What is Transitional Kindergarten?

Transitional Kindergarten is a bridge between preschool and kindergarten for children turning 5 years old between September and December. It gives young learners a head start and provides them with an opportunity to learn and grow in an environment tailored to meet their academic and social needs.

A new law was recently passed in California to change the age when children can begin kindergarten. Under this new law, children must turn 5 years old on or before September 1 to enroll in kindergarten. While this change of a few months may seem small, it can mean a big difference curing these early years when children are rapidly growing and developing.

The new law also created Transitional Kindergarten, so the children who will be affected by this change – those with birthdays between September and December – will have an opportunity to continue building their skills and abilities. Their time in Transitional Kindergarten will help them to succeed in kindergarten the following year and keep pace with the academic expectations of kindergarten.

Transitional Kindergarten:

  • Is part of the Eureka City Schools public school system and is free to families
  • Is taught by credentialed teachers with training to teach young kindergarteners
  • Uses a unique, specialized curriculum that is based on the kindergarten standards and is designed to support young 5 year olds
  • Follows the full-day schedule of the daily traditional kindergarten program.
  • Class size in Eureka City Schools will be 23 or fewer students. Classes will be for Transitional Kindergarten age students only. No combination classes.

An extra year of school gives young children the “gift of time” to build the necessary social and academic skills for success throughout their school experience. Research shows that children who attend kindergarten readiness programs like Transitional Kindergarten are more likely to do well in school and attend college. Parents all over California recognize the benefits of Transitional Kindergarten, and many parents have already been enrolling their children in similar programs for years. Offering Transitional Kindergarten will help all of our kids get the best possible start. Students build strong foundations for reading and math while they adjust to the elementary school environment.

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