The family connection component of WaKIDS provides an opportunity for families to meet individually with their child’s kindergarten teacher at the beginning of the school year.
These one-on-one meetings are intended to welcome families to school and provide a safe environment for families to speak freely with the teacher. They help families and teachers begin to build relationships so that they can work together to help children be successful in school.
The earlier these meetings occur, the more helpful they are.
Three full school days: Legislation (Second Substitute House Bill 1723)
passed in 2013, permits schools to use up to three full school days for the Family Connection without applying for a 180-day waiver from the State Board of Education. Section 2, paragraph 5: “Schools administering the Washington kindergarten inventory of developing skills may use up to three school days at the beginning of the school year to meet with parents and families as required in the parent involvement component of the inventory.”
These three days are specific to the Family Connection component of WaKIDS, and are not to be used to conduct assessments.
More than three school days: Schools that want more than three full school days to complete the Family Connection will need their districts to apply for a waiver from the State Board of Education for the extra days. Only districts may apply for waivers.
Other options: The legislation provides a new opportunity for districts to use full school days for the Family Connection component without applying for a 180-day waiver. However, schools may continue to use any model they would like to conduct the individual meetings with families, including early-release days, evening conferences and prior-to-school meetings.
- Family Connection Guidelines for Teachers (PDF)
NOTE: To print the Family Connection Guidelines for Teachers you need 11 x 17 inch paper.
- “Introducing Me!” is a booklet to guide the family connection conversation. Available in several languages.
Principal Series, #2: Family Connection (PDF), is a one-page flyer with guidance for principals leading the implementation of WaKIDS in their schools.
It is one document in a series.