The Ferndale School District is once again offering its Jump Start Readiness Program for eligible 2020-2021 kindergarten students living in the district, and registration is open now.
All students who will be five years old in time for the 2020-2021 school year, and who are not currently enrolled in a preschool program, could be eligible for Jump Start.
Jump Start classes are held at the district’s North Bellingham Learning Center on the corner of Smith and Northwest Roads. The program gives students a jump start by providing full-day instruction five days per week from January 29, 2020 until June 9, 2020. Classes are taught by certificated teachers and support personnel. Transportation is provided.
Ferndale School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn says, “We are excited about Jump Start Kindergarten in Ferndale because it makes it possible for more of our students to start Kindergarten ready to take full advantage of classroom learning opportunities. We want Ferndale Schools to be a great start to every student’s future. Jump Start gets us closer to that goal.”
Family Community Coordinator Rachel Bowlden says, “If you think this program may be a good fit for your child, please reach out to us. We want to meet our incoming kindergarten students early and include as many of those students as possible in our Jump Start program.” Bowlden encourages parents and family members of incoming kindergarten students to contact her regarding specific program qualifications.
To register, please visit the North Bellingham Learning Center or call 360-383-9660.
The History Jump Start Program History in the Ferndale School District
“Jump Start began because we learned that, although some children are able to attend preschool in our community, some children are not able to attend for various reasons including finances, transportation and more,” Bowlden said. “Jump Start was built to help bridge the gap for those who are not able to attend preschool.”
The program works in collaboration with other preschool options in the community – not competing with other programs, but rather presenting a kindergarten readiness option for preschool-aged children who are not already enrolled elsewhere.
In addition to the full semester session during the school year, a summer program is also available. Students participating in both sessions can gain close to a full year of instruction prior to kindergarten.
Jump Start Program Impact
District staff and families have witnessed the positive impacts of the program in preparing young learners for kindergarten.
Derek Crifasi, a parent of two Jump Start attendees, speaks highly of the program’s impact for his twin daughters. He notes value in the opportunity for a head start on education with impactful teachers whom his daughters enjoyed.
“They (teachers) not only prepared them academically, but also made a huge impact on their lives, which I will be forever grateful for,” Crifasi said. “They (daughters) learned so much from this program and they both were a little bummed when it ended. Then we found out a summer school Jump Start program was going to be offered, so of course we were on board.”
Data has supported the success of the program as well. “We have been able to track student progress via WaKIDS data,” Bowlden said. “We found that children who attended even just the four-week summer Jump Start program had much higher scores on the WaKIDS assessment than their peers who did not attend Jump Start.”
For additional questions and further information regarding Jump Start and other early learning programs, email firstname.lastname@example.org. By phone, please call the Early Learning Office at 360-383-9660.
Family Fun Night
The Ferndale School District is also hosting a Family Fun Night for all families with young children in the district:
Thursday, November 22
5 pm-7 pm
North Bellingham Learning Center, 5275 Northwest Drive
The event will feature activities for families, an opportunity to meet and interact with other families about the important role that literacy services in education for children. Families can register for Jump Start at the event and dinner will be served.