Getting Ready for Kindergarten
In the state of Washington, if a child is five years old on or before August 31, he/she is eligible to register for kindergarten. Sometimes parents have children who have a birthday after, but very close to the cut-off date. Renton School District will provide an optional assessment for students whose 5th birthday falls during the month of September, if the parent believes that their child is ready for kindergarten. See your resident school for more information.
There is a wide range of developmental differences among children in kindergarten. Kindergarten teachers expect these differences and are trained to provide developmentally appropriate activities for all children.
At the same time, research has shown that when students start school ahead, they stay ahead. The district is making efforts to close this developmental learning gap by defining what skills are needed to be kindergarten ready and by involving community preschools, daycares and families in getting all children ready for kindergarten.
• Your child shows awareness of language sounds (e.g., rhyming, hearing the beginning sounds of words, and identifying sound patterns)
• Your child is able to recognize and name as many as 10 letters, especially those in his or her own name
• Your child is learning how to identify the sounds of a few letters
• Your child understands that signs and labels convey information
• Your child can memorize or participate in reading poems and familiar books
• Your child can correctly hold a book, turn the pages, and is able to pretend to read, using some of the language from the text, and using pictures to order the events
• Your child is able to retell some events from a familiar story when prompted by an adult
• Your child is able to write some letters correctly and attempts to convey meaning with words and pictures
• Your child continually learns new words and is expanding his or her verbal vocabulary
• Your child is able to speak in complete sentences
• Your child is able to speak clearly to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas, including descriptions of familiar people, places, things, and events
• Your child is able to take turns speaking and listening in short conversations, remembering and responding to what is said
• Your child is able to ask simple questions to get their needs met or better understand concepts or directions
• Your child is able to count to 20
• Your child is able to count up to 10 objects when asked “how many?”
• Your child is able to match a number with a group of objects, "That's a 3 and there are three puppies on this page."
• Your child is beginning to understand and use measurement words (big, small, tall, short, heavy, full, long)
• Your child is able to match, sort and name some simple shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle)
Knowledge (Thinking and Reasoning)
• Your child is starting to solve problems (puts the big block down first so the tower won't fall)
• Your child is eager to learn and talk about a range of topics, ideas, tasks, likes and dislikes
• Your child is able to engage in pretend and inventive play (make a tent with a towel, pretend to be a teacher, cook, builder, doctor, bus driver)
• Your child is able to remember and name at least one or two objects that are taken away while playing, "What's missing?"
• Your child can group objects by using a single characteristic such as shape, size, or color (puts all the blue things together)
• Your child can group objects that go together (shoe and sock, paper and pencil)
• Your child is beginning to manage rules, routines, and transitions with occasional reminders
• Your child is able to take turns and function appropriately in groups
• Your child is able to focus on a task for at least 5 minutes
• Your child is able to follow 2-step directions
• Your child is able to work independently
• Your child is able to take care of dressing, hygiene and toileting needs
• Your child is able to recognize and manage their emotions
• Your child is able to use scissors
• Your child is able to use writing tools to copy, trace and/or draw letters, numbers or shapes
• Your child is able to write or copy own name
• Your child is getting better at movement skills, such as jumping, galloping and skipping
• Your child is able to throw a ball