Results show investments by the Early Childhood Education Initiative on Orcas has been highly successful and provide evidence that investing in quality preschool programs locally pays off in kindergarten-readiness.
In 2015, only 44.2 percent of Washington State students entering kindergarten were considered ready in all six domains: social emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy and math. While Orcas students tested better at 69.2 percent, we knew we could do better and set about defining the goals that would get us there.
By the fall of 2016, Washington State improved its percentage to 47.4 percent. But assessments on Orcas showed that 87.1 percent were ready in 6 of 6 domains. (In comparison, other San Juan Island County assessments showed only 61.1 percent and 48.1 percent were entirely kindergarten-ready.)
The percentage growth in readiness on our island is important because it demonstrates collaboration and investments in our preschools work! Orcas is the ONLY island on which all state-licensed preschools collaborate to improve these outcomes. And it’s the ONLY island that has an actively managed preschool Initiative willing to invest in student access and quality improvements.
The WA State Department of Early Learning has set a goal of 90 percent of students meeting kindergarten readiness in 6 of 6 domains by 2020. With support of the Initiative and highly motivated preschools, Orcas Island is well on its way of meeting and exceeding this goal.
But this is just the beginning. The ECE Initiative is seeking bridge funding to provide time to develop a collaborative, long-term funding strategy for ECE with OICF and other community partners. LEARN MORE.