TK Expansion in Action Blog Series

Our new series covers California’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) expansion in the 2022-23 school year through interviews with districts across the state to highlight strategies they have employed to make expansion successful. 

TK Expansion in Action: Supporting Principal and Site Leadership Understanding of Young Learners’ Needs at Alisal USD

February 2023

Principals and school site leadership play a critical role in shaping the culture and climate of a school. Accordingly, they also play a large part in ensuring the implementation of a successful Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program at their school site. While principals and site leadership have strong backgrounds in elementary education, many are still newer to TK and serving preschool-aged children on their campus. As TK expands and younger 4-year-olds are served at elementary schools, professional development is critical in helping to support site leadership to create a school culture that better understands and meets the needs of young children. One school district that has had a long-time practice of leading professional development specifically geared towards its leadership is Alisal Union School District (AUSD), an elementary school district in Monterey County.

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TK Expansion in Action: Creating a Job Description for the Second Adult in a TK Classroom

November 2022

With the commencement of the school year, California shifted its requirements for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classroom sizes and staffing. The new requirements lowered the student-adult ratio to 12:1 and average maximum classroom sizes of 24 students. Each TK classroom is also required to have at least one lead TK teacher. However, while there are requirements for the lead teacher in a TK classroom, there are no requirements for the second adult needed in TK classrooms to support achieving the lower ratio. The criteria for the second adult in the classroom has provided school districts flexibility in determining how to staff their classrooms. Rather than hiring for a general paraprofessional or aide, some school districts, such as Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD), have developed tailored job descriptions specific to the second adult in a TK classroom to ensure that they have guidelines to help them identify ideal candidates.

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TK Expansion in Action: Santa Clarita Valley Showcases LEA & Higher Education Partnerships to Meet TK Teaching Requirements

October 2022

As Local Education Agencies (LEAs) across the state are in the midst of expanding Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to serve all four-year-olds, many districts are also grappling with the challenge of ensuring that all of their lead TK teachers have both a Multiple Subject Credential and 24 units of Early Childhood Education and/or Child Development (ECE/CD) by the time the TK educator requirements go into effect on August 1, 2023 (as required in California Education Code, Section 48000). School districts are getting creative to meet this fast approaching deadline and developing partnerships with their local institutions of higher education. One such district is Saugus Union School District (SUSD), an elementary school district nestled in the Santa Clarita Valley, which has reached out to its local community college to support their credentialed teachers in achieving the necessary ECE/CD units to be lead TK teachers.

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Ventura County School Districts Expand Access to TK Ahead of Schedule

September 2022

When the school year kicked off in Ventura County this August, more than 3,250 4-year-olds attended their first day of TK in 108 school sites across the county. As of the 2022-23 school year, 78 percent of districts in Ventura County have expanded to serve more 4-year-olds than the state’s eligibility requirements, currently 4-year-olds born between September 2nd and February 2nd. But why are so many districts in Ventura County expanding early? Reasoning varies from district to district, but one factor that may be hard to ignore is that Ventura County is experiencing one of the highest rates of declining enrollment in the state – and early TK expansion could be a way to curb the negative budget impacts brought on by declining enrollment.

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San Diego Unified Surpasses Goal Enrollment for Transitional Kindergarten Expansion

August 2022

As children, parents, and teachers all make the final preparations to get ready to go back to school in the next few weeks, San Diego Unified (SDUSD) has already laid the foundation to ensure a successful year ahead. As declining enrollment is reported in school districts across the state and country, SDUSD has managed to surpass its enrollment expectations for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) for the 2022-23 school year. When SDUSD opens its doors on the first day of school on August 29, they will have more than 4,000 students enrolled in 185 TK classrooms across all elementary school sites. 

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