What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?
TK is the first year of a two-year Kindergarten program that uses a modified Kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.
Who is eligible for TK?
A child is eligible for TK if the child will have his or her fifth birthday between September 2nd and December 2nd.
Which campuses offer Transitional Kindergarten?
For the 2021-2022 school year, TK is offered at the Grand View Elementary and Pennekamp Elementary campuses.
How do you enroll your child for TK?
Enrollment for TK is the same as for Kindergarten
. Please visit your home school site to enroll your child in the program.
The following is an excerpt from the California Dept. of Education's (CDE) website:
SB 1381 (Chapter 705, Statutes of 2010) amended EC sections 46300, 48000, and 48010 to change the required birthday for admission to kindergarten and first grade and established a TK program.
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 September 1 (EC 48000[a]). This applies to kindergarten programs only.
No. 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). It is a local decision, with parental input, whether the six-year-old student will be enrolled in kindergarten or first grade. For first grade enrollment, California law requires a child to be six years old on or before September 1 to be legally eligible for first grade (EC Section 48010).
Yes. Under California’s kindergarten immunization requirements , even four-year old children need their pre-kindergarten immunizations prior to the first day of TK where they could potentially be exposed to vaccine preventable diseases.The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy Family Physicians recommend pre-kindergarten immunizations starting as young as four years of age.
Yes. They are required to have documentation of required immunizations or a valid exemption prior to admission to TK.
TK programs, as defined in statute, are not preschool classrooms or child development programs. They are part of the K-12 public school system and are the first year of a two-year kindergarten program, which uses a modified kindergarten curriculum. Pursuant to EC 48000(f), TK programs are intended to be aligned to the California Preschool Learning Foundations developed by the CDE. TK programs are required to be taught by a teacher who meets credentialing requirements.
Preschool or other child development programs, offered by LEAs to prepare three and four year old children for school, are not required to be taught by persons meeting teacher credential requirements. Instead, they must meet separate child development permit requirements. LEAs should ensure that parents understand the difference between various locally implemented preschool programs intended to support kindergarten readiness and the transition to kindergarten from the TK program delineated in statute.
LEAs must offer TK and kindergarten classes for all age-eligible children to attend.
While instructional materials must be provided to all pupils, the governing board of a school district determines standards-aligned instructional materials and how those materials are to be modified and age-appropriate for TK. EC60119 states "’sufficient textbooks or instructional materials’ means that each pupil, including English learners, has a standards-aligned textbook, instructional materials, or both, to use in class and to take home. This paragraph does not require two sets of textbooks or instructional materials for each pupil. The materials may be in a digital format as long as each pupil, at a minimum, has and can access the same materials in the class and to take home, as all other pupils in the same class or course in the district and has the ability to use and access them at home."
Just as for English learners in kindergarten, LEAs have a dual obligation to English learners in TK: first, to provide a program designed to overcome language barriers, and second to provide meaningful access to the core curriculum (Castañeda v. Pickard 648 F. 2d 989, [5th Cir. 1981]).
Since EC 49091.19 states: "No provision of this chapter shall be construed as restricting teachers in the assignment of homework," homework policies are determined at the local level. For guidance, the Mathematics Framework states how or whether to use homework as an instructional and assessment tool.
Instructional Minutes Information
Since TK and kindergarten are currently not mandated, it is a local decision whether you are permitted to pick up your child at part-day. Assuming the LEA does not allow you to pick up your child part way through the extended-day schedule, your child's absence might be recorded as an unexcused absence and might be referred to the school attendance review board (SARB). A SARB meeting is recommended for any minor pupil, including a five year old, who is “irregular in attendance at school” pursuant to EC Section 48263.
SARB takes referrals in three situations:
- A minor pupil is a habitual truant (which requires the child to be between the ages of 6 and 18).
- A minor pupil is irregular in attendance at school.
- A minor pupil is habitually insubordinate or disorderly during attendance at school.
Therefore, SARB may discuss the problem of irregular attendance, discuss the importance of regular school attendance, and link the parent to any needed community resources.
Pursuant to EC 37202, TK programs operated by a district must be of equal length to any kindergarten programs operated by the same school site and/or district, unless there is an approved State Board of Education waiver on file. By statute, the maximum school day in kindergarten is 4 hours (“part day”)(EC 46110). However, EC 8973 allows schools that have adopted an early primary program (extended-day kindergarten or “full day”) to exceed 4 hours. Furthermore, EC 48000 states that a TK shall not be construed as a new program or higher level service. In general, the number of required instructional minutes for TK is 36,000 minutes per year. The minimum length of instructional time that must be offered to constitute a school day is 180 minutes (EC 46117 and 46201).
For more information about TK in MBUSD, please contact Dr. Katherine Whittaker Stopp, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.