The Preschool to Kindergarten Transition Process

What every family needs to know

Join the DCSD Early Childhood Department for a regional informational meeting. These meetings will help families better understand how to prepare for the changes in educational processes as their child transitions from Preschool to Kindergarten.

RSVP by emailing

Castle Rock

Rock Ridge 
Elementary Gym

Tuesday, November 12
6:00 p.m. ~ 7:30 p.m. 

Highlands Ranch

Wildcat Mountain 
Elementary Gym

Tuesday, November 19
6:00 p.m. ~ 7:30 p.m.  


Legacy Point
Elementary Gym

Wednesday, November 20
6:00 p.m. ~ 7:30 p.m.   

Full-Day Kindergarten

blonde kindergarten boy
For questions about Kindergarten in Douglas County School District, contact your local school or call 303-387-9500.

Free full-day kindergarten is now available in Douglas County School District! 

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 19-1262 into law providing state funding for full-day kindergarten across the state. 

Eligible children must be five years of age by October 1 of the school year they plan to attend. 

Please check with your neighborhood school for their specific Kindergarten Registration requirements. If you are interested in half-day Kindergarten, please check with your school to see if that is offered. 

A registration packet can be downloaded from your school's website. To complete your child's registration, take their completed packet to your school. You will also need to provide your child’s certificate of birth, immunization records and your proof of residence (Warranty Deed, Deed of Trust, Tax Notice, Lease Agreement, Assessor Page, Notarized Letter from the person you are living with if you are living with someone and your name doesn't appear on the proof of residency. A copy of their Proof of Residency must also be given at enrollment).

Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions

Why wasn’t Full-Day Kindergarten free all along?

Previously, the State of Colorado’s school finance formula funded kindergarten students at 58 percent of the rate that it paid for older students. This was not enough to cover the costs of tuition-free, all-day kindergarten. Colorado’s 178 school districts could choose to offer half-day kindergarten or make up the difference by charging tuition or using other funds. Douglas County School District’s half-day programs were historically free, and DCSD charged tuition for full-day programs. With the May 2019 passage of House Bill 19-1262, the state will now fund a student enrolled in a full-day kindergarten program at the same amount as students enrolled full-time in other grades.

What does this mean for Douglas County School District families?

Currently, full-day and half-day kindergarten options are offered at nearly all DCSD schools, with parents paying for their child to attend full-day classes. With the passage of recent legislation, all DCSD students will be eligible for free full-day kindergarten beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

When does this begin?

We are working to establish as many full-day kindergarten classes at our DCSD elementary schools for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond. Free, full-day kindergarten is coming to you this fall!

I already paid a deposit for Full-Day Kindergarten for 2019-2020 -- Will that be refunded?

Yes. Families who have already enrolled their children into full-day kindergarten in a DCSD school for the 2019-2020 school year will no longer have to pay monthly tuition. The deposit these families paid to secure their child’s spot will be refunded:

  • If the deposit was paid using MySchoolBucks, we will be begin processing those credits immediately and the credit will remain in your MySchoolBucks account. This credit can be used for school fees, field trips, lunch fees, etc.
  • If the deposit was paid via check or credit card, we will work with schools to obtain this information and have a check refund mailed to you by the end of May.
  • If you do not receive your refund by June 5, please contact the DCSD Finance Department at 720-433-0085.

My child is enrolled in full-day kindergarten in the current 2018-19 school year. Will I get a refund of the tuition I paid?

No. In and prior to the 2018-19 school year, the state funded kindergarten students at roughly half the rate it paid for older students. Under that model, DCSD’s half-day programs were free, and the District charged tuition for full-day enrollment. Full state funding of all-day kindergarten will be in effect at the start of the 2019-20 school year. Additionally, those who still haven’t paid DCSD full-day tuition for the 2018-19 school year, as of May 2019, will still need to do so.

What happens if I enrolled my child for Kindergarten at a DCSD charter school?

If your child is signed up to attend at a DCSD charter school, please check with your school directly to receive further information.

Will Half-Day Kindergarten still be offered in DCSD in 2019-2020?

