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Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

AUSD Transitional Kindergarten

Frequently Asked Questions


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 September 2. (CA EC 48000)


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 September 2 and December 2, that uses a Transitional Kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.(CA Education Code 48000)


4. Are Transitional Kindergarten students required to complete the entire two-year program? Yes, with the exception of students who go through the process of acceleration per district policy. (The TK acceleration policy is located at the bottom of this page)


5. 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.


6. 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.


7. What is the curriculum for Transitional Kindergarten?  While no state curriculum is mandated, AUSD has adopted the Big Day for Pre-K curriculum from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


8. 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.


9. 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.


10. 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.


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


12. 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.


13. 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.


14. 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.


15. Why did 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.


16. 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, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  Dismissal time on Wednesdays and other minimum days is 11:40 a.m.


17. 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.


18. How do I enroll my child in Transitional Kindergarten for the coming school year?
For instructions, please go to our Student Services Enrollment page. All steps for completing the online enrollment process are included.


Transitional Kindergarten Acceleration Policy

A parent/guardian whose student has (a) turned 5 years old and (b) been enrolled in their current Transitional Kindergarten (TK) setting for at least 6 weeks is eligible to formally request acceleration to Kindergarten.  A formal acceleration request is made by completing the Transition Kindergarten Acceleration Request Form including a statement by the parent/guardian of the rationale for the request.  Transitional Kindergarten Acceleration Request Forms can be obtained at the school site.  Consideration of acceleration includes assessment of both academic and socioemotional readiness.