Update: May 1, 2012
As of May 1, 2012, plans for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) in Vacaville Unified are still tentative. However, key lawmakers and consultants in Sacramento are urging California schools to "be prepared" to offer the age-appropriate curriculum next year.
TK is a new program designed for children who will be turning 5 between November 2 and December 2 this year. Children must now be 5 by November 1 to enroll in traditional kindergarten. TK would make kindergarten a 2-year experience for those who qualify based on age.
State funding for TK was put on hold in January due to California's budget crisis. VUSD has been moving forward with the planning required to provide an appropriate and engaging educational program in a supportive and caring learning environment for our youngest students. In late March, parents in Vacaville were given a presentation on the program.
We are eagerly waiting for the Governor's Revised Budget which will be available mid-May, 2012. Hopefully that will provide us with a clearer understanding on funding. However, it is important to remember that the Transitional Kindergarten program will only occur in the Vacaville Unified School District if funding for the program is provided. Please check back in mid-May for an update.
What is Transitional Kindergarten?
Senate Bill 1381, known as the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, gradually moves up the age at which students can enroll in traditional kindergarten. For 2012-13, students must be 5 by Nov. 1; for the following school year, 2013-14, children must be 5 by Oct. 1; for 2014-15 (and each year thereafter) they must turn 5 by Sept. 1.
Originally, the Readiness Act also required districts to develop transitional kindergarten programs for children who are too young to attend kindergarten due to the new age requirements each year. TK would use a modified curriculum that is age-appropriate. As the deadline moves up each year, the number of children eligible for TK would expand. A child would be eligible for TK if he or she will have their fifth birthday between the following dates:
- For the 2012–13 school year: Nov. 2 and Dec. 2
- For the 2013–14 school year: Oct. 2 and Dec. 2
- For the 2014–15 school year and each school year thereafter: Sept. 2 and Dec. 2. If funded, the TK program would continue past 2015.
TK is part of the public school system and is free to participating students; registration in the TK program is optional.
The 2012-13 TK class would be the first year of a two-year kindergarten experience. Students who enroll will attend the program for the full 2012-2013 academic year and then attend kindergarten at their school of assignment for the following 2013-2014 school year. Because TK classes would not be offered at all schools, most students will not attend TK at their school of assignment. Classes will be a minimum of three-hours and twenty minutes daily and will be held at one of our elementary school schools.
TK will be taught by credentialed teachers and 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 will help children develop social and communication skills through activities that build confidence while supporting the TK curriculum of math, literacy, and language development taught in interactive ways.
Please see the California Department of Education Website for more information on TK.
Registration for the TK program is the same process as traditional kindergarten. Beginning on March 1, 2012 parents should register at their school of assignment based on address. Parents of potential TK students will be contacted with updates as we learn more about the funding for the program.
Please continue to check this website for periodic updates and information regarding TK.
Extra information for parents and links to resources are posted on the County Office of Education website.