CA kindergarten saw big enrollment drop during pandemic. What’s happening now? – The Vacaville Reporter

By Howard Blume

No grade level suffered a steeper enrollment drop during the COVID-19 pandemic than kindergarten, driven by what many parents saw as the futility of placing a 5-year-old in front of a computer all day.

When campuses reopened, enrollment somewhat rebounded, but an overall downward trend deeply worried educators, knowing the harm that missing kindergarten can mean for a child’s development.

For that reason, many expressed disappointment that Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday took a step back from a historic expansion of early education by vetoing one bill that would have made kindergarten mandatory and a second bill that would have required school systems to offer a full-day kindergarten.

Source: California kindergarten saw big enrollment drop during pandemic. What’s happening now? – The Vacaville Reporter

Kindergarten could soon be mandatory for California children – Daily Republic

By

California is one step closer to mandating that children attend kindergarten, a requirement that would come after droves of the state’s youngest students skipped the grade during the Covid-19 pandemic and heightened learning gap concerns.

A bill approved by the state Senate late Monday night is headed to the governor’s desk and, if signed, would require children to complete a year of kindergarten before entering first grade, beginning in the 2024-25 school year.

Like most states, California does not require kindergarten as part of its compulsory education laws. California children who are 5 years old are eligible for kindergarten, but are not required by law to attend school until they are 6 years old.

Source: Kindergarten could soon be mandatory for California children

Suisun offers limited pre-kindergarten learning app for free – Daily Republic

A language and literacy app aimed at pre-kindergarten children is available, in a limited number of licenses, to families in Suisun City.

The city’s Recreation, Parks and Marina Department, through funding by First 5 Solano, has 300 licenses for the Footsteps2Brilliance app.

“The F2B app is a great learning tool for the Suisun City preschool age population. Children may see great progress in their literacy and vocabulary skills leading up to kindergarten, and they only need to spend 15 minutes a day on the app. Funding through First 5 Solano has made the app free for Suisun City residents, and the RPM Department is excited for the possibilities,” Recreation Supervisor Marvin Mora said in a statement.

Source: Suisun offers limited pre-kindergarten learning app for free

Hemlock pilots first inclusive kindergarten class – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

In one Hemlock Elementary School kindergarten classroom Thursday morning, it was business as usual. Students modeled letters of the alphabet using Play-Doh, learned about the months of the year and listened to stories.

However, what seemed like a typical kindergarten class on the surface was actually something brand new for Vacaville Unified School District: a mixture of general education students and students with individualized education plans (IEPs). Hemlock has the district’s first inclusive kindergarten program, intended to bring students of different abilities into one classroom as they begin their K-12 education.

The idea came from Hemlock Principal Jennifer Austin who attended an Every Student Succeeding training by the Association of California School Administrators in 2019. There, she attended a class on making classrooms fully inclusive.

Source: Hemlock pilots first inclusive kindergarten class – The Vacaville Reporter

SCOE offers free Pre-Kindergarten Academies – Times-Herald – California News Times

The Solano County Board of Education is affiliated with First 5 Solano, Greater Vallejo Recreation District, and First 5 Center.

The office will host a free Prikindergarten Academy for children with little or no preschool experience living in Vallejo.

There are two sessions, June 7th to July 1st and July 5th to July 30th, both sessions from 8:30 am to noon.

Source: Solano County Office of Education offers free Pre-Kindergarten Academies – Times-Herald – California News Times

Solano County Office of Education offers free Pre-Kindergarten Academies – Times-Herald

The Solano County Office of Education, partnered with First 5 Solano, Greater Vallejo Recreation District, and the First 5 Center.

The office will be holding a free Pre-Kindergarten Academy for children living in Vallejo with little or no preschool experience.

There will be two sessions, June 7 to July 1 and July 5 to July 30, both sessions are from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Source: Solano County Office of Education offers free Pre-Kindergarten Academies – Times-Herald

A Backpack for Every Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Student! – Daily Republic

By Kris Corey

Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) is the fortunate recipient of a generous donation of nearly 2,000 brand new backpacks stuffed with school supplies, virtual learning materials and books for every student enrolled in a FSUSD Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten class. Solano County Office of Education partnered with First 5 Solano Commission and Solano County Library Literacy Services to provide this resource to the young students of Fairfield-Suisun, and other school districts in Solano County.

