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Transitional Kindergarten


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Universal Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

With the passage of the 2021-2022 California budget, Transitional Kindergarten (TK) was expanded, with full implementation of Universal TK slated for the 2025-26 school year. Expansion began in 2022-23 and incrementally increases eligibility for TK based on children’s birthdates, until Universal TK is achieved by 2025-26 and will include all children who turn 4 before September 1 of the current school year.

School Year Extends TK eligibility to any child who turns 5 between:
2023-24    Sep 2, 2023 - Apr 2, 2024
2024-25    Sep 2, 2024 - Jun 2, 2025
2025-26 and every year   thereafter   All students who will have their fourth birthday by September 1 of the upcoming school year are eligible for TK (universal eligibility)


What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a bridge between preschool and kindergarten for children turning five-years old. It provides young learners a head start and the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that is tailored to meet their academic and social needs.

The TK curriculum is a blend of California Common Core Kindergarten standards and the CA Preschool Foundations for four and five-year olds. The TK program gives students an additional opportunity to continue to build their skills and abilities. Their time in TK will help them to succeed in Kindergarten, become leaders in the classroom, and confidently navigate the school day routine.
The TK class provides more opportunities for social-emotional and language development, including mathematics functions through interactive, hands-on activities, which helps students develop and build upon existing skills to be successful in kindergarten, and stimulating classroom centers, which focus on science, mathematics, writing, arts and crafts, community roll play, etc.

TK is part of the public school system and is free to participating students. Registration in the program is optional. Students attend the one-year program and the following year begin Kindergarten. Credentialed teachers using the district-adopted curriculum teach Transitional Kindergarten.

Smaller Class-Size
Small class sizes are optimal to give younger students the attention they need. Individual instruction is a pillar of quality early education. For the 2023-24 school year, the program will transition to a 10:1 ratio of student-to-TK teacher/TK aide. Many preschool settings enjoy an even smaller ratio. San Carlos School District Preschools, for instance, generally have an 9:1 ratio in their programs.


Teacher Credentialing
Currently, TK teachers are required to have a multiple-subject teaching credential, the same credential teachers need for all the elementary grades. By 2023, TK teachers also need to complete an additional 24 units of early childhood education coursework or the equivalent or they will need to hold a Child Development Permit. Transitional Kindergarten is intended to give young learners a head start and provide them with an opportunity to learn and grow in an environment that is tailored to meet their academic and social needs. Teachers help children develop social and communication skills through activities that build confidence while supporting the Traditional Kindergarten curriculum of math, literacy, and language development taught in interactive ways.


Registration for the 2023-24 School Year
For the upcoming school year, parents of students who turn 5 between September 2 and April 2, 2024 will register their children for Transitional Kindergarten (TK), which is part of the public school system and is free to participating students. Please see our (TO BE POSTED - How To Register for the 2023-24 (NEXT) School Year) page to learn more about the process and required documents, and contact your school directly if you have any additional questions. Additionally, please see our Key Dates for Registration page for more information on upcoming registration events and deadlines.