board Policy and Procedures Packet sent to you, or if you have further questions, please contact Carole Witruk or call at 425-413-3430.

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