By Lindsay Newcomer
Southwest Early Learning Regional Coalition
For the Southwest coalition, work on WaKIDS – Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills – has been one piece of the regional coalition work that has fell into place relatively seamlessly. Our region has been working on engaging school districts and early learning providers in the kindergarten transition process over the last five years.
Learn more about regional coalition work
In Clark County, the local coalition, SELF, brought together educational professionals across systems and developed a kindergarten transition form. This form and our local process helped to inform the statewide workgroup in the development of the statewide kindergarten transition form earlier this year. Going a step beyond WaKIDS, Clark County has also started providing information to families in an effort to ensure families register their kindergarteners early, thus enabling schools to be more prepared for their youngest students.
In Pacific County, there is a rich collaboration between kindergarten teachers and early learning providers. The early learning providers and kindergarten teachers meet regularly to discuss consistency and transition between the programs. The collaboration happening in Pacific County sets a precedent for the rest of our region.
In Skamania County, kindergarten teachers are sharing TS Gold assessment information with staff from Head Start, as well as ECEAP, the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program funded by Washington state.
Because the early learning collaboration piece of WaKIDS is very broad, school districts can chose their level of involvement. Our region has been fortunate to have so many districts so willing to engage with early learning providers on various levels. We hope that, as a coalition, we can continue to help grow and encourage these interactions!