Transitional Kindergarten


Transitional Kindergarten Image

Universal Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

With the passage of the 2021-2022 California budget, Transitional Kindergarten (TK) will be expanded, with full implementation of Universal TK slated for the 2025-26 school year. Expansion begins 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:
2022-23    Sep 2, 2022 - Feb 1, 2023
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 is a stepping stone between preschool and Kindergarten. Students who enroll in TK will attend the program for the full academic year and then will attend Kindergarten the following school. Our TK program is focused on early literacy experiences, social and emotional development, self-regulation and self-help skills, and motor skill development. Our goal is to focus on the whole child, preparing each student to be successful in 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 2022-23 school year, TK classrooms will have 12:1 student-to-TK teacher/TK aide ratio. The program will transition to 10:1 ratio of student-to-TK teacher/TK aide by the 2023-24 school year. 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 2022-23 School Year
For the upcoming school year, parents of students who turn 5 between September 2 and February 1, 2023 may choose to register their children for Transitional Kindergarten (TK), which is part of the public school system and is free to participating students. Please see our How To Register for the 2022-23 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.

TK Schedule

TK & Kindergarten (Early Bird) 8:25 am 9:45-10:00 am 12:00-12:40 pm 1:25 pm
TK & Kindergarten (Late Bird) 9:25 am 9:45-10:00 am 12:00-12:40 pm 2:25 pm
- On Wednesdays and minimum days, all students begin school at 8:25 and are dismissed at 12:25. There is no lunch period on Wednesdays.
TK Extended-Day Program
Knowing some families will need afternoon care for their TK students, SCSD will offer an enriching, extended-day program for our littlest students from the end of the school day until 5:30 pm.

TK Extended-Day Program Sample Schedule*
  • 1:25 - 2:00 pm - Rest Time/Quiet Reading Time
  • 2:00 - 2:15 pm - Music & Movement Circle
  • 2:15 - 3:15 pm - STEAM Activities 
  • 3:15 - 3:45 pm - Spanish Language Circle
  • 3:45 - 4:00 pm - Snack
  • 4:00 - 5:00 pm - Outside Time (soccer, basketball, etc.)
  • 5:00 - 5:30 pm - Stories/Library
*Approximate times are given and adjusted based on Early or Late Bird Student Schedule