- Why has California changed the Kindergarten cutoff date?
In 2010, California enacted the Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB 1381). Prior to that time, California’s cutoff date of Dec. 2 for Kindergarten entry was one of the latest in the nation. In most states, children must turn five by Sept. 1 in order to start Kindergarten. California’s late Kindergarten cutoff allowed children as young as 4 years and 9 months to be in classes with children more than one year older. Rolling back the Kindergarten entry date a few months can make an enormous difference in the early years when children are rapidly growing and developing.
- What are the benefits of Transitional Kindergarten?
Transitional Kindergarten offers an additional year of school to our younger students. It provides opportunities to learn in an academically challenging and enriching environment. Children who attend Transitional Kindergarten are more likely to acquire the academic skills, confidence, and maturity they need to succeed in school.
- What are the eligibility requirements for Transitional Kindergarten?
Beginning the 2014-15 school year and beyond, children who have their fifth birthday between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 are eligible for Transitional Kindergarten.
- Is Transitional Kindergarten mandatory for children?
While schools must offer a Transitional Kindergarten program for all children eligible to attend, student enrollment is voluntary though strongly encouraged. It is a free public school program.
- How is Transitional Kindergarten different from preschool?
The standards, curriculum, and teacher credentialing requirements in Transitional Kindergarten are different than those in preschool. Transitional Kindergarten will be part of the TK-12 public education system and it will be based on the kindergarten standards. It will build on the skills children may have learned in preschool to ensure they will be able to begin kindergarten with confidence.
- How is Transitional Kindergarten different from traditional kindergarten?
Although the curriculum in transitional kindergarten will be based on the kindergarten standards, it will be modified to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of younger children. The transitional kindergarten environment will include more opportunities for social-emotional, language development, and communication through dramatic play; small group instruction; and intentional teaching through hands-on activities.
- Will Transitional Kindergarten provide support for children who do not speak English?
English learners in transitional kindergarten will have the same level of services as those in kindergarten.
- What kinds of qualifications will Transitional Kindergarten teachers have?
Transitional Kindergarten teachers will be required to have a teaching credential.
- How old will transitional kindergarteners be when they begin first grade?
Transitional kindergarteners will typically be 6 years old when they start first grade and turn 7 years old during the first few months of the school year.
- Will children in Transitional Kindergarten be 19 years old when they graduate from high school?
No, they will be 18 years old when they graduate and will turn 19 years old several months after graduation.
- How will this affect children in special education?
Districts will be required to offer the same services to Transitional Kindergarteners with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) as they currently offer to children in kindergarten.
- What grade will children go into after Transitional Kindergarten?
Transitional kindergarten is the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience. Children will go on to kindergarten after completing transitional kindergarten.
- How do I enroll my child?
Please visit our Enrollment page regarding “Full-Day Kindergarten” for eligibility information.
- What happens after Transitional Kindergarten?
After the Transitional Kindergarten year, you will return to your home/resident school for Kindergarten through grade 5. If you are not at your home school and would like to stay at the TK site for Kindergarten, you will need to apply for an intra-district permit during the Open Enrollment period which begins in January. Approval will depend on space availability.
- Are the attendance requirements in Transitional Kindergarten the same as in grades K – 5?
Yes, regular attendance is required at all grade levels.
- Are students in Transitional Kindergarten required to meet Kindergarten immunization requirements?
All children are required to provide proof of immunizations before admission to Transitional Kindergarten.