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San Lorenzo School District Begins Plans on Transitional Kindergarten Program

12.19.2011 | Patch | Sarah Cooke

The San Lorenzo Unified School District has begun its plans for implementing a new “transitional kindergarten” class among its schools to help those impacted by the state’s recently passed law changing the date at which children are eligible to enter kindergarten.

Before the passage of this law, children who turned 5-years-old by Dec. 2 of the same school year were eligible to begin kindergarten in August.

Beginning next fall, however, children entering kindergarten must turn 5 by Nov. 1. By the start of the 2013-2014 school year, the new deadline is Oct. 1, and Sept. 1 for the 2014-2015 school year.

Children who turn five after the cutoff date will be placed in the transitional kindergarten class instead of entering kindergarten.

Principal of Bay Elementary School Diana Tavares said the transitional class differs from preschool in the sense that it focuses on helping younger children prepare socially for kindergarten whereas preschool aims at teaching them a seperate educational curriculum.

“Some students simply aren’t ready [for kindergarten]. If they’re a little younger, sometimes developmentally, emotionally, they’re just not ready,” Tavares said.

According to a press release distributed by the San Lorenzo School Readiness Office, the San Lorenzo Unified School District has begun its plans for implementing the new transitional program in its local schools.

“The district is convening a committee of teachers and administrators to design the program,” the release said.

However, while schools will not need to hire new teachers, current teachers will need to be trained in the new curriculum.

Elementary schools will employ the same number of kindergarten teachers, but some of them will make the switch to teaching the transitional classes.

In addition, because transitional classes will be offered at the same school at which each child will attend kindergarten and elementary school, parents will not be inconvenienced.

“The impact [on the schools and parents] will be very little,” Tavares said. “It’s simply a matter of restructuring our program. It’s a win-win situation.”

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