By Lillian Mongeau
After a year’s delay, many charter schools will begin offering transitional kindergarten classes in the fall. There had been some disagreement with the California Department of Education over whether charters were required to offer the new program for children who turn five in the first few months of the school year.
While school districts rolled out the transitional programs at the beginning of this academic year, many charters did not. The state’s two largest charter advocacy groups said last spring that the law does not explicitly require schools to offer the program as long as they don’t request state funding for transitional kindergarten students.
via Many charter schools to begin offering transitional kindergarten in fall 2013 – by Lillian Mongeau.
LONG BEACH – When California school districts were required by state law to start a new early kindergarten class for some 4-year-olds for the first time this year, Long Beach Unified had an easier task than most: to simply expand the existing “preppy kindergarten” program it started five years ago.
The Long Beach program, originally the brainchild of kindergarten teachers Kris Damon and Michelle Woolwine, is not the first transitional kindergarten program in the state, but it is one of the largest. And since it has been around for several years, the program will produce the first significant data set, expected this spring, on how children from diverse economic backgrounds who attend transitional kindergarten perform in later grades, based on their grades and standardized test scores.
via Long Beach has jumpstart on transitional kindergarten – by Lillian Mongeau.
Gen-STEM partnership to energize Vacaville and Dixon Transition Kindergarten students! Educators from the Solano County Office of Education, Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD), and Dixon Unified School District (DUSD) met at the VUSD district office on March 20 to discuss the new Gen-STEM grant. The $22,500 partnership grant from Genentech will serve 90 transitional kindergarten students at three schools in VUSD and DUSD.
The Gen-STEM pilot project will allow Genentech, in partnership with the Solano Educational Partnership Foundation, Vacaville and Dixon Unified School Districts, the Solano County Office of Education, and UC Davis, to lead the way in providing access to innovative learning for the youngest learners. Gen-STEM focuses on opening doors to the magic of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for economically disadvantaged and English Learner students in the Vacaville and Dixon communities. The project will serve to stimulate an excitement about STEM starting with transitional kindergarten students, generating an early interest in career opportunities, and show infinite possibilities for what they might become when they grow up, as well as what they may want to do to contribute back to their community.
via Gen-STEM partnership to energize Vacaville and Dixon Transition Kindergarten stu….
More of Vallejo’s youngest students can get a head start at school next year.
That’s when the Vallejo City Unified School District plans to double the number of transitional kindergarten classes it offers, from three to six.
Transitional kindergarten, commonly abbreviated to TK, is a new grade that comes before traditional kindergarten. Instituted this year in districts across the state, the optional grade focuses on social and emotional development to better prepare children for the academic focus of kindergarten.
via Vallejo district expands transitional kindergarten.
By Lillian Mongeau
Transitional kindergarten, the new grade level for children whose fifth birthdays fall early in the school year, is 6 months old in February. At a statewide conference in Pasadena this week — the first large gathering since the program was implemented — teachers, administrators and advocates talked about best practices and cheered what they see as long-needed reform.
Long Beach Unified Superintendent Chris Steinhauser praised it, too, but also tempered enthusiasm with a warning to advocates not to let their guard down. He said the new initiative should not repeat the experience of California’s class size reduction program, begun in 1996 to reduce K-3 class sizes to 20 students per teacher. Because it was hastily created, no research was done at the outset to measure the impact of smaller classes on academic performance. Steinhauser said that this time teachers and districts should collect their own data to prove the program works and then talk about it to legislators often.
via Educators celebrate first six months of transitional kindergarten – by Lillian Mongeau.
By Lillian Mongeau
Head Start in Los Angeles County, the largest provider in the nation, could be broken up into a cluster of smaller programs under a new grant process aimed at improving quality in the federally-funded early childcare program for low-income families.
For the first time in Head Start history, grantees whose programs did not meet certain quality standards in federal inspections have been required to reapply for their funding and to compete with new applicants for the available funds. Grantees, mostly nonprofits and school systems, had been receiving pro forma grant renewals for decades.
via EdWatch 2013: Head Start funding and transitional kindergarten – by Lillian Mongeau.
Twenty-eight enthusiastic and eager to learn 4-year-olds are getting a jump start on their education this year through a transitional kindergarten class at Anderson Elementary.
Dixon Unified officials have described Teresa Loarca’s transitional kindergarten class as a “gift of time” for the children, who will all celebrate their fifth birthdays in September, October, November or December.
While they are still too young to be in traditional kindergarten, this transitional program allows the children to experience the academics of kindergarten through language arts and math activities while still giving them time to develop their emotional and social skills.
via Giving children the “gift of time”
FAIRFIELD — A group of squirming 4-year-olds sat cross-legged on the floor peering around their new classroom as teacher Barbra Rimmer called for their attention.
She told them when it comes to learning, “the teacher does part of it, but you do part of it, too.”
This group of students was getting their first taste of school.
While many students have started kindergarten at age 4 or older, this year students born after Nov. 1 won’t get to start school yet.
via Younger students can transition into kindergarten.
VACAVILLE — The Community Services Department is offering a new junior kindergarten class for children who will be 4.5 years old when school begins.
The class start date was scheduled for Aug. 20 but was moved to Wednesday. Children who missed this year’s new kindergarten cutoff for 2012-13 will be eligible to enroll for the class.
The program uses hands-on learning to build competency for kindergarten. Children will read, write and do math prerequisites as well as social studies, music, science, art and physical education.
via City moves start date of Vacaville junior kindergarten.
By Kathryn Baron
The first lesson that the state’s youngest students may learn is about the meaning of words – specifically, words in the state education code that may or may not give these children access to Transitional Kindergarten in charter schools.
