Early Entry to Kindergarten & First Grade

Administrative Policies and Procedures

  • Qualifications of Attendance, Ages of Entrance and Placement: 3110P

    Ages of Entrance:

    To be admitted to a kindergarten program that commences in the fall of the year, a child must be five (5) years of age as of midnight, August 31, of the year of entry.

    To be admitted to a first grade program that commences in the fall of the year, a child must be six (6) years of age as of midnight, August 31, to enroll in the first grade.

    Parents are required to submit a birth certificate, hospital certificate signed by the attending physician, or passport to confirm the age of their child.

    Steps for Early Entrance to Kindergarten:

    1. To be considered for the Early Entry to Kindergarten Program, a child must be five (5) years old by midnight, October 31 of the year of entry. There are no exceptions to this date. Families interested in having a student assessed for early entry may have an outside agency/professional complete an assessment battery of school readiness in the areas of: mental ability, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual discrimination, auditory discrimination, and emotional/social development (See WAC 392-335-025, Local option exceptions to uniform entry qualifications). The parent is responsible for all fees.
    2. The evaluation scores and analysis must be received from the parent in the Student Support Services Department no later than August 15 of the year of entry to be considered. The qualifying score in each area is at least 5 years, 6 months age equivalent for placement as a kindergarten student.
    3. Students who reside within the Federal Way School District, and whose families, due to their low income, would have difficulty paying for the required assessments, may apply to the District for a waiver from paying for the assessments. To obtain a waiver, families would have to qualify under free and/or reduced price lunch guidelines. Families who qualify under reduced price standards will be charged a $15.00 co-payment, with the District assuming the remainder of the cost of the assessments. The District will assume the full cost of the assessments for families who qualify according to free lunch guidelines.
    4. Children who qualify with at least 5 years, 6 months age equivalent in each assessment area may be enrolled for an evaluation period. During this time the kindergarten teacher and principal shall observe the child and in consultation with the school psychologist shall make a final determination regarding continuation. A determination will be made as soon as possible, but in no case will the evaluation period exceed thirty (30) calendar days. It is strongly recommended that the principal and/or teacher make a weekly report to the parent on the child’s adjustment and progress. If it is recommended that the child’s enrollment be discontinued in the kindergarten program, the principal, teacher and parents will meet to inform the parents of the basis for the decision. The recommendation will then be formalized in writing.

    Steps for Early Entrance to First Grade:

    1. Parents of children not eligible to enter first grade because their sixth (6) birthday falls after August 31, may request from the Superintendent’s designee, and/or the elementary school principal, Form 3110 to waive the state age requirement based upon successful completion of kindergarten in a program which substantially equals or exceeds the basic education requirements of WAC 180-16-200 through 180-16-220. The completed Form 3110 must be received no later than August 15 of the year of entry.
    2. When the principal receives the EARLY ENTRY TO FIRST GRADE FORM 3110, signed by the principal of the kindergarten attended, the child may be enrolled for an evaluation period, not to exceed thirty (30) calendar days.
    3. After the evaluation period, the principal, teacher and psychologist shall recommend the continuation in the first grade or appropriate grade level placement.The District reserves the right to consider alternative placement at any time during the school year if it is believed the child’s rate of learning, accelerate/decelerate causing potential harm to the child or the learning environment.


    The decision of where to place a student seeking admission to the District rests with the principal. Generally students meeting the age of admission requirements or transferring from a public or approved private school shall be placed in kindergarten or first grade, or the grade from which they transferred. The principal shall evaluate the educational record and assessments of all other students to determine their appropriate placement. A temporary classroom assignment may be made for no more than thirty calendar days for the purpose of evaluation prior to making the final placement decision. 

  • EARLY ENTRY for the 2022-2023 school year is now closed. 

    EARLY ENTRY TESTING WINDOW for the 2023-2024 school year will be July 4 to August 10

Contact Us!

  • Early Learning Department


    Educational Service Center
    33330 8th Ave. S.
    Federal Way, WA 98003