What is transitional kindergarten?
Offered across the state, transitional kindergarten (TK) is an educational option for children born in the fall. Transitional kindergarten offers children with birthdays between September and December a developmentally appropriate program aligned with kindergarten standards, taught by credentialed teachers from K-12. TK was created by a new California law called the Kindergarten Readiness Act.
The Kindergarten Readiness Act, signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010, changed the kindergarten entry date from Dec. 2 to Sept. 1 so that children enter kindergarten at age 5. The law phases in the new age requirement by moving the cutoff date one month a year for three years, beginning this fall, 2012, for children born between Nov. 2 and Dec. 2.
The entry date change and the creation of TK address a longstanding need in California, as our children have historically started kindergarten at a younger age than kids in almost any other state – often without the maturity, social skills and early academic skills they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. At the same time, kindergarten today is far more academic than it once was; similar to what first grade used to be.
The youngest kids in a kindergarten class risk struggling academically, emotionally and/or socially. At their young age, some may have limited experience interacting with peers and teachers, while others may not yet know how to listen or follow a structured class schedule. TK ensures that children have these pivotal skills, which are foundations to successful learning, when they begin kindergarten.
For the 2014-2015 year all transitional Kindergarten students will attend Dixie Elementary School. When they transition to Kindergarten they will attend their home school.