The Olympia School District offers a variety of Early Childhood programs. Educational and family support services are available to children from infancy to kindergarten age, through several of our elementary schools and in cooperation with other community early learning providers.
Infant Toddler Program
Our Infant-Toddler program is located in leased space at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd and provides services to children with developmental delays between birth and age 3, with an emphasis on supporting their families. Services and supports are available to all families of eligible students who reside within the district’s boundaries. A combination of home visits, Toddler Groups, therapy appointments, and parenting education programs are individually designed for each young child and family. We collaborate with South Sound Parent to Parent to provide Family Resources Coordination and offer physical and occupational therapy services through a contract with Providence St. Peter Hospital Therapy Services. Within 90 days of the child’s third birthday, he/she is evaluated to determine ongoing eligibility for special education support through the preschool program.
For additional information or to make a referral, please contact Cissy McCormick, Early Childhood Director. 360-596-7542 firstname.lastname@example.org
We have preschools at Boston Harbor, Garfield, Madison, McKenny, McLane and in leased space at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church*. In 7 of our classrooms, the teachers have 2 sessions, each with about 18 students per session, and at least 3 adults (one teacher, 2 para-educators). All of these teachers have classes M-Th for 2.5 hours (AM and PM sessions). Half the students (9) have developmental delays, half are typically developing peers. We have a full day preschool program at Boston Harbor, designed to support students on the autism spectrum (ASD), who require a highly structured program and more intensive services. Typically developing peers join those classes for half days. The ASD class uses the STAR program, an ABA (applied behavior analysis) approach using Discrete Trial Training, Pivotal Response Training, and Functional Routines. Our preschools use the Tools of the Mind curriculum, which emphasizes the development of self-regulation through pretend play. There is lots of work on early literacy, embedded in playful activities.
*Due to overcrowding in some of our schools, we have located 2 preschools and our Infant-Toddler Program at Good Shepherd.
Students With Developmental Delays (3-4 year olds)
Students with developmental concerns can be referred for evaluation by family or community members. Developmental evaluations address skills in cognition, communication, motor, social and adaptive skills, compared to students of the same age. Evaluations are conducted by a multi-disciplinary team. Eligibility is based on federal and state regulations. Students who qualify for specially designed instruction may receive support from special education preschool teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational/physical therapists, vision specialist based on individual needs. Students eligible for and in need of specially designed instruction will have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) describing the student’s goals, supports, and services.
Peer Models (all peers must be at least 3 years old before Sept. 1st)
Olympia School District Preschool Tuition Program (at Boston Harbor, Garfield, Good Shepherd, Madison, McKenny, and McLane): Up to 9 students per session pay tuition to Olympia School District at the following rates: full-fee = $181.50 per month for 10 months (based on 33 weeks of preschool per year) and reduced-fee = $66.00 per month, if families qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
Title 1 support students who are determined to be at-risk for developmental delays, based on screening results, can participate without paying tuition
Preschool Schedule Times
Preschool start times vary by school, matching the start times for the K-5 students.
Early Release Times
During an early release day for K-8 students, there are no AM or PM preschool classes.
During an early release day for K-5 students, there are no AM or PM preschool classes.
Students who will turn 5 prior to Sept. 1st are eligible for kindergarten. Most students transitioning from preschool programs to kindergarten will register and enroll in their neighborhood school. Neighborhood school is determined by the address at which the child sleeps/resides most nights of the week.
Kindergarten students with special education needs receive specially designed instruction and other services as part of their instruction day. Services are provided based on each child’s IEP (Individualized Education Program), which is developed by school team members and parents, together.
Some kindergartners may require a more specialized program, as determined individually by each student’s IEP team. For students who require a more specialized program as kindergartners, parents will collaborate with school team members to determine the appropriate program.
Early Entrance to Kindergarten
Some children whose birthdays fall after September 1st may have already acquired the skills to participate successfully in kindergarten. Olympia School District has developed policy and procedures for consideration of Early Entrance to Kindergarten. To be considered for Early Entrance, a student’s birthday must fall between September 1 and October 31 of the current school year. Students with later birthdates will NOT be considered. All early entrance applicants must successfully complete the established screening process. Applications will not be considered after the first full week of school each fall.
For additional information regarding Early Childhood Programs or to make a referral, please contact:
Early Childhood Director