Early Entrance Kindergarten & First Grade


  • The Mercer Island School District provides an opportunity for parents or legal guardians who have children who are not quite five (5) years old (for kindergarten) or six (6) years old (for first grade) by the state cut-off requirement of August 31, and believe their child is displaying kindergarten or first grade readiness, to have their child privately assessed by an independent assessor. See policy 3110 for more information.

    If you wish to apply for early entrance kindergarten or first grade, please contact Mary Newcomer beginning in February. Your child will be contingently enrolled in their elementary school, pending receipt of application materials.

    How to determine if your child is eligible for early entrance kindergarten or early entrance first grade:

    1. Will your child turn age five (for kindergarten) or age six (for first grade) between September 1 – October 31? If you can answer "Yes", contact Mary Newcomer for an early entrance registration packet

    Early Entrance Assessment Requirements

    A state-licensed licensed psychologist must evaluate a child referred for early entrance. Motor testing may be completed by a licensed Occupational or Physical Therapist and communication testing by a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. The assessment will include, but may not be limited to, the following areas:

    • Cognitive
    • Gross motor
    • Fine motor
    • Visual discrimination
    • Auditory processing
    • Social/emotional
    • Communication

    To qualify for early entrance, the student must score in the 90th percentile or higher in all areas of the evaluation. Tests must be completed during the 6 months prior to the early entrance deadline (see below). For students meeting the minimum score requirement, information from other application materials will be considered prior to making a conditional admissions decision.

    Children granted conditional early entrance may be assigned to a classroom for a trial period of up to 30 calendar days. A permanent decision will be made regarding placement following the trial period.

    If you wish your student to be considered for early entrance, the enclosed application packet must be turned in to Learning Services at the District Office by July 15 (attn.: Mary Newcomer) and include the following:

    1. Proof of Residency
    2. Early Entrance Parent Questionnaire Form (to be completed by the student’s parents)
    3. Signed Mutual Exchange of Information (with child’s preschool AND assessor)
    4. Mercer Island School District Student Enrollment (completed online)
    5. Early Entrance Assessment Results cover sheet and signed evaluation report(s), sent directly from the licensed psychologist to the district office.
    6. Pre-school Questionnaire sent directly from the pre-school.

    After the Early Entrance Committee reviews assessment data and the application packet, the parents will be notified of the early entrance decision by August 15.