seattle-ps-logoEveryone parent wants their child to receive an outstanding education. An outstanding education does not have to be something that is extremely expensive. There are certain steps that can be taken to make sure that your child receives the education that they deserve!

The first step is choosing the right child care facility. Many times, parents are finding that preschools are no more than glorified babysitters. Playtime, meals, nap and dance are about what you’ll find at many schools for toddlers. What you want to look for is a school that incorporates a curriculum into their daily lesson plan. They should focus on the early stages of STEAM, which basically break down to number, letter (including sound/pronunciation), shape and color identification. The next stage is writing, reading and memorization. It can be something as simple as learning how to spell their first number and memorizing their home phone number in case of an emergency. All of which are very important.

Schools should focus on broadening your child’s vocabulary. There is a 500 word gap between child of color and white children, and this gap stays with them through life. Take steps at home to decrease the word gap. When grocery shopping, identify the items and spelling out their names. At stores like Target, you can find an array of flashcards and workbooks for different subjects at different levels. This work makes for excellent preparation for the advanced learning testing.

It’s a wonderful surprise that the Seattle Public School District provides Advanced Learning (AP) courses even at the kindergarten level. While the procedure may seem stressful and difficult, there are many advancements that children in AP courses receive. They state that they receive nearly 5,000 candidates annually, so make sure that you have your completed application and fee submitted by the October 2, 2014 deadline. Keep in mind that you are also required to have a teacher submit a Rating Scale Form and it must be turned in separately. You want to make sure that you give them ample time to complete and mail it in.

Now, you wait for your envelope with addition information to arrive. In the meantime, keep up with the steps above. You’ll be receiving a letter with your child’s test date and with so many candidates, you want to make sure that your child is a contender. You’ll also want to start looking at schools. There is a Winter deadline for choosing schools. There are only a few schools in the district that provide AP classes for kindergarteners, so make sure that you have a second choice in case your first is full.

Once your child is in AP classes, they will continue to stay in AP courses and won’t need to re-test. Public schools provide the courses and they are beneficial for children that are advanced, but live in a household that may not be able to afford independent schooling. Plus, the annual cost of some independent schools are about the same price of a year at college. While there are financial aid and scholarships options, the deadlines for those are around February. Stay open-minded while looking for the right placement for your child. Not only do they need to have the knowledge to keep up with the curriculum, but they need to be emotionally prepared for the workload and expectations as well.

Find out more information about the Seattle Public Schools’ Advanced Learning Programs and testing by visiting their site. Also, the video below provides information on enrolling your child into a Seattle Public School.

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