Early Entrance to Kindergarten

  • Yelm Community Schools offers Early Entrance Kindergarten (EEK) to students who demonstrate an advanced level of school readiness.

    To be eligible for the readiness assessments and possible eligibility for early entrance into Kindergarten, children must live within the Yelm Community Schools boundaries and turn age five between September 1 and October 31.

    Those children who turn five after October 31 are not eligible for assessment per YCS District Policy 3110.  Please note any changes made to YCS District Policy 3110 prior to the June 1 deadline will apply to all applicants regardless of when the application was submitted.  Below are the steps for the application process.

    Please Note: All testing will be completed in August.  Due to the COVID-19 school facility closure, these evaluation dates are subject to change.  Thank you for your patience during this challenging time.

    Mail completed applications to:

    Yelm Community Schools
    Office of Student Support
    PO Box 476
    Yelm, WA 98597

Process for Early Entrance

  • Step 1: Application Completion

    • Download the application packet or request an application packet by emailing Student_Support@ycs.wednet.edu
    • Completed packets must be mailed to the Yelm Community Schools District Office and postmarked no later than June 1.
    • Late packets will not be accepted per Board Policy 3110.
    • If you need assistance with these forms, please contact the Office of Student Support at 360-458-6124 or by emailing Student_Support@ycs.wednet.edu

    Step 2: Individual Testing
    A YCS district office representative will contact your neighborhood school's principal to initiate the assessment process. If parent(s) wish to proceed they will pay a $35 teacher assessment fee and sign permission for an individual child assessment. A kindergarten teacher will observe and assess the child in multiple developmental areas.

    Step 3: Outcomes of Individual Testing
    Families are notified of the testing results approximately two weeks from the testing date. There are two possible outcomes of individual testing:

    • The child did not demonstrate above-average skills on the Kindergarten Essential Skills Assessment.  With this information, the early entrance assessment process will conclude and the child will enroll in kindergarten the following year as scheduled.
    • The child demonstrated above-average skills on the Kindergarten Essential Skills Assessment.  With this information, he/she will be referred to the school psychologist for further testing. Parent(s) will pay a $105 psychologist assessment fee at that time.

    STEP 4: Trial Period
    In Yelm Community Schools, kindergarten is a rigorous, full-day program focused on state-mandated learning outcomes in all subject areas.  To be successful, children must have the appropriate intellectual and language development, pre-academic skills, physical/motor coordination, and social/emotional maturity.

    If the student meets standard on both the teacher and psychologist assessments, he/she will be admitted to Kindergarten for a four-week trial period. At the completion of the four-week trial, the determination of final placement in kindergarten will be determined by the school principal.

    Kindergarten early entrance decisions as well as fee assessments shall be subject to appeal.  All appeals are to be made in writing and directed to the superintendent and/or designee who shall be responsible for reviewing the decision(s) and arriving at a final determination.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Who is eligible to enter kindergarten early?
    Yelm Community School guidelines require that students entering Kindergarten in the fall must be five years of age on or before August 31st. However, a child whose birth date falls on or between September 1st and October 31st may enter kindergarten if he or she meets the early entrance requirements.

    How do I know if this is the right choice for my child?
    The best way to make a decision about early entrance is to consider both the short- and long-term consequences by reviewing the available information.  One can never be completely sure that a decision is right or wrong; rather, years of experience have enabled YCS to look for certain factors that will likely determine a child's overall success.

    In Yelm Community Schools, kindergarten is a rigorous, full-day program focused on state-mandated learning outcomes in all subject areas.  To be successful, children must have the appropriate intellectual and language development, pre-academic skills, physical/motor coordination, and social/emotional maturity.  Students need to be able to pay attention for long periods of time and develop and maintain friendships with other children.

    Students need to be ready for kindergarten or they may become anxious and stressed when expectations exceed their capabilities.  Also, a child who enters kindergarten early will be younger than his/her peers throughout his/her school career.  Yelm Community Schools is committed to working with families to determine if Early Entrance to Kindergarten is an appropriate option for your child.

    How can I prepare my child for the testing?
    A child is assessed with a standardized test, designed to assess readiness skills and reasoning abilities.  This is not an assessment to prepare or study for, necessarily.  You can prepare your child for the assessment by ensuring he/she has a good night's rest and a healthy meal.

    What kind of information is used to determine if my child is eligible for early entrance to kindergarten?
    Your child’s eligibility for early entrance to kindergarten will be based on an evaluation of your child’s readiness for kindergarten. To increase the likelihood that your child will have a successful first year of school, he/she will be expected to meet standards approximately six months above his/her chronological age in all areas assessed.

    The early entrance process involves an objective evaluation of your child’s cognitive, large and fine motor, visual-motor integration, communication, and social/emotional development. Children meeting the early entrance standards will be recommended for a four-week trial period in kindergarten beginning at the start of the school year.

    What are the dates for testing?
    The Early Entrance to Kindergarten testing will occur during the month of August. Due to the COVID-19 school facility closure, these evaluation dates are subject to change.  Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time