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California Launches New Grade Level

09.05.2012 | Times Publiching Group, Inc. | Noel Smith

Soquel, Live Oak First TK Classes to Start August 29
According to Superintendent Henry Castaniada, the Soquel Union Elementary School District already has 23 students signed up for the District’s first-ever Transitional Kindergarten Class. The new class will be held at the new Opal Cliffs School with Michele McBride as the teacher.

If you live in the Soquel Union Elementary School District and your child’s 5th birthday is between July 1 and December 2 this year, he or she is eligible to attend the SUESD Transitional Kindergarten with Classes to start Wednesday, August 29.

Those parents who have not yet registered their boy or girl for the Transitional Kindergarten Class, please contact Janet Lindenbaum, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, at the Soquel Union Elementary School District office by calling (831) 464-5639.

There will be a TK Orientation for those registered at the Opal Cliffs School, 4510 Jade Street next to Jade Street Park, on Tuesday, August 28 at 11:00 a.m.

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According to Carol Watt, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, the Live Oak School District already has 37 students signed up for the District’s two Transitional Kindergarten Classes. The new classes will be held at Live Oak Elementary School.

If you live in the Live Oak School District and your child’s 5th birthday is between November 2 and December 2 of this year, he or she is eligible to attend the District’s Transitional Kindergarten with Classes to start Wednesday, Aug.  29.

Those parents who have not yet registered their boy or girl for the Transitional Kindergarten Class, please contact Live Oak Elementary School, 1916 Capitola Road Santa Cruz, CA 95062, Tel # (831) 475-2000 during Office Hours, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday – Friday on school days only, or call the District office.

Parents interested in more information about enrolling their child in a TK class, contact the Live Oak School District office at 984-1 Bostwick Lane Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Tel # (831) 475-6333.

 PVUSD Offering TK Grade

According to Kathy Lathrop of the Child Development Office, An estimated 340 kids in the district will be eligible for the new Transitional Kindergarten classes this year but as attendance is voluntary and not every Elementary school will offer the class, the District is planning on a total of 80-100 students and is planning to provide four classrooms and teachers at four locations to meet the state’s mandate.

With just four of the 16 elementary school in the district offering a Transitional Kindergarten class, parents wanting their child to attend will have to provide that own transportation.

The four schools are planned to be: Hall District Elementary, 300 Sill Road,
Watsonville • Landmark Elementary, 235 Ohlone Park Way,
Watsonville • Mar Vista Elementary, 6860 Soquel Drive,
Aptos • Mintie White Elementary, 515 Palm Avenue,
Watsonville,

If your child’s 5th birthday is between November 2 and December 2 this year, he or she is eligible to attend Transitional Kindergarten with Classes to start October 15, 2012.

There will be two Transition Kindergarten Community Information Meetings:

Mar Vista Elementary School Cafeteria, Wednesday September 5, 6:30 to 7:30 pm • PVUSD Board Room Thursday September 6, 6:30 to 7:30 pm

To register your student:

1.  Obtain application at your local school, Child Development Office or from PVUSD website. 2.  Mail or deliver Transition Kindergarten Application to Child Development Office before September 12. 3.  The CDD Office will call you and schedule a registration appointment on one of the following dates and locations:

PVUSD District Office: 294 Green Valley Rd, Watsonville
Monday, Sept. 17 ~ 8 a.m. and 4:30 pm

Mar Vista Elementary School: 6860 Soquel Dr, Aptos
Wednesday, Sept. 19 ~ 12:30 – 4:30 pm

4.  Attend Registration Appointment and enroll your child in TK program. 5.  Bring birth certificate, immunization card, proof or residence, recent physical exam. 6.  Child Development office will call and confirm the TK site your child is assigned. 7.  Start Transition Kindergarten! First day October 15th.

Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley Transitional Kindergarten Classes

Scotts Valley Unified School District and San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District both have transitional kindergarten (TK)/ kindergarten combination classes.

If you live in either the Scotts Valley Unified School District or the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District and your child’s 5th birthday is between November 1 and December 2 of this year, he or she is eligible to attend the District’s TK Class.

Additional teachers were not hired for these classes at local schools and an instructional aide will be available to help work on specific skills with the transitional kindergartners.

According to the Scotts Valley Unified School District, TK students will be attending the District’s combination TK/kindergarten Class at Vine Hill Elementary School.

Those Scotts Valley parents who have not yet registered their boy or girl for the Transitional Kindergarten Class, please contact Vine Hill Elementary School at 831-438-1090, 151 Vine Hill School Road, Scotts Valley during Office Hours, Monday – Friday on school days only, or call the District office at 831-438-1820.

San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District has combination TK/kindergarten classes available at Boulder Creek Elementary School, and San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School.

Those SLV parents who have not yet registered their boy or girl for the Transitional Kindergarten Class, please contact Boulder Creek Elementary School at 831-338-6413, 400 Lomond St., Boulder Creek or San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School at 831-335-4475, 7155 Highway 9, Felton

As the school year begins, districts throughout California will begin offering transitional kindergarten — TK for short — the first new grade level in the state since the introduction of kindergarten in 1891.

