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Why is Transitional Kindergarten Good for Children?

Transitional kindergarten provides children with an opportunity to learn in an enriching and academically challenging environment that nurtures their growth. 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, public and private, for years. Offering transitional kindergarten will help all of our children get the best start possible, with curriculum that is designed just for them.

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 that is tailored to meet their academic and social needs.

Transitional Kindergarten:
  • Is part of the public school system and is free for families
  • Uses a unique, specialized curriculum that is based on the kindergarten standards and is designed to support young 5 year olds
  • Is taught by credentialed teachers who have training to teach young kindergarten children.

Starting school is a very exciting time for children and their families! It begins a new chapter in their lives and sets the tone for children's future. California’s kindergarten standards and curriculum have changed over the years; however, many of the skills children were once taught in first grade are now expected in kindergarten. This can make the transition into kindergarten difficult for some children, and the youngest children entering the kindergarten classroom often struggle to adjust.

The good news is that in 2010 California passed SB1381 to create transitional kindergarten, giving children an opportunity to learn in a hands-on, interactive way that supports their development, while still maintaining the rigor and high standards of kindergarten.

In Oroville City Elementary School District transitional kindergarten will be offered to children turning 5 years old from September 2nd through December 2nd to give them an opportunity to develop the social and academic skills and the confidence that will help them succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Who Attends Transitional Kindergarten?

The new law changed 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. Previously, children could be enrolled in kindergarten if they turned 5 years old by December 2. While this change of a few months may seem small, it can mean a big difference during these early years when children are rapidly growing and developing.

The law also created transitional kindergarten. Children with birthdays from September 2nd through December 2nd will have an opportunity to continue building their skills and abilities. Their time in transitional kindergarten will help them to succeed in kindergarten, become leaders in the classroom and confidently navigate the school day routine.

What Happens in a Transitional Kindergarten Classroom?

In transitional kindergarten, teachers help children develop social skills through activities that build confidence and communication. They also expose children to reading and math in an exciting, interactive way by using educational games to teach children about words and sentences and help them understand mathematical concepts like counting and patterns.

Classroom facility and teacher

 Transitional kindergarten students have their own classroom with their own teacher.

Length of school day

They attend an extended school day from approx. 8:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (times vary by school site).

Parents have the option of a half-day morning program.

Shared activities

They participate in all kindergarten activities such as music and art throughout the year.

Curriculum and learning

They learn important new skills that build on what they may have learned in preschool and help them adjust to the elementary school environment.

Learning environment

They learn by working with the teacher in small and large groups. There are opportunities for independent exploration.