Families who wish to enroll their children in half-day kindergarten programs, please check with your school to find out if half-day kindergarten will be offered next year. If it is not, you may open enroll to a different neighborhood school that is offering half-day programming. Your principal can help you find and determine the best option for your child. Every school will be determining the number of half-day classrooms based on their community need.

I enrolled my child for Half-Day Kindergarten - how can I switch to Full-Day Kindergarten?

With the passage of this recent legislation, we recognize some of our families may want to take advantage of free, full-day kindergarten that will be offered in DCSD. Should you wish to switch your child’s enrollment from half-day to full-day kindergarten, please contact your child’s school before June 1, 2019.

Can I still enroll my child in Full-Day Kindergarten for 2019-2020?

It is not too late to enroll your child in free, full-day kindergarten. Contact your school as soon as possible to begin the enrollment process. The deadline is June 1, 2019.

Is my child ready for Kindergarten?

Eligible children must be five years old as of October 1, 2019. Here is a great resource to help you determine if your child is ready for kindergarten.

Why did DCSD change the kindergarten entrance date to October 1?

The Douglas County School District Board of Education made the decision to change the kindergarten enrollment date based on the Colorado State Funding law for kindergarten students. The law establishes October 1 as a funding date for entering kindergarten students. The vast majority of school districts in the Denver metro area use the October 1 entrance date for new kindergarten students. The Douglas County School Board voted to do the same in November 2007 and revised policy JEB – Entrance Age. This policy can be viewed on the District website under Board of Education, Administrative Policies, Students.

Can I apply for a waiver for my child who misses the entrance date by just a few days?

There is no waiver process in DCSD for students who do not meet the entrance date for kindergarten. If children are advanced beyond the kindergarten level, once he/she is enrolled the following year, the school may consider using the Acceleration Process to advance a student to the next level. If you believe your child would qualify as a highly advanced gifted learner, please refer to the process for "Early Access for Highly Advanced Gifted Children" on the Gifted and Talented page of our website.

Who makes the decision that a child cannot enter kindergarten prior to the entrance date?

The decision was voted on by the Douglas County School District Board of Education in November 2007 after recommendations made by the District Policy Council and is upheld by building principals and Directors of Schools.

Can I enroll my child in first grade if they are six by October 1 and did not attend kindergarten?

According to policy, a parent may make that choice; however, it is not recommended. Children would miss the foundation of learning in reading and math that prepares them for success in first grade. Students entering first grade in Douglas County School District are expected to be reading at a level 3 reading level. Without the pre-literacy and literacy skills, a student may begin school at a disadvantage.

What is the difference between Kindergarten Enrichment and Full Day Kindergarten?

Kindergarten Enrichment (KE) is offered through our Before and After School Enterprise (BASE) program, is staffed by BASE personnel, and is overseen by the District Coordinator of BASE. Tuition rates average between $18-$24 per day, and are set by schools. Parents may choose full or part-time schedules. Because KE qualifies as child care expense, these rates may be tax deductible.

Full Day Kindergarten (FDK) is part of the instructional day, is taught by a licensed teacher and is overseen by the building administrator. 

Is there a way to know if my child is ready for Kindergarten?

  • In the same way that every child learns to walk at a different age, different children develop academic and social skills at different rates. 
  • We have linked a Kindergarten Readiness information sheet for your reference. (Versión en español aquí)
    • This is not a checklist, but a way for you reflect upon your child's strengths and growth areas as you prepare your child for Kindergarten. 
    • If your child has some of the skills listed in each area, your child's skills are in line with the expectations for kindergarten readiness.
    • If your child has not yet acquired many of the skills in each area, it may indicate that your child could benefit from more experience in a structured learning environment or exposure to similar-aged peers prior to embarking on kindergarten.
  • Douglas County School District Educators can partner with you in determining your child’s individual needs in order for them to have a successful school experience. 
  • Please contact your neighborhood school for registration information and assistance.
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Douglas County School District Nondiscrimination Notice: The Douglas County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, genetic information, or physical characteristics, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment of, or employment in educational programs or activities. The School District’s Compliance Officer is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado,, 303-387-0067. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees and members of the public.