What is Transitional Kindergarten?
Transitional kindergarten (TK) is a bridge between preschool and kindergarten for children turning 5 years old between September 2nd and December 2nd. TK is a result of the Kindergarten Readiness Act which was signed into law in 2010 and changes the kindergarten entry date from December 2 to September 1, so children enter kindergarten at the age of 5. The law phases in the new age requirement by moving the cutoff date one month each year for the next three years, which began in the fall of 2012.
Transitional Kindergarten (TK):
- Is part of the public school system and is free for families.
- Uses a unique, specialized curriculum that is based on the kindergarten standards and is designed to support young 5 year olds.
- Is a two year program (Year 1 = TK/Year 2 = Kinder).
- Is taught by credentialed teachers.
- Will be offered at four sites based on geographical locations in the city, unless enrollment numbers continue to grow and can be implemented at every elementary school site.
Why is Transitional Kindergarten good for children?
- Provides children with an opportunity to learn in an enriching and academically challenging environment that nurtures their growth.
- Research shows that children who attend kindergarten readiness programs like transitional kindergarten are more likely to do well in school and attend college.
- Offering transitional kindergarten will help all of our kids get the best start possible, with curriculum that is designed just for them.
What happens in a Transitional Kindergarten Classroom?
In transitional kindergarten, teachers help children develop social skills through activities that build confidence and communication.
- Classroom facility and teacher: Transitional kindergarteners have their own classroom with their own teacher or may be integrated with a kindergarten class.
- Length of school day: The length of day is the same as the kindergarten class at the school.
- Curriculum and learning: They learn important new skills like hands on learning in math concepts, emergent literacy and positive socialization skills that build on what they may have learned in preschool and help them adjust to the elementary school environment.
- Learning environment: They learn by working with the teacher in small and large groups and also have opportunities for independent exploration.
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