Transitional Kindergarten students are those born between September 2, 2009-December 2, 2009.
Any child who is going to be FIVE before September 2, 2014 will be entered into Kindergarten.
Information for Transitional Kindergarten taken from the CA Department of Education's website to help answer Frequently Asked Questions about TK.
The California Department of Education (CDE) and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson fully support the transitional kindergarten program.
What is the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010?
Senate Bill (SB) 1381 (Chapter 705, Statues of 2010) amended California Education Code (EC) (Section 46300, 48000, and 48010) to change the required birthday for admission to kindergarten and first grade and established a transitional kindergarten program beginning in the 2012–2013 school year.
What is the minimum age for admittance to kindergarten in California?
A child shall be admitted to a kindergarten maintained by the school district at the beginning of a school year, or at a later time in the same year if the child will have his or her fifth birthday on or before one of the following dates (EC 48000[a]):
What is transitional kindergarten?
A transitional kindergarten is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate. Pursuant to law, EC 48000[c], a child is eligible for transitional kindergarten if a child will have his or her fifth birthday between:
For the 2014-15 school year and each school year thereafter September 2 through December 2. (Inclusive)
Must children attend transitional kindergarten or kindergarten?
Since school is mandatory for six year old students, parents and guardians must enroll their children in school once they reach the age of six (EC Section 48200). Depending on a child's birthdate, it is a local decision (with parental input) whether the six year old student will be enrolled in kindergarten or first grade.
Is a district required to offer transitional kindergarten and kindergarten programs?
Each elementary or unified school district must offer transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classes for all children eligible to attend.
What is the curriculum for transitional kindergarten?
California law (EC 48000) defines transitional kindergarten as “the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.” While no state curriculum is mandated, local education agencies must modify the local course of study in order to provide age and developmentally appropriate curriculum for transitional kindergarten.
How will the needs of English learners be addressed in transitional kindergarten?
Local educational agencies will provide a Home Language Survey to be completed by the parent or guardian which will aid the school in determining whether or not the student should be administered the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). Students who are English learners in a transitional kindergarten will have the same level of services as those in kindergarten.
How will the needs of parents of English learners be addressed in transitional kindergarten?
California law (EC 48985) requires that “all notices, reports, statements, or records sent to the parent or guardian of any such pupil by the school or school district shall, in addition to being written in English, be written in the primary language, and maybe responded to either in English or the primary language.” This applies to parents of English learners in transitional kindergarten.
Can students who are age eligible for kindergarten attend transitional kindergarten?
Although this is a local decision, CDE recommends that districts establish criteria to determine selection requirements for kindergarten eligible children who enroll in transitional kindergarten. Children who are age-eligible to attend kindergarten, but choose to enroll in transitional kindergarten will need a signed Kindergarten Continuance Form verifying that the parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten for one additional year. A sample form, in English and other languages, is available.
What type of facility should be used for transitional kindergarten?
Facility requirements will be the same as they presently are for kindergarten.
Will transitional kindergarten have the same statutory class size limits as regular kindergarten (33 maximum/31 average)? What about Class Size Reduction for transitional kindergarten?
The same requirements that apply to kindergarten also apply to transitional kindergarten.
Does the transitional kindergarten teacher need a teaching credential?
The teacher must be properly credentialed as is currently required of kindergarten teachers.
Are students in transitional kindergarten also subject to the kindergarten immunization requirements?
Yes. They are required to have documentation of required immunizations or a valid exemption prior to admission to transitional kindergarten.
Are students in transitional kindergarten required to meet kindergarten immunization requirements before the first year or second year of the program?
They are required to have immunizations before admission to transitional kindergarten and will be required to provide proof of immunizations during kindergarten registration.
Can children who turn five years old after December 2 start transitional kindergarten at the beginning of the school year?
No. Pursuant to law, (EC 48000[c]), a child is eligible for transitional kindergarten if a child will have his or her fifth birthday between:
For the 2013-14 school year October 2 and December 2
For the 2014-15 school year and each school year thereafter September 2 and December 2.
The law also provides for local school districts to enroll children in TK or kindergarten on or after their fifth birthday, on a case by case basis:
EC 48000(b), "The governing board of a school district maintaining one or more kindergartens may, on a case-by-case basis, admit to a kindergarten a child having attained the age of five years at any time during the school year with the approval of the parent or guardian, subject to the following conditions:
(1) The governing board determines that the admittance is in the best interests of the child.
(2) The parent or guardian is given information regarding the advantages and disadvantages and any other explanatory information about the effect of this early admittance."
Some schools are choosing to move the kindergarten admittance date back to September 1 for the 2013-14 school year, so that all children turning five between September 2 and December 2 would be automatically admitted into a transitional kindergarten program, as opposed to just children turning five between October 2 and December 2. Is this permissible?
While a district may choose to accelerate implementation of the kindergarten admission phase-in dates by enrolling all children who will turn five between September 2 and December 2 in 2013-14 into a transitional kindergarten program, if a parent requests that his or her kindergarten-eligible child (a child who will turn five between September 1 and October 1 inclusive) be admitted to kindergarten instead of transitional kindergarten, the school district must honor that request.
On the other hand, if a child is kindergarten-eligible but the decision is made to place that child into transitional kindergarten, then the district must ensure that the Kindergarten Continuance Form is signed before the student can continue into kindergarten the following year.