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    Jump Start: Preparing for Kindergarten

    Please note there will be changes to 2020 programs due to the COVID-19 school building closures.

    The transition to school is a big step in your child's life. It’s natural to have some anxiety.   That's why, even before school officially starts, we want to begin a connection with your family. In past summers, we've offered Jump Start, a week in August when children could come to school, meet staff and peers, and "practice" kindergarten routines.

    Health and safety must be our top priority, so we will not meet at school in August - instead, each school will design its own Jump Start 2020 plan. School kindergarten teams will tailor their outreach approach to welcome new students and support their transition to kindergarten. Some schools will make contact through calls, video introductions, postcards and letters. Others will invite families to participate with their child in short video calls during the the originally intended week of Jump Start, Aug. 17-21. 

    Kindergartners attending participating Jump Start schools can look forward to receiving their very own "Welcome to Kindergarten" kits - stocked with art and school supplies to inspire drawing, writing and creativity. Your school will contact you about its plans for distributing the kits. 

    Our Jump Start vision                                                                     Jump Start is often our first sustained contact with families new to Seattle Public Schools. It offers an opportunity for schools to act on our beliefs about equity and opportunity for all children. How we welcome students of color, immigrant and homeless families, how we layer learning for children practicing English, how we create supports for students with Individualized Education Program (IEP)s or health needs, and how we ensure that all families feel respected and included, will set the tone for school in the months and years to come. We hope Jump Start will lay the groundwork for good relationships.

    Summer break: From July 1 through August 10, schools will be closed for summer, with staff off-line from late June through early August.  

    Please be aware that the SPS Admissions department closes from July 10 through  August 2 to make updates for the coming school year.  New registrations are not accepted during this 2-3 week period.  

    Students with disabilities or health concerns:

    • If your child has a disability we would like to work with you and your child's case manager in advance to design a Jump Start plan. Please call the school principal or Special Education Liaison teacher.
    • If your child needs medicine or nursing help during the school day please complete a Medication at School form (found on our health services forms webpage) and send it to your child's school as soon as possible so the school nurse can write a health plan to keep your child safe and health at school.     

    View the short videos below to hear what students, parents and teachers say about Jump Start at Stevens Elementary and Dearborn Park International School.

    Stevens Elementary Jump Start Video

    Dearborn Park International Jump Start Video

    Questions? Contact us

    First day of kindergarten is Tuesday, September 8.

    Family Connection Conferences for incoming kindergarten and preschool families to meet their new teachers.

    Please note: Family Connection 2020 We are awaiting guidance from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) on when and how Family Connections can be offered.

    Our usual practice before the start of school is to offer each new kindergartner's family the chance to meet with their student's teacher. The goal is to foster a good home-school partnership. For this reason, kindergarten has a special start day, Sept. 8. We anticipate Family Connection visits occurring Sept. 2-4. All dates will be confirmed and communication will be sent to families.