Each FSUSD school site coordinated their distribution event. Most sites held a special drive-through pick-up event or included the distribution in a preplanned material “pass out” day. Other sites, such as the Virtual Academy of Fairfield-Suisun, will distribute at an upcoming event.

Source: Press Release: A Backpack for Every Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten Student!

SCOE partners with Solano Library, First 5 to deliver backpacks – The Reporter

BY Nick Sestanovich

The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) wants to ensure even the youngest learners have the tools needed for education.

The agency has partnered with the First 5 Solano Commission and Solano County Library Literacy Services to provide 5,500 backpacks filled with school supplies to kindergartners and transitional kindergartners at Solano public schools.

The backpacks are filled with everything a child needs for learning, including crayons, pencils, paper, and cards to help youngsters learn letter sounds and sight words. Unit counters, a dry-erase board and markers are also included in the backpacks to support virtual learning at home.

Source: SCOE partners with Solano Library, First 5 to deliver backpacks to 5,500 early learners – The Reporter

More than 5,000 Solano transitional kindergartners get backpacks – Daily Republic

Backpacks filled with pencils, crayons, paper, letter-sounds, sight word cards and other early learning basics are being delivered to 5,500 transitional kindergartners and kindergartners in Solano County public schools.

The Solano County Office of Education partnered with the First 5 Solano Commission and Solano County Library Literacy Services to provide the early learning backpacks.

The backpacks are intended to serve as a midyear support for teachers, students and their families who are navigating virtual learning, a statement released Thursday by the Office of Education said. They are being delivered to school districts and charter schools that will in turn distribute the items to families across the county.

Source: More than 5,000 Solano transitional kindergartners, kindergartners get backpacks

Travis USD hosting priority registration events at all schools – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Kindergarten and transitional kindergarten (TK) registration for the 2020-21 school year is now open for Travis Unified School District students. Children can be enrolled online at travisusd.org or by attending a priority registration event within the next two months at any of the district’s elementary schools.

Attending a priority registration event guarantees enrollment at a child’s school of residence. The events listed are as follows:

  • Dec. 11: Scandia Elementary; 100 Broadway St., Travis AFB.
  • Jan. 15: Center Elementary; 3101 Markeley Lane, Fairfield.

Source: Travis USD hosting priority registration events at all schools – The Reporter

Travis School District sets kindergarten registration dates – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Registration for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classes in the 2020-21 Travis School District school year is now being accepted.

The district will hold priority registration events beginning Wednesday. Incoming students at other grade levels can register as well.

Source: Travis School District sets kindergarten registration dates

Building Teamwork and Perseverance in Early Elementary Students with Breakouts | MindShift

By Katrina Schwartz

The first Breakout Angie Sutherland designed was in response to a teacher’s request for an activity to help her students improve their teamwork skills. The teacher was concerned that her students didn’t communicate well when they collaborated on projects and that they gave up too easily when an academic task became challenging. Sutherland immediately thought of Breakouts, activities based on the popular escape room experience where groups of people working together under time pressure solve a series of puzzles. As a technology integrationist for Batavia Public Schools, a district outside Chicago, Sutherland was excited to give the strategy a try.

“The growth for students when doing something like that goes beyond the curriculum,” Sutherland said. “I think it’s so important for us to encourage kids to have that productive struggle and how to handle that once you’ve encountered it. And this particular activity has so much value in helping kids overcome some fears for taking risks and failure.”

Source: Building Teamwork and Perseverance in Early Elementary Students with Breakouts | MindShift | KQED News

Does ‘Redshirting’ Benefit Kids? Kindergarten Decision Looms | US News

By Anna Orso

Lisa Larney started researching college when her daughter was 3. She wanted to know everything she could about the long-term impacts of delaying kindergarten enrollment for her daughter, born just a week before her school district’s enrollment cutoff date.

Would she benefit from going to college a year later? What if she’s too tall for her grade? Would she perform better academically if held back?

After two years of studying her daughter’s social interactions and researching her options, Larney decided to “redshirt” her, the term used for keeping children in prekindergarten instead of enrolling them when they’re first eligible at age 5.

Redshirting was originally popularized in college sports: Coaches would keep athletes out of competition for a year to develop their skills and extend eligibility. When it comes to kindergarten readiness, the hotly debated practice is most common among parents of kids with summer birthdays — locally, Sept. 1 is typically the cutoff date — because it decides the difference between being the youngest in their class or the oldest, with all the advantages that come with age.

