Document Type

Graduate Project

Date of Degree Completion


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



Committee Chair

Lee Plourde

Second Committee Member

S. Schmitz

Third Committee Member

T. McCain


Reauthorization of the Head Start Act in 2007 called for new standards of quality education and evidenced-based practices for gathering child outcomes and assessment data. Furthermore, the act stipulates partnerships between public education K-12 and preschools; a relationship that traditionally held its distance due to age eligibility. With the recent acquisition of the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, Washington state is now recognized for its leadership in this field. This paper will take into consideration these efforts and further explore options for creating seamless transitions for children and families as they enter the public school system. This project will provide recommendations for schools and private agencies in moving towards an aligned approach to education, in the format of a guidebook written for facilitators. The development of the handbook is specific to school districts or programs seeking to launch focus groups around the goal of a collaborative approach to alignment in the early grades.