Highline Public Schools will fund all day Kindergarten this fall

Highline Public Schools, announced on Thursday May, 23 that they will fund tuition-free full-day kindergarten at all district schools starting this fall.

State lawmakers are currently debating over budget plans with varying levels of kindergarten funding. Highline would fund the program in any case, regardless of what the state chooses to do.

Each of the three plans under consideration would fund full-day kindergarten at some, but not all, schools in Highline.

Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield said, “We cannot wait for the legislature to act. Full-day kindergarten is the right thing to do for all our children and families now.”

Highline considers full-day kindergarten to be a key strategy for meeting their goal of 95 percent of next fall’s kindergartners performing at or above grade level in all core subjects by the end of Grade 3.

They cite multiple studies that show children who participate in full-day kindergarten make significant gains in reading and math compared with students in half-day programs. The district said that research also shows that mastering reading and math skills by third grade is critical for success throughout middle and high school.

“Kindergarten is a critical year. It sets the stage for a child’s entire school experience,” said Highline’s P-3 Director Anne Arnold, who directs early learning (preschool through grade 3) programs.

“This is one of several critical investments Highline making toward the bold goals in our new strategic plan,” said Enfield. The district is also investing in high-priority goals for older students, such as ensuring that 19 out of 20 students pass Algebra by Grade 9, and that 19 out of 20 students in the freshman class of 2013 graduate successfully.

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