What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?
Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a bridge between preschool and kindergarten for children who will have their 5th birthday between September 2nd and December 2nd. It gives young learners a head start and provides them with an opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that is tailored to meet their academic and social needs.
- Is part of the public school system and is free for families
- Uses a unique, specialized curriculum that is based on the kindergarten standards and is designed to support young 5-year-olds
- Is taught by credentialed teachers with specialized training to teach young kindergarteners
Starting school is a very exciting time for children and their families! It begins a new chapter in their lives and sets the tone for children's future. But California’s kindergarten standards and curriculum have changed over the years and continue to do so with the advent of new national Common Core standards. Many of the skills children were once taught in 1st grade are now expected in kindergarten. This can make the transition into kindergarten difficult for some children, and the youngest children entering the kindergarten classroom often struggle to adjust.
The good news is that California passed a law to create Transitional Kindergarten, giving children an opportunity to learn in a hands-on, interactive way that supports their development, while still maintaining the rigor and high standards of kindergarten. CUSD implemented the first year of TK in the 2012-13 school year with great success. Both Silver Strand and Village Elementary School’s Early Childhood Development Center offer transitional kindergarten.
Who attends Transitional Kindergarten (TK) for 2017-18?
A law was passed in California a few years ago to change the age when children can begin traditional kindergarten. For school year 2017-18, children must turn 5 years old on or before September 1st to enroll in traditional kindergarten. September 1st will then remain the cut-off date for traditional kindergarten admittance for every year. While this change of a few months from the previous cutoff date of December 2nd may seem small, it can mean a big difference during these early years when children are rapidly growing and developing.
The law also created Transitional Kindergarten (TK), so the children who will be affected by this change will have an opportunity to continue building their skills and abilities. Their time in TK will help them to succeed in kindergarten the following year, become leaders in the classroom and confidently navigate the school day routine. All children who will have their 5th birthday between September 2-December 2, 2017 (inclusive) must be admitted to Coronado Unified School District’s Transitional Kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year. Parents of children who turn 5 on or before September 1, 2017, may be able to opt for Early Admission to Transitional Kindergarten if enrollment is available at Silver Strand Elementary. Early Admission to Transitional Kindergarten requires parents to complete a required form indicating agreement to a two-year kindergarten program, if such an option becomes available. Please contact your school for details.
What Happens in a Transitional Kindergarten Classroom?
In Transitional Kindergarten, teachers help children develop social skills through activities that build confidence and communication. They also expose children to reading and math in an exciting, interactive way by using educational games to teach children about words and sentences and help them understand mathematical concepts like counting and patterns.
The CUSD TK Program
Trained TK teachers:
Our TK teachers have many years of experience in kindergarten and special training in TK.
Length of school day:
All TK students will gradually increase to a full day of school by the start of the spring trimester in preparation for a full day of school in traditional kindergarten.
- Fall Trimester (August 24-November 17): 8:10-11:40am Daily
- Winter Trimester (November 27-March 2): 8:10am-2:15pm Thursday-Friday, and 8:10-11:40am Monday-Wednesday
- Spring Trimester (March 5-June 14): 8:10am-2:15pm on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday. and 8:10-11:40am on Wednesday
Aligned to traditional kindergarten and the CUSD instructional program: The TK curriculum is fully aligned to Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and mathematics, and other CA content standards. TK students participate in kindergarten activities such as computer lab, science lab, visual and performing arts, all special services, and align with the CUSD Board Goals for a personalized education plan for all students.
Why is Transitional Kindergarten Good for Kids?
Transitional Kindergarten provides children with an opportunity to learn in an enriching and academically challenging environment that nurtures their growth. Research shows that children who attend kindergarten readiness programs like Transitional Kindergarten are more likely to do well in school and attend college.
Parents all over California recognize the benefits of Transitional Kindergarten, and many parents have already been enrolling their children in similar programs, public and private, for years. Offering Transitional Kindergarten will help all of our kids get the best start possible, with curriculum that is designed just for them.
How Can I Learn More?