This school year, more than 800 school districts are expected to provide transitional kindergarten. This is the first year of a new two-year kindergarten for children with fall birthdays who are too young to enter regular kindergarten. Approximately 40,000 California students will be offered the new age-appropriate curriculum this fall in more than 2,000 classrooms. An estimated 125,000 California children will be eligible for TK once the program is fully phased in over the next three years.

“These are tough economic times, and school budgets have been cut to the bone. Transitional kindergarten is one of the few bright spots on the educational horizon,” said State Senator Joe Simitian, the author of the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010.

This legislation changed the state’s kindergarten entry age and created transitional kindergarten. “It will get kids off to a strong start at no additional cost to the state. I’m excited for what this opportunity will mean for our kids, our teachers, our schools, and for California.”

In spite of Simitan’s “no cost” assertion, the state’s Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance advocated saving $224 million in Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2012 budget by pulling the plug on Transitional Kindergarten classes scheduled to begin this fall.

Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley Transitional Kindergarten Classes

Scotts Valley Unified School District and San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District both have transitional kindergarten (TK)/ kindergarten combination classes.

If you live in either the Scotts Valley Unified School District or the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District and your child’s 5th birthday is between November 1 and December 2 of this year, he or she is eligible to attend the District’s TK Class.

Additional teachers were not hired for these classes at local schools and an instructional aide will be available to help work on specific skills with the transitional kindergartners.

According to the Scotts Valley Unified School District, TK students will be attending the District’s combination TK/kindergarten Class at Vine Hill Elementary School.

Those Scotts Valley parents who have not yet registered their boy or girl for the Transitional Kindergarten Class, please contact Vine Hill Elementary School at 831-438-1090, 151 Vine Hill School Road, Scotts Valley during Office Hours, Monday – Friday on school days only, or call the District office at 831-438-1820.

San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District has combination TK/kindergarten classes available at Boulder Creek Elementary School, and San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School.

Those SLV parents who have not yet registered their boy or girl for the Transitional Kindergarten Class, please contact Boulder Creek Elementary School at 831-338-6413, 400 Lomond St., Boulder Creek or San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School at 831-335-4475, 7155 Highway 9, Felton
Since 1951, California has had its kindergarten cut-off date set at Dec. 2. If your kids were 5 years old after that date, they would enter kindergarten at the beginning of the next school year. Under the new law, the cutoff date is moved forward to Sept. 1 over three years. This year’s cut-off will be Nov. 1; in 2013, it will be Oct. 1; and in 2014, the cut-off will be Sept. 1. All those children born between Dec 2 and the new cutoff dates during the transition will attend a TK class.

After 2014, the roughly 125,000 children born each year between Sept. 1 and Dec. 2 will be in a “transitional kindergarten” class structured to be more developmentally appropriate. Their next year will see them entering a traditional kindergarten class. The other 375,000 children born each year will only experience one year of kindergarten.

All districts are required to offer transitional kindergarten this year, but attendance by children in the new TK is voluntary, as is attendance in kindergarten. Some districts already have two-year kindergarten programs but the majority of districts will be instituting the TK grade level for the first time this school year.

Research indicates that beginning school at an older age improves children’s social and academic development. And, as a February 29, 2012 editorial “California to some kids: No” in the Los Angeles Times asked, “Why should only the children with birthdays from Sept. 2 to Dec. 2 be entitled to the extra year of kindergarten, especially when, as they start regular kindergarten, they would be among the older and more developmentally ready students?”

Most states have earlier cutoff dates for entering school because many younger children aren’t ready for the challenges of a modern, more academic kindergarten. A September 1 cut off date for kindergarten rather than December 2 would result in fewer children in California’s school systems saving the state and its school districts close to an estimates $700 million the first year if implemented.

Transitional kindergarten will be adding additional cost to the districts without any additional funding from the state other than ADA dollars, which keep dropping each year. The TK program adds more children to elementary schools. The state mandated TK classes and curriculum requires additional teachers, teaching assistants, classroom facilities and teacher training.

“Transitional kindergarten will help children, families, and educators experience the best possible entrance to school,” said Ada Hand, president of the California Kindergarten Association. “Even children who are intellectually and developmentally ready but not mature or emotionally prepared can find kindergarten a challenge.”

“Today’s kindergarten classroom is a much different place than many of us experienced when we were growing up,” Simitian said. “We’re placing rigorous academic demands on these kids, and the youngest are struggling to catch up. Evidence shows that giving these ‘young fives’ the gift of time can make a big different in their long-term success. The fact that we’re able to do this at no immediate cost to the state is a real bonus in these challenging economic times.”

The LA Times editorial summed it up saying, “Make no mistake, many youngsters would benefit enormously from a two-year kindergarten program, as well as subsidized preschool. (The state preschool program has a waiting list of 83,000 children.) With an extra year to make up for any deficits in young children’s knowledge and skills, schools could prepare them for more successful academic futures. It’s too bad the state (and many school districts) can’t afford that right now, but it can’t.”

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