Transitional Kindergarten: New Law in Effect
For many years, the law has been that students must turn 5 on or before December 2 in order to attend Kindergarten. That law has changed, as follows:
- For this coming year, (the 2014-15 school year, and each year thereafter): A child must turn 5 on or before September 1.
The law also requires that districts offer a Transitional Kindergarten program, starting at the first day of the school year, for students whose birthday falls between the new date and December 2 of that school year. For students who attend Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten becomes a two-year program.
The Black Oak Mine Unified School District already offers a Transitional Kindergarten program currently held at Northside Elementary School that meets the requirements of this provision. Students whose birthdate falls between the following dates for 2014-15 and all subsequent years will be eligible to enroll in Transitional Kindergarten:
- Child turns 5 between Sept. 1 and Dec. 2
In addition, the District will continue to offer Transitional Kindergarten to eligible students with fifth birthdays in the late summer/fall months (even if they are old enough for kindergarten). The program is offered on a case-by-case basis. The District takes into consideration the developmental level of the student in making placement decisions.
For the first four years of Transitional Kindergarten, we have been able to place every student whose parents requested this option. We anticipate, going forward, to continue to honor most, if not all, placement requests.
Parents whose child will turn 5 after December 2, may still place their child’s name on a list to be enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten as soon as s/he turns 5. Again, on a case-by-case basis, s/he will be placed if space is available. For more information, call Monica Woodall, Early Education Services Coordinator at Northside School, 333-8355, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Day in TK!
Tips From First 5 California
Each and every day there are lots of fun and simple things you can do with your child to help his or her development and ensure a better start in life. Children learn while watching you and by playing, so make these activities a time of fun and bonding between the two of you. Here are some examples:
- Read, Sing and Talk: By talking to children in full sentences from the moment they are born, you help them build a basis for language and dialogue. This stimulates their minds and helps them develop verbal skills.
- Walks: Take a walk with your child and count how many houses you have passed. You can also encourage a conversation by asking him or her what color things are in your surrounding environment. Point out signs and ask about the letters you see.
- Helping with Chores: When your child is old enough, he or she can begin helping you around the house. This will make him or her feel important and useful, and will help him or her develop confidence, as well as valuable math and verbal skills. For example:
- Sorting Laundry: Your child can help you sort laundry by colors. Have him or her say the color out loud and help him or her differentiate between dark and light.
- Cooking: Have your child help with cooking by getting ingredients for you. You can ask him or her to give you a certain amount of something like potatoes. This will not only help encourage his or her verbal skills, but will help develop his or her math skills too.
- Read out loud to your child every day.
- Use board books for babies and young children.
- Tell stories.
- Take your child to reading programs.
- Let your child draw and write.
- Visit the library.
- Limit TV watching and when you watch, choose educational programs and watch together.
- Read yourself and make it a family activity.
Some Quick Facts
- Ninety percent of brain development occurs before age 5.
- Studies show that a child who is rarely spoken to or read to in the early years may have difficulty mastering language skills later in life.
- Only 53 percent of children ages 3 to 5 are read to daily.
- A child who is rarely played with may have difficulty with social adjustment as he or she grows.
- A child who is held and nurtured in a time of stress is less likely to respond with violence later.