Silver Strand School's Office at 619-522-8934
2017-18 Transitional Kindergarten FAQ
1. Who will be admitted to Transitional Kindergarten for SY 2017-18?
All children who will have their 5th birthday between September 2-December 2, 2017 (inclusive) must be admitted to Coronado Unified School District’s Transitional Kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year. This new grade began in the state of California in fall 2012, and provides a two-year kindergarten experience that will use a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate and prepare students for the traditional kindergarten curriculum. This is based on a recent CA law which phased back the admission date for traditional kindergarten and provides a two-year transitional kindergarten experience for the youngest five-year-olds. September 1 is now and for all subsequent years the cutoff date for students to enroll in kindergarten.
2. My child’s fifth birthday falls on or before September 1, 2017, and I feel my child would benefit from this two-year kindergarten experience. Will I be able to enroll my child in Transitional Kindergarten?
Parents of children who turn five on or before September 1, 2017, may be able to opt for Early Admission to Transitional Kindergarten if enrollment is available at Silver Strand Elementary and Village School’s Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC). Early Admission to Transitional Kindergarten requires parents to complete a required form indicating agreement to a two-year kindergarten program, if such an option becomes available. Silver Strand and Village Elementary will maintain a waiting list for this option and inform parents by the start of the 2017-18 school year.
3. Are Transitional Kindergarten programs offered at Silver Strand and Village (ECDC) Elementary Schools? What is the TK program like?
TK programs are at both Silver Strand Elementary and at Village Elementary School’s Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC). Classroom composition depends on enrollment.
Transitional Kindergarten (TK) provides the early foundations for school success for those children turning 5 years old early in the school year. The first year of a two-year kindergarten experience, Transitional Kindergarten provides a connection between preschool and traditional kindergarten. For those “young fives”, the program creates a bridge between early learning and kindergarten. The program uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate and completely aligns with the instructional program in preschool-grade 12. It includes all components of the traditional kindergarten curriculum which incorporates Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The instructional program for TK also includes computer lab, visual and performing arts, science lab, physical education, and library. Services provided to students in K-12 are also provided to Transitional Kindergarten such as special education and English Learner services. The TK staff includes trained credentialed teachers who are early childhood specialists and understand the unique needs of our youngest kindergarten students. Our general observations show that when TK students enter their kindergarten year, they often perform at or near the top of their class.
4. Will the daily schedule be the same CUSD’s full day traditional kindergarten?
The TK daily schedule is different than our full day traditional kindergarten. Transitional Kindergarten students attend school (Fall Trimester, August 24-November 17) from 8:10-11:40am, Monday-Friday; (Winter Trimester, November 27-March 2) from 8:10-2:15pm on Thursday-Friday and 8:10-11:40am on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday; and (Spring Trimester, March 5-June 14) from 8:10-2:15pm on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday and 8:10-11:40am on Wednesdays in preparation for full day traditional kindergarten. Though state law mandates that TK and kindergarten receive identical instructional minutes, many schools apply for and receive a waiver when kindergarten instructional minutes exceed state requirements. CUSD falls within this category and received a waiver from the State Board of Education on March 2016, to have differing instructional minutes for TK and traditional kindergarten.
5. I am still not sure if this is the right thing to do for my child and I hear that CUSD offers a pre-assessment for TK and K students. Will that still occur this year?
If your child attended preschool, information from your child’s preschool teacher should assist in making a decision. Also, CUSD offers a voluntary before-school kindergarten assessment opportunity for incoming Transitional Kindergarten and traditional kindergarten students. This year, this assessment opportunity will be offered on August 17-18. CUSD will invite parents to bring their TK and kindergarten-eligible student to be assessed on readiness skills before school begins. Students will be assessed by a credentialed teacher for approximately 20 minutes. See your child’s school for details on the registration process and for assessment appointments. Parents and school administration may need to confer in order to ensure the child’s appropriate placement.
6. That sounds great, but we won’t be able to attend a before-school assessment appointment? What should we do?
If a child is not able to be assessed before school starts, please contact the school principal for assistance with placement if you are unsure whether to place your child in TK or traditional kindergarten.
7. When will parents and students be notified as to which teacher a student is assigned?
TK and Kindergarten Orientation will be held the day before school commences for the 2017-18 school year on August 23, 2017, at 10:30am. Parents and their children will learn of their child’s class placement at that time.
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