Transition to Kindergarten

A child must be 5 years old on or before January 1st of the academic school year to be eligible to attend public school in West Hartford. Most schools begin their kindergarten screening and orientation process between March and May for the next school year. If you are unsure as to which school year your child will attend, choose from the following:

If you were not able to attend the January 28, 2019 town wide meeting, please find the presentation here:

Transition to Kindergarten Slides

Kindergarten Orientation Schedule for 2019

Orientation: Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 6:30pm
Registration: Monday, April 29, 2019 and Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Orientation: Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Registration: Thursday, May 9, 2019 and Friday, May 10, 2019

Orientation: Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Registration: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 and Thursday, May 2, 2019

Charter Oak International Academy
Orientation: Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Registration: Thursday, May 16, 2019 and Friday, May 17, 2019

Orientation: Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 5:45 pm
Registration: Monday, April 22, 2019 and Tuesday, April 23, 2019 and Thursday, April 25, 2019

Orientation: Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Registration: Monday, May 6, 2019 and Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Orientation: Thursday,  April 25, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Registration: Monday, May 13, 2019 and Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Smith STEM 
Orientation: Thursday, April. 25, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Registration: Thursday, May 30, 2019 and Friday, May 31, 2019

Webster Hill 
Orientation: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Registration: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 and Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Whiting Lane 
Orientation: Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Registration: Thursday, May 23, 2019 and Friday, May 24, 2019

Orientation: Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Registration: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 and Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Breakfast and Lunch

Elementary school cafeterias offer nutritious hot meals to students each day. Menus are sent home monthly so you can plan with your child. In your child’s first day of school packet, you will receive additional information on meal and snack prices and payment information, including an application for free or reduced-price meals.

Nutrition Services

Summer Practice Bus Ride Information

Prior to the start of school a bus ride is scheduled to familiarize New pre-kindergarten (Charter Oak International Academy, Smith STEM, Webster Hill) and kindergarten students who are eligible for transportation with the feel of riding a school bus for the first time. 

The program is not the actual school bus route and the driver is not your child's actual driver.

The Transportation Provider is First Student, Inc.

WHPS Transportation Coordinator: Damaris Torres

Residency Requirements

All students must register in the Residency Office (Town Hall 134) before they are admitted to or evaluated by the West Hartford Public Schools. 

information regarding necessary documentation and contact information

Immunization Requirements

Pre-school children entering school at age 3 should have a physical updated yearly. Flu shots are required for all preschool aged students prior to January 1 each year. Up-to-date immunizations are required by the State Department of Education and the State Department of Health.

In accordance with Connecticut State Law and Town of West Hartford policy, a health assessment is required prior to public school enrollment and in grades PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, 3, 6, and 10. A physical examination includes height, weight and blood pressure; hematocrit/hemoglobin lab studies; vision, hearing, speech and gross dental screenings; updating of immunizations and chronic disease assessment. The health assessment information must be on the State of Connecticut Health Assessment Record Form (form HAR-3).

GRASP Summer Program

G.R.A.S.P. (Get Ready at Summer Pre-School) at Whiting Lane Elementary School

This program is for children entering Kindergarten in Summer 2019.
Experience early learning skills such as:

  • paying attention
  • following instructions
  • taking turns
  • completing tasks
  • improving small & large motor skills
  • enjoying music
  • fun projects
  • making friends

Transportation is available for eligible students. For more information about dates, cost, and how to register, please call The West Hartford Continuing and Summer Education Office at 860-561-6900.

Expectations for children entering Kindergarten

We understand children enter kindergarten with a wide range of skills and experiences. West Hartford Public School staff work with children to support all levels of learning and development. These expectations were created through a collaborative effort between community preschools and West Hartford Public School teachers and staff.

Social and Emotional Development

  • Coping Skills
    • Follows routines and expectations
    • Manages transitions and changes in routine
    • Tolerates frustration appropriately
    • Consistently separates easily from parents or caregivers
    • Uses the toilet independently
    • Demonstrates age-appropriate dressing and eating skills
  • Respect for Others 
    • Respects peers and adults
    • Respects his or her environment
    • Understands that positive and negative actions have consequences
  • Social Skills 
    • Interacts appropriately with other children in large and small groups
    • Takes turns with adults and peers
    • Resolves conflicts with peers
  • Expressive Language Skills
    • Communicates with peers and adults
    • Communicates personal needs
    • Seeks help to address academic needs
    • Actively participates in conversations using reciprocal dialogue
  • Receptive Language Skills
    • Listens attentively in large and small groups
    • Follows 2-step directions independently
  • Attention and Focus
    • Sustains attention during adult-directed activities for 10 minutes
    • Sustains attention during self-selected activities for 15 minutes
    • Exhibits impulse control

Pre-Academic Development

  • Academic Skills
    • Identifies colors
    • Identifies simple shapes
    • Counts to 10
    • Counts items up to 10 with one-to-one correspondence
    • Identifies written numerals 1 - 10
    • Holds a writing implement and scissors with functional grasp
    • Understands concepts of print o how to hold a book o how to track words with finger from left to right
    • Understands role of author and illustrator
    • Pre-reads a story and re-tells the story from pictures
    • Recognizes first name in upper case letters
    • Writes first name
    • Identifies 7 or more upper case letters
    • Identifies 7 or more lower case letters
    • Recognizes letter sounds

Ways to support your child’s learning at home:

  • Social and Emotional Development
    • Encourage your child to dress him/herself in the morning; before going out to play, have your child put his/her shoes on the correct feet, put on his/her jacket and zip or button it; in snowy weather, encourage your child to put on snow pants and boots on the correct feet
    • Encourage your child to use a spoon or fork for food rather than fingers
    • Allow children to experience and resolve conflict; help your child solve problems by offering alternative ways to do something or suggesting some words to use to resolve a conflict
    • Prepare your child for transitions and routines with the use of timers (practice routines on the weekend when you are not in a rush to get to school)
    • Encourage your child to express him/herself with words especially when becoming upset (e.g., not having immediate access to a desired item); encourage your child to identify the problem and possible solutions and then help your child to work out a solution
    • Ensure that your child uses the toilet independently; encourage your child to wipe when necessary, flush the toilet and wash his/her hands after each use Use meal times and car rides to encourage conversations
    • Model the use of phrases like “Now it’s my turn” when playing a game or having a conversation
    • Practice 2-step directions, using words like “First, then”; ask your child to repeat the directions back to you
  • Pre-Academic Development
    • Read aloud books with rich vocabulary and use new words as you play and talk together
    • Sing simple nursery rhymes, read poetry, practice repeating rhyming words, and make up funny rhyming words
    • Read books that are fictional and informational texts; ask questions “Who, what, when, where, why and how” about the story; predict what may happen next; make a connection to your own life experiences
    • Print your child’s name whenever possible, such as on drawings; encourage your child to write his/her name
    • Discuss the parts of a story; identify the author and illustrator
    • Provide clipboards, paper or sticky notes to encourage writing and practice holding pencils, markers, or crayons
    • Count items in your house, such as pretzels for snack, toy cars, or steps as you walk
    • Sort items by same or different, and into categories: smallest to largest, putting together items of the same color, shape, or pattern
    • Visit the library; book suggestions and class schedules can be found online at
    • Provide opportunities for your child to play and participate in groups, such as library story hours and neighborhood groups
    • Encourage the use of play dough; practice stringing beads and using scissors to strengthen finger/hand muscles
    • Read print in the community – store signs, names of food in grocery store, and labels