Did you know the entry date for kindergarten has changed in California? Beginning this year, children must be 5-years-old by November 1st (rather than December 2nd) to enroll in kindergarten. However, incoming students with November birth dates will still attend school. They will be enrolled as “Transitional Kindergarteners”. Over the next two years, the entry date for kindergarten will be rolled back to September 1st so that by Fall 2014, students born in September, October or November will participate in Transitional Kindergarten.
So how is the Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program designed? First, all TK students will be integrated into existing “traditional” kindergarten classrooms at their schools. Secondly, teachers will instruct all students in developmentally appropriate ways to best meet the curricular needs of each child. And, TK students will attend the full day alongside their kindergarten classmates. Finally, in the Spring of 2013, a kindergarten review process will take place where parents, with advice from the teacher and principal, will decide whether their TK child will go into traditional Kindergarten or first grade the following year.
In August, kindergarten teachers in the district received special training (Kindergarten Institute) on designing programs within their classrooms to meet the needs of their Kindergarten and TK students. Teachers will provide a developmentally appropriate learning environment that is not only academically strong, but engaging and fun. The goal is to be effective for the diverse range of TKs and Kindergarteners who walk through the classroom doors.
Contributor: Claire Castagna, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment