NCESD Early Learning Department

The NCESD Early Learning Department provides a variety of support, technical assistance, professional development, coaching and system navigation to early care and education providers in the NCW region. The early learning team fosters connections among P-3 systems including but not limited to school districts, public and private preschools, licensed child care, Head Start and ECEAP, families and community agencies. Our work centers around the core principles of developmentally appropriate, trauma informed and inclusive practices.

Early Learning support or activities include:

  • Early Learning Fellows
  • Coordinated Recruitment and Enrollment
  • Early Childhood Special Education technical assistance
  • Pyramid Model training and implementation
  • P-3 information
  • WaKids technical assistance
  • Inclusive Practices implementation

Early Learning Events & Professional Development

Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional Kindergarten is a kindergarten program for children not yet age five who do not have access to high-quality early learning experiences prior to kindergarten and have been deemed by a school district, through a screening process and/or other instrument(s), to be in need of additional preparation to be successful in kindergarten the following year. The following “pillars” describe required elements of Transitional Kindergarten.

  1. Transitional Kindergarten programs meet the requirements of full-day kindergarten established in RCW 28A.150.315, including administration of the WaKIDS whole child assessment, within the first ten weeks.
  2. Classrooms are staffed by certificated teachers and paraeducators who provide a curriculum that offers a rich, varied set of experiences in learning environments that are developmentally appropriate and address the whole child. It is recommended that teachers have Early Childhood and/or Early Childhood Special Education Endorsements.
  3. Transitional Kindergarten programs are inclusive, socioeconomically diverse and 3 responsive to the needs of children who qualify for participation.
  4. Transitional Kindergarten programs are fully integrated into school buildings, with access to transportation, specialists, recess, lunch in the school cafeteria and all aspects of the school day available to regular kindergarten students.
  5. Transitional Kindergarten programs work in collaboration with and do not adversely impact enrollment in community-based preschool programs, including Head Start, ECEAP (the Early Childhood Education Assistance Program), tribally-led early learning programs and those operating in licensed child care centers and licensed family homes. Districts participate in coordinated outreach, referral and placement to assure best fit and appropriateness of services based on each child and family’s need.

Washington State Fellows Network

A leadership program focused on equitable mindsets and practices for Early Learning, English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science educators. Brought to you by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Association of Educational Service Districts.

Early Learning Fellows is for any educator or educational leader who works with Preschool through Third grade classrooms. Some content will be offered asynchronously, but some live (virtual) participation will be required.

Fellows are teacher leaders who work in partnership with ESD content coordinators, OSPI Teaching and Learning leaders, and district/building and program leaders to support professional learning within their school, district, or early learning program.

WaKIDS Training

WaKIDS 101 offers teachers who are new to WaKIDS an introduction to the purpose, structure, and possibility of WaKIDS in order to understand how all three components of WaKIDS help to smooth the transition into kindergarten. Participants will gain a better understanding of how observation is foundational to effective instruction and learn practical strategies for collecting, using, and sharing evidence. By the end of the session, teachers will have the basic skills to begin implementing all components of WaKIDS, including using GOLD™ by Teaching Strategies® online. With the completion of their GOLD™ by Teaching Strategies® Inter-Rater Reliability Certification, teachers will leave feeling confident and ready for fall.

Our Early Learning Staff

Jan Dosh

Early Learning Coach
Email Jan Dosh

Jane Fox

Early Learning Teacher
Email Jane Fox

Janelle Bersch

Managing Director, Early Learning
Email Janelle Bersch