Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Great news for early learning

Big news for the early learning folks: new guidlines are available. Please note the guidelines are birth through third grade and reflect the state-level commitment for smooth transitions into the K-12 system. (See forwarded note, below, for more information.)

Also great news: Yesterday the governor signed a new WaKids bill into law that expands the program to all schools statewide. Funding comes from a federal grant.

WaKids is an inventory of developing skills for kindergartners. Teachers assess in four areas: social emotional, cognitive, physical and phonological. They then meet with parents to craft and discuss learning  strategies, supports and goals.

WaKids has been around as a pilot project, and a policy piece passed last session to roll it out at some high-poverty schools. Now it will be broadly available. More info
- Ramona Hattendorf

From: Jennings-Shaffer, Jennifer (DEL)
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 3:43 PM
To: Jennings-Shaffer, Jennifer (DEL)
Subject: Early Learning and Development Guidelines Available

Good Afternoon Partners-

Today is a big day. Following over a year of hard work from many committed individuals, including you, the redesigned Early Learning and Development Guidelines are available. The redesign process was led jointly by the Department of Early Learning, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Thrive by Five Washington. The redesigned Guidelines accomplish five goals set by the work group at the beginning of the redesign:

  • Celebrate Washington's increasingly diverse population.
  • The Guidelines' easy-to-read format also better supports parents as their child's first and most important teachers with information about what children can do and learn at different stages of development.
  • Extend the Guidelines through third grade and align with the K-3 learning expectations, including Common Core Standards.
  • Reflect what we've learned about child development since 2005.
  • Support ECEAP and Head Start standards.
The Guidelines can be accessed here: http://www.del.wa.gov/development/guidelines/default.aspx -the page also includes directions for ordering hard copies of the Guidelines. At this time the Guidelines are available in English, other languages will be made available soon. In addition, stay tuned for more information about roll out activities in the coming months.

Thank you!

Jennifer Jennings-Shaffer

Head Start State Collaboration Office in the Department of Early Learning

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