(1) Beginning with the 2007-08 school year, funding for voluntary all-day kindergarten programs shall be phased-in beginning with schools with the highest poverty levels, defined as those schools with the highest percentages of students qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch support in the prior school year. During the 2011-2013 biennium, funding shall continue to be phased-in each year until full statewide implementation of all-day kindergarten is achieved in the 2017-18 school year. Once a school receives funding for the all-day kindergarten program, that school shall remain eligible for funding in subsequent school years regardless of changes in the school's percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches as long as other program requirements are fulfilled. Additionally, schools receiving all-day kindergarten program support shall agree to the following conditions:
(a) Provide at least a one thousand-hour instructional program;
(b) Provide a curriculum that offers a rich, varied set of experiences that assist students in:
(i) Developing initial skills in the academic areas of reading, mathematics, and writing;
(ii) Developing a variety of communication skills;
(iii) Providing experiences in science, social studies, arts, health and physical education, and a world language other than English;
(iv) Acquiring large and small motor skills;
(v) Acquiring social and emotional skills including successful participation in learning activities as an individual and as part of a group; and
(vi) Learning through hands-on experiences;
(c) Establish learning environments that are developmentally appropriate and promote creativity;
(d) Demonstrate strong connections and communication with early learning community providers; and
(e) Participate in kindergarten program readiness activities with early learning providers and parents.
(2)(a) It is the intent of the legislature that administration of the Washington kindergarten inventory of developing skills as required in this subsection (2) and RCW 28A.655.080
replace administration of other assessments being required by school districts or that other assessments only be administered if they seek to obtain information not covered by the Washington kindergarten inventory of developing skills.
(b) In addition to the requirements in subsection (1) of this section and to the extent funds are available, beginning with the 2011-12 school year on a voluntary basis, schools must identify the skills, knowledge, and characteristics of kindergarten students at the beginning of the school year in order to support social-emotional, physical, and cognitive growth and development of individual children; support early learning provider and parent involvement; and inform instruction. Kindergarten teachers shall administer the Washington kindergarten inventory of developing skills, as directed by the superintendent of public instruction in consultation with the department of children, youth, and families and in collaboration with the nongovernmental private-public partnership designated in RCW 43.216.065
, and report the results to the superintendent. The superintendent shall share the results with the secretary of the department of children, youth, and families.
(c) School districts shall provide an opportunity for parents and guardians to excuse their children from participation in the Washington kindergarten inventory of developing skills.
(3) Subject to funds appropriated for this purpose, the superintendent of public instruction shall designate one or more school districts to serve as resources and examples of best practices in designing and operating a high quality all-day kindergarten program. Designated school districts shall serve as lighthouse programs and provide technical assistance to other school districts in the initial stages of implementing an all-day kindergarten program. Examples of topics addressed by the technical assistance include strategic planning, developing the instructional program and curriculum, working with early learning providers to identify students and communicate with parents, and developing kindergarten program readiness activities.