Monroe School District Expands Early Learning Access with Second Transition to Kindergarten Class 

Transition to Kindergarten

With the goal of increasing access to early learning opportunities for preschool-age students in our community, the Monroe School District is excited to announce a second Transition to Kindergarten (TK) classroom was added for the 2023-24 school year. This expansion is a direct response to identified community needs and a reflection of the district's commitment to providing a strong educational foundation through early learning.

Listening to Our Community

When Superintendent Shawn Woodward assumed leadership of the Monroe School District, he embarked on a journey to understand the district and its community better. Over the course of his first two months, Superintendent Woodward engaged in extensive dialogue with staff, students, families, and community members through focus groups and one-on-one meetings. One of the key issues that surfaced during these conversations: the lack of access to high-quality early learning opportunities for preschool-age children in Monroe.

This concern is not unique to Monroe; it mirrors a broader statewide issue. According to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), a staggering 80% of preschool-age children in Washington do not have access to high-quality preschool programs.

The Transition to Kindergarten (TK) Program

To address this crucial need, OSPI introduced the Transition to Kindergarten (TK) program in the 2021-22 school year. TK is a pre-kindergarten program designed for children who are 4 years old and have been identified through a school district's screening process as needing additional preparation for successful kindergarten entry the following school year. This program is a vital step toward enhancing early learning opportunities.

TK programs, provided at no cost to families, are staffed by certified educators and fully integrated within the school environment. This includes access to meals, transportation, and recess, creating a comprehensive and supportive learning experience for young students.

Monroe's Commitment to Early Learning

Spearheaded by Melanie Gray, Principal of Salem Woods Elementary, the Monroe School District established its first TK classroom at Fryelands Elementary in 2021. The program has met resounding success and has been warmly embraced by families, with the class quickly reaching capacity each year since its inception. The waitlist for enrollment has consistently been long enough to warrant the addition of a second classroom.

Recognizing the demand for increased access to preschool opportunities, and understanding that kindergarten readiness is a significant predictor of students' success on third-grade statewide assessments in math and English language arts, Superintendent Woodward made the proactive decision to open a second TK classroom this year.  

Transition to Kindergarten student working on puzzle

This second classroom is located at Frank Wagner Elementary and quickly filled to capacity with students who were previously on the waitlist. The overwhelming demand highlights the community's readiness for access to more early learning opportunities. 

The addition of a second Transition to Kindergarten classroom is a testament to Monroe School District's dedication to the educational well-being of its community. This expansion ensures that more children in our district have the opportunity to start their educational journey on a strong footing, setting the stage for a bright and successful future. 

Transition to Kindergarten student working on drawing

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