The California Department of Education maintains that any charter school offering kindergarten must provide Transitional Kindergarten, or TK. “Our lawyers affirmed it verbally,” said Tina Jung, spokesperson for the California Department of Education. “To us, it’s clear that public schools and charter schools must offer Transitional Kindergarten. This is the law; it’s what’s best for kids.”
via Charters and state at odds over Transitional Kindergarten – by Kathryn Baron.
Vacaville Unified School District leaders on Thursday heard updates on transitional kindergarten and rates of Tdap vaccine compliance and formally approved the second reading of a new board policy governing visitors and outsiders, including registered sex offenders, on school campuses.
Superintendent John Niederkorn, speaking at a 30-minute board of trustees’ meeting in the Educational Services Center, reported that 37 students, whose 5th birthday falls between Nov. 2 and Dec. 2, had registered for transitional kindergarten, enough to warrant two classes. They will be held in the afternoon at Fairmont and Hemlock schools, respectively. Students will begin attending regular kindergarten classes — “At their school of residence,” Niederkorn noted — during the 2013-14 academic year.
Part of a new two-year statewide kindergarten program, the classes provide an extra year of school for so-called “fall babies.” Made possible by Senate Bill 1381, the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, it gradually moves up the age at which students can enroll in traditional kindergarten. For the coming year, which begins Aug. 16, incoming students must be 5 by Nov. 1. Next school year, they must be 5 by Oct. 1. Starting in 2014, the cutoff date is Sept. 1.
via Vacaville Unified School District trustees OK transitional ….
The Vallejo school board will hold a public hearing Wednesday about the adoption of a transitional kindergarten curriculum.
Transitional kindergarten, often abbreviated as “TK,” is a new grade the Vallejo City Unified School District is offering. It precedes traditional kindergarten, and is designed to help children who might not be ready for traditional kindergarten.
Transitional kindergarten is a state mandate, though when the school board voted to adopt the new grade, lawmakers were still wrangling on whether to follow Gov. Jerry Brown’s lead and nix the requirement.
via Vallejo school board to discuss kindergarten curriculum.
By Kathryn Baron
Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempt to eliminate funding for Transitional Kindergarten created so much confusion that a handful of school districts sought waivers from it out of fear they would have to bear the cost of the program.
The State Board of Education will consider those waiver requests at its meeting today, even though TK survived the governor’s attempt to de-fund the new program, making the districts’ concerns moot. The California Department of Education has recommended that the State Board reject all of the waivers.
via State Board urged to reject waivers from Transitional Kindergarten – by Kathryn Baron.
With the state finally funding the program, transitional kindergarten classes will be offered in Vacaville Unified School District this coming school year, which begins Aug. 16.
All students who turn 5 between Nov. 2 and Dec. 2 are eligible to enroll, said Kim Forrest, the district’s director of curriculum, instruction and assessment.
A new, two-year statewide kindergarten program, transitional kindergarten provides an extra year of school for so-called “fall babies.” Made possible by Senate Bill 1381, the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, it gradually moves up the age at which students can enroll in traditional kindergarten. For the coming year, incoming students must be 5 by Nov. 1. Next school year, they must be 5 by Oct. 1. Starting in 2014, the cutoff date is Sept. 1.
Forrest said the program, which will use a modified age-appropriate curriculum, “provides young learners with a high-quality early education at no cost to parents for students who missed this year’s cut-off date for kindergarten due to California’s new age requirement.”
via Vacaville Unified School District to offer transitional kindergarten.
VACAVILLE — The Vacaville School District is accepting applications for its first transitional kindergarten program.
Transitional kindergarten is a program for children who turn 5 between Nov. 2 and Dec. 2. It provides young learners with early education at no cost to parents for children who missed this year’s cutoff date for kindergarten due to California’s new age requirement. Transitional kindergarten provides the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience, which serves as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten.
via Transitional kindergarten registration opens in Vacaville.
Governor Brown isn’t giving up on efforts to curtail Transitional Kindergarten (TK), despite being rebuffed by both the Senate and Assembly subcommittees dealing with education funding. The May Revision budget plan, released Monday, seeks to make TK a voluntary program and use the savings to restore proposed cuts to state-funded preschool.
The State Department of Finance estimates this plan would capture $132.2 million. Of that, however, $40.7 million would go to funding TK in the handful of districts that the department expects will continue or start a program, and to providing districts that lose students by opting out of TK with the mandatory one-time funding for declining enrollment. That leaves a net gain of $91.5 million.
via Another strike at Transitional Kindergarten – by Kathryn Baron.
FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield-Suisun School District is seeking the names of families interested in enrolling their child in transitional kindergarten class, should state funding arrive.
Transitional kindergarten allows for children with fall birthdays to enter school earlier. Under the approved bill, the current entry age of 5 years old by Dec. 2 will move a month back each year until the entry date is 5 years old by Sept. 1 for the 2014-15 year.
via School district seeks names of parents interested in transitional kindergarten.
For being so young, kindergarteners have incited more than their share of quarrels in California. State lawmakers and governors argued for a decade about how old kindergarten students should be, before voting in 2010 to raise the age to five. At the same time, they created Transitional Kindergarten (TK) for those who miss the new cutoff. Gov. Brown is currently trying to repeal the TK component.
via Kindergarten for all comes of age in CA – by Kathryn Baron.
The Benicia school board will be asked Thursday to approve transitional kindergarten.
While supportive of the new grade that comes before traditional kindergarten, Superintendent Janice Adams had expressed reluctance at implementing the program due to the mixed-messages being sent from the state about its necessity or funding.
via Benicia school board considers new kindergarten grade.