Elementary Education

Elementary Parent Resources

Elementary Handbook

This department provides general support for elementary programs including supervising elementary schools, full day kindergarten, early entrance, fifth grade orchestra, magnet programs, summer school, and district school age care. Executive Director of Elementary Education Jodi Bongard oversees this department.

Early entrance into kindergarten

Washington State Law does not require school districts to accept children into kindergarten unless they are five years old by August 31. However, the Issaquah School District allows families who believe their children are ready to start school early to have them privately assessed by independent assessors in seven specific categories:

  1. Mental ability
  2. Gross motor skills
  3. Fine motor skills
  4. Visual discrimination
  5. Auditory discrimination
  6. Emotional/social development
  7. Language development

District policy requires that children demonstrate a maturity level of 5 years and 6 months in each of those categories before they can be invited to participate in kindergarten on a probationary basis.

The District does not perform the early entrance testing but we can refer interested families to private assessors who have attended a District orientation.

If you choose to have your child privately tested for early entrance to kindergarten, please submit the results to the Elementary Education Department at the Administration office by August 15.

How to find out more

For a list of approved early entrance assessors, contact the Elementary Education Department at (425) 837-7025. For general questions about early entrance, talk to your school principal or call the Elementary Education Department.

Early entrance into first grade

The Issaquah School District does not test children for entrance into first grade. We can accept a child into first grade who is younger than six years old by August 31 if one of these two conditions is met:

  1. The child has completed a private kindergarten program of no less than 450 hours per year with a state certificated teacher providing the instruction. The teacher must provide a written statement on school letterhead indicating the child's readiness to enter first grade.
  2. The child has completed a kindergarten program in another state public school that may use a date later than Washington State's August 31 deadline for school admission.

If neither one of those two conditions has been met, we initially enroll the child in kindergarten. We discuss the family's desire to have the child in first grade with the school principal and classroom teacher; then the teacher observes the child in relation to the other kindergarten students and determines if the child is sufficiently advanced to justify moving him or her ahead. If it appears the change should be made, the teacher will notify the school guidance team, which will make the final decision.

How to find out more

Contact the Elementary Education Department at (425) 837-7025 or talk to your school principal.