Public Schools Required to Offer New Grade Level

09.17.2012 |

A new state law will require public schools to offer a new grade level–transitional kindergarten.

“The rigor of kindergarten has changed over the past ten, twelve years. Our students are asked to do a lot more, skills than ever before. Our younger students had tremendous challenges,” explains Emilio Handall, the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education.

Under the new law, students will have to turn 5 by September first, in order to enroll in Fall classes.
Those with birthdays after the cut off date will go to transitional kindergarten, which will teach basic reading, writing, and math.

Schools have until 2014 to enforce the new law. The Santa Barbara School District is already offering the classes. There are currently 138 children enrolled in the classes. Because state funding will not kick in until January, the school district is incurring some costs.

Administrators believe the program is priceless. Experts agree.

“the more we can do before kindergarten, the better success they’re going to have after kindergarten,” says Eileen Monahan, the Early Care & Education Division Manager of First Five of Santa Barbara County.

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