Source: Does ‘Redshirting’ Benefit Kids? Kindergarten Decision Looms | Healthiest Communities | US News

Travis district, teachers’ union wrangle over kindergarten program – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

Starting this fall, the Travis School District will offer full-day kindergarten at all of its elementary sites, broadening a long-existing option the district has had for extended kindergarten.

The plan will affect as many as 400 children within the district and is a move the district made in anticipation of ballooning enrollments expected in the coming years with developments of Fairfield subdivisions within the district’s boarders.

District officials and representatives from the Travis Unified Teacher’s Association are wrangling over some of the final details of the program, with about 50 district teachers, supported by some parents, attending the district’s Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday to voice concerns over the negotiations, according to union bargaining leader Sydney Lundy.

Source: Travis district, teachers’ union wrangle over kindergarten program

TUSD to offer full-day kindergarten in the fall – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

For some of the youngest Travis Unified students and their families, it will be a major change.

The district, which includes two Vacaville elementary schools, will offer full-day kindergarten for all kindergarten students starting in the 2018-2019 school year, which begins in August.

The district was able to make the adjustment due to newly available classroom space, district officials said in a press release.

“We are so excited to be able to offer a full-day kindergarten program,” said Pam Conklin, the district superintendent. “The drawback has always been facilities. We are working on the necessary logistics and partnering with our union to better serve our young students and provide equity to all.”

Governing board President Riitta De Anda noted many Travis parents had longed for the change.

Source: Travis Unified School District to offer full-day kindergarten in the fall

All-day kindergarten coming to Travis schools with new school year – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Travis School District will offer full-day kindergarten classes starting with the 2018-19 school year.

“We are so excited to be able to offer a full-day kindergarten program,” district Superintendent Pam Conklin said in a statement Friday announcing the program. “The drawback has always been facilities. We are working on the necessary logistics and partnering with our union to better serve our young students and provide equity to all.”

The program will go into effect at all five elementary schools. It will match the first-grade schedule at each campus. Transitional kindergarten will remain a half-day program.

Source: All-day kindergarten coming to Travis schools with new school year

Registration season continues at Vacaville’s Cooper Elementary – The Reporter

By Reporter Staff

Applications are being taken in the main office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.

For those families enrolling TK (transitional kindergarten) students, the child must turn five between Sept. 2 and Dec. 1, 2018; for kindergarteners, the child must turn 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2018.

Kindergarten class schedule will be as follows: 8 to 11:35 a.m. Aug. 16 to March 11. The schools kindergarten classes will become extended Kinder classes starting March 11, 2019.

The Kinder schedule will be as follows: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays.

Source: Registration season continues

Solano health services gets kindergartners ready for school – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

It was like one-stop shopping Wednesday for Dominique Lewis of Fairfield and her 4-year-old daughter Lavella to get the child ready for kindergarten.

The pair were taking advantage of the third annual day-long Kindergarten Round-Up, which was hosted by Solano County’s Fairfield Pediatric Clinic.

“I love that I am getting to learn about her learning ability,” Lewis said while her daughter answered questions from a social services worker.

Source: Solano health services gets kindergartners ready for school

Despite law change, few districts offer early kindergarten for youngest 4-year-olds | EdSource

By Ashley Hopkinson

Only a small number of California’s largest school districts are taking advantage of a state law that allows them to enroll more 4-year-olds in a pre-kindergarten program known as “transitional kindergarten.”

The state’s transitional kindergarten program began in 2012-13, for 4-year-olds who turn 5 in the first few months of the school year.

The state Legislature subsequently gave districts permission to expand transitional kindergarten to even younger 4-year-olds, but with only partial reimbursement from the state. So far only six of the state’s 25 largest school districts offer these programs, known as “expanded transitional kindergarten.”

Source: Despite law change, few districts offer early kindergarten for youngest 4-year-olds | EdSource

Travis district offers kindergarten, transitional kindergarten registration – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Travis School District begins priority registration this week for kindergarten and transitional kindergarten.

Registration will occur Monday at Foxboro Elementary, 600 Morning Glory Drive, Vacaville; Tuesday at Cambridge Elementary, 100 Cambridge Drive, Vacaville; and Wednesday at Center Elementary, 3101 Markeley Lane, Fairfield.

The time is set by the first letter of the child’s last name: A-G at 5 p.m.; H-L at 5:30 p.m.; and M-Z at 6 p.m.

Source: Travis district offers kindergarten, transitional kindergarten registration