DEL News


August 1, 2011
3rd Annual Starting Strong P-3 Institute in Spokane August 11 and 12


WHAT: Leading researchers and educators will speak about how to support school readiness and success for children in Washington by offering aligned, high-quality preschool through third grade programs.

WHEN: Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12, 2011

WHERE: Spokane Convention Center & Doubletree Hotel, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.


Keynote speakers for Thursday, August 11:

  • Dr. Andrew Meltzoff and Dr. Patricia Kuhl, Co-Directors, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, University of Washington (9:15 to 10:30 a.m.).
  • Felicia Lanham Tarason, Director, Title I Programs, Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools (noon to 1:30 p.m.).

Keynote speaker for Friday, August 12:

  • Dr. Kristie Kauerz, PreK-3rd Education Program Director, Harvard Graduate School of Education (9 to 10 a.m.)


The Starting Strong P-3 Institute brings together parents, teachers, early childhood educators, school administrators, advocates and policymakers to work together to ensure school readiness for all children in Washington. This annual event is sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State Department of Early Learning, Thrive by Five Washington, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Washington Association for the Education of Young Children, and NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101. For more information and the complete conference agenda, visit Starting Strong online.

For more information and to schedule interviews:

Amy Blondin
360.725.4919 (office)
360.878.0628 (cell)


Preschool through third grade (P-3) alignment is an effort to build a seamless continuum of services from prekindergarten through third grade. Research shows that high-quality early learning programs can help increase school readiness and success, and decrease the need for special education and remediation. When those high-quality early learning programs are deliberately paired with the kindergarten through third grade system, outcomes are even better for children.

In Washington, creating a seamless P-3 system is a key strategy in our state Early Learning Plan: Align prekindergarten and K-3 instructional and programmatic practices to help ensure that children’s prek-3rd grade experiences are aligned and coordinated.

Expected outcomes for a seamless P-3 system include:

  • All children and families make smooth transitions among home, early learning settings and school.
  • All schools are ready to welcome all children who attend, including preparing for their individual gifts and needs, level of knowledge, skills, social-emotional and physical development, and their cultural background and language.
  • All students transition from third grade-level activities prepared with the foundations to achieve the more advanced challenges of upper elementary and intermediate grade-level activities.


National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation:
Building and Supporting an Aligned System: A Vision for Transforming Education Across the PreK-Grade Three Years

The Hechinger Report: Go Deep on Pre-K