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Transitional Kindergarten Students Head to School

Approximately 40,000 students statewide are expected to begin transitional kindergarten this fall—a new grade serving younger students with fall birthdays.

With back-to-school season in full swing, more than 2,000 (TK) classes are opening their doors across the state, marking the historic launch of the first new grade introduced since 1891.

The Glendora Unified School District and Charter Oak Unified School District launched programs last week. Glendora Unified is offering three classes of 24 students each at Sutherland, Stanton and Cullen elementary schools. Charter Oak is offering two classes, one at Badillo Elementary with 22 students, and another class combining transitional kindergarten students with regular kindergarten students at Cedargrove Elementary. That class includes 13 transitional students.

Approximately 40,000 students statewide are expected to use the voluntary program—a new grade serving younger students with fall birthdays—according to Preschool California.

Transitional kindergarten was established by the 2010 California state law that changed the kindergarten entry date so that children enter at age 5. It requires school districts to provide the program to children whose admission to kindergarten would be delayed.

"The first year of a two-year kindergarten program [will use] a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate," according to the California Department of Education.

Transitional kindergarten will be offered at no immediate additional cost to the state, because funding that would have been used to support young 5-year-olds in kindergarten will be redirected to support those same children now in TK, says Preschool California.

Patch Asks: Are your kids enrolled in transitional kindergarten? Do you think it's a good idea?

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