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Transitional Kindergarten Information

AUSD Transitional Kindergarten


On September 9, 2016, the California State Board of Education (SBE) approved AUSD's request to waive California Education Code (EC) section 37202(a), the equity length of time requirement for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten programs.  Approval of this waiver allows TK students to attend school for fewer minutes than kindergarten students.


Frequently Asked Questions
May 2013
TK Brochure


1. What is the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010?  Senate Bill (SB) 1381 amended California Education Code to change the required birthday for admission to kindergarten and first grade and established a Transitional Kindergarten program beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

2. What is the minimum age for admittance to kindergarten in California?  A child shall be admitted to a kindergarten maintained by the school district at the beginning of a school year if the child will have his or her fifth birthday on or before one of the following dates:

  • For the 2016-17 school year, and each school year thereafter, the date is September 1.

3. What is Transitional Kindergarten?  A Transitional Kindergarten is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program, available to AUSD children who turn 5 between Oct. 2 and Dec. 2, that uses a Transitional Kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.

4. Can students who are age eligible for kindergarten attend Transitional Kindergarten?  Although this is a local decision, California Department of Education (CDE) recommends that districts establish criteria to determine selection requirements for kindergarten eligible children who enroll in Transitional Kindergarten.  Children who are age-eligible to attend kindergarten, but choose to enroll in Transitional Kindergarten, will need a signed Kindergarten continuance form verifying that the parent/guardian agrees to have his/her child continue in kindergarten for one additional year.  

5. Will Transitional Kindergarten continue after 2014?  Yes.

6. Are Transitional Kindergarten students required to complete the entire two-year program? Yes, unless they go through the process of skipping a grade per district policy.

7. Are parents required to go through the kindergarten registration process if their child attended Transitional Kindergarten? No, they are automatically enrolled in kindergarten for the following year. Current AUSD policy places TK students in their home school for their regular kindergarten year.

8. Are standards available for Transitional Kindergarten?  No, but the district made the decision to use California Preschool Learning Foundation standards along with Kindergarten Content standards. The state does not have Transitional Kindergarten standards.

9. What is the curriculum for Transitional Kindergarten?  While no state curriculum is mandated, local education agencies must modify the local course of study in order to provide age and developmentally appropriate curriculum for Transitional Kindergarten.

10. How will the needs of English learners be addressed in Transitional Kindergarten?  AUSD will provide a Home Language Survey to be completed by the parent or guardian who will aid the school in determining whether or not the student should be administered the California English Language Development Test (CELDT).  Students who are English learners in a Transitional Kindergarten will have the same level of services as those in kindergarten.

11. How will the needs of parents of English learners be addressed in Transitional Kindergarten? Every effort, in person or in writing, will be made to communicate to parents of English learners in their primary language.

12. What are the Williams requirements for students in Transitional Kindergarten? 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 Transitional Kindergarten. Education Code 60119 states “sufficient text books 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.”

13. Will Transitional Kindergarten have the same statutory class size limits as regular kindergarten? 
Yes, Transitional Kindergarten will adhere to AUSD’s district standard of 25:1.

14. Does the Transitional Kindergarten teacher need a teaching credential?  
Yes. The teacher must be properly credentialed as is currently required of kindergarten teacher.

15. Are students in Transitional Kindergarten required to meet immunization requirements before the first year or second year of the program?  They are required to have immunizations before admission to Transitional Kindergarten.

16. What is the difference between Transitional Kindergarten and preschool?  
Transitional Kindergarten builds on skills that children may have learned in preschool or at home and uses a Transitional Kindergarten curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for young five year olds entering into a traditional school setting.

17. How is Transitional Kindergarten different from regular kindergarten?  
Transitional Kindergarten is not a replication of regular kindergarten.  Transitional Kindergarten uses a combination of standards including the California Department of Education’s Preschool Learning Foundations and the CA Common Core Standards for Kindergarten.  In addition, the Transitional Kindergarten classroom environment includes many more opportunities for social-emotional development, fine-and gross-motor activities, ongoing language development, and structured social play.  This is accomplished through dramatic play, small group instruction, and project-based learning.

18. Why has California decided to change the kindergarten cut-off date?  Prior to the passage of the Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB1381), California’s December 2nd cutoff date for kindergarten entry was one of the latest in the nation.  In most states, children must turn five by September 1st in order to start kindergarten.  California’s late kindergarten cut off allows children as young as 4 years and 9 months old to be in kindergarten classes with children more than one year older.  While rolling back the kindergarten entry date a few months may seem small, it can make an enormous difference during the early years when children are rapidly growing and developing.

19. Where will Transitional Kindergarten be located & how many Transitional Kindergarten classrooms will be opened for the 2013-14 school year? There will be three Transitional Kindergarten classrooms opened for the 2013-2014 school year. The classrooms will be most likely located at Haight, Paden, and Earhart Elementary Schools.

20. Will ongoing assessments & conferences be required during the school year?  The Desired Results Developmental Profile-School Readiness (DRDP-SR), a developmental continuum of school readiness, will be used as a basis for conferencing with parents.  Expected outcomes will be linked to the kindergarten standards. Just like kindergarten, conferences will be 
required.  Conference time will be used to go over outcomes with parents/guardians and to set goals for students.

21. Will curriculum & supplies be provided? Yes, curriculum will be supplied.  Great Expectations in Math and Science (GEMS) guides, Handwriting Without Tears, and Houghton Mifflin Transitional Kindergarten reading program will be used.  Basic classroom materials for a Transitional Kindergarten classroom will be supplied.  Day to day supplies will be the responsibility of the site just as they are for any other grade.

22. What is the schedule – start and end time – for Transitional Kindergarten?
The schedule for Transitional Kindergarten is 8:30 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. Monday through Friday.

23. Do TK students eat lunch at school? No. Unless your child is enrolled in the school's childcare services. If so, parents are welcome to stay with their children during lunch time.

24. How do I enroll my child in Transitional Kindergarten for the 2013-2014 school year?
For instructions, please go to our Steps to Online Registration, or go to AUSD's website and under Educational Services (District Office) click on the link to “ONLINE ENROLLMENT” to begin your registration, then proceed to “Make an Enrollment Appointment” with our Student Services division.


Transitional Kindergarten Information