A new program in our state aims to help kindergarten teachers get the earliest and most complete look at the children coming into their classroom, to ensure each child receives the support needed to be successful in school.

The Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) is being tested this school year with 3,000 children in 120 kindergarten classrooms around the state.

It creates an opportunity for families, teachers and early learning professionals to talk about an individual child's strengths and needs before school starts. That conversation is then coupled with a more formal assessment of each child's social, emotional, physical and academic skills once school starts. The process is about making sure kids get a great start in school.

The WaKIDS pilot was designed in partnership with elementary teachers and principals, special education specialists, early care and education providers, parents and representatives from Washington Tribal communities.

KING 5's Christie Johnson takes a look at the program.

Go to the Thrive by Five Washington website for more information.

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