There are 14 elementary schools in Bellingham, all with full-time kindergarten programs. Kindergarten registration begins in March every year.
Children must be 5 before Sept. 1 to attend kindergarten. Kindergarten tours and open houses begin in May. Check with your school office for early entrance opportunities. Locate your neighborhood school.
What your need for registration:
- Your child’s birth certificate to verify date of birth and legal name
- Medically verified immunization records
- Proof of residency
Kindergarten First Day of School
For grades 1 to 12 Wednesday, Sept. 1 is the first day of school. However, kindergarten students will start with half-days on Sept. 2 and 3 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with lunch served. These days will be communicated with families prior to school starting. The first full day of kindergarten is Tuesday, Sept. 7.
Why Full-Time Kindergarten?
We offer a full-time kindergarten program at all elementary schools at no cost to district families. Students attend kindergarten on the regular elementary school schedule 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Watch a 4-minute video of some of our kindergarten teachers sharing their thoughts about full-time kindergarten.
Ideas for you and your child to explore:
- Play board games with your child to practice taking turns.
- Visit the local library.
- Set up several play dates this summer.
- Visit your child’s school playground and practice playing on the equipment and following rules such as ‘slides are for going down.’
- Have your child practice following one-step and two-step directions. This could easily be done by making lunch together, or having them pick up their toys.
- Read to your child for a combined total of at least 20 minutes a day.
- Draw together, allowing your child time to practice using different tools (crayons, markers, pencils, side walk chalk).
- Have your child practice writing their name multiple ways (with playdough, using a stick in the dirt/sand, in shaving cream, using side walk chalk, or on paper for example).
- Have your child practice sorting objects around the house, this is especially fun while doing chores together (sort clothes, silverware, their toys).
- While driving in the car or shopping in a grocery store, notice letters, numbers, colors on signs, or in the objects around them.
- Practice counting to 20 while taking a walk or driving in the car.
- Count objects together. Count everything in and out of the home. While collecting rocks is especially fun!
- Engage in pretend play together. For example, use a plain cardboard box to go on an adventure to the moon!
- Visit local parks and beaches and take time to notice the amazing wonders nature has to offer.
- Provide plenty of opportunity to allow your child to engage in free play both inside and outside the house on a daily basis.
Before a student can attend school, parents must provide proof of full immunization, proof that a schedule of immunization has been started or a certificate of exemption. Immunization must be provided against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, mumps, measles, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella.
Immunizations protect the health of your child, and the health of others. State law requires that children entering kindergarten must have certain immunizations. For kindergarten entry:
- 2 doses of Varicella (Chickenpox) given on or after first birthday and received at least 28 days apart OR Blood test (titer) showing immunity to Varicella OR health care provider diagnosis is acceptable. Parent reported history of disease is NO longer acceptable
- 5 doses of DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) Fifth dose must be given on or after fourth birthday or 4 doses are acceptable, if fourth dose was given on or after the fourth birthday.
- 4 doses of Polio – Fourth dose must be given on or after fourth birthday or 3 doses are acceptable, if third dose was given on or after the fourth birthday.
- 2 doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) given on or after first birthday and received at least 28 days apart or blood test (titer) showing immunity to Measles, Mumps, or Rubella is acceptable
- 3 doses of Hepatitis B; dose 3 must be given on or after 24 weeks of age.
Early Entrance to Kindergarten & Promise Kindergarten
If your child’s fifth birthday falls after August 31 and you are interested in having your child evaluated for early entrance to kindergarten to attend school in the fall, please view our early entrance policy, procedure and form (form in Spanish). When applying for early entrance, please complete the Parent Questionnaire and have your child’s current preschool or childcare teacher complete this form, Teacher Questionnaire. Return both questionnaires and the early entrance application (3111F) to the District Office. You may also apply online. Applications are due by May 1. Assessments and evaluations for early entrance occur in May.
Promise K(indergarten) Promise K is a free, full-day early entrance kindergarten for children who are scheduled to enter kindergarten in the upcoming fall. The program focuses on basic academic and social skills to help qualifying students get a jump start towards success in school. Students must demonstrate financial, academic and social/emotional needs and cannot be currently enrolled in another early learning program. Recruiting students and selecting school sites occurs in November/December. Screening students for eligibility will occur in January and schools sites will be finalized based on enrollment. The first day of Promise K generally falls on the first day of our second semester in early February and runs until the end of the school year.
Contact Kris Newberry 360-676-6488.
View our Promise K video below.