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Sign-ups sought for new kindergarten

11.26.2011 | The Press-Enterprise | Michelle L. Klampe

Parents interested in sending their children to Temecula Valley schools’ new transitional kindergarten program in 2012-13 are being asked to sign up on a list.

Those who do will be notified about informational events and other important dates regarding the program, which also is known as early kindergarten, said Andree Grey, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the Temecula Valley Unified School District.

Transitional kindergarten was created as part of a new state law that raises the age requirement for entering kindergarten in California. The law, approved last year, changes the date by which children must be 5 years old to enter kindergarten from Dec. 2 to Sept. 1.

The change is being phased in. In 2012-13, children must be 5 by Nov. 1. And in 2013-14, they must be 5 by Oct. 1 to enter school.

Transitional kindergarten is a program for students whose birthdays fall in the gap between the old start date, Dec. 2, and the new start date of Sept. 1, though it is not limited to children with those birthdays, Grey said,

It is geared toward young 5-year-olds who may not be ready for regular kindergarten, she said.

“These are the kids now who start kindergarten and tend to repeat it,” she said.

In Temecula Valley, some parents already are deciding not to send their young 5-year-olds to school and instead wait until the children are 6. The transitional program gives those children a place to go, Grey said.

The transitional kindergarten uses a different curriculum than regular kindergarten, so children who attend both years of school will not simply be repeating kindergarten, Grey said. The lessons in transitional kindergarten are more developmentally appropriate for younger students, she said.

“It’s not a preschool,” she said. “It’s kindergarten standards with a modified approach.”

The school district is required to offer the program, but it is optional for parents, Grey said. Parents who enroll their child in transitional kindergarten must agree to send their student to regular kindergarten the following year, completing a two-year kindergarten program, she said.

Temecula officials expect to offer the program at four schools throughout the district. Transportation will not be provided, but child care will be available after school at a fee, Grey said.

Students who attend transitional kindergarten also will have access to school services, such as special education, support for English learners and speech programs, Grey said.

INTEREST LIST

The Temecula Valley Unified School District is collecting contact information for parents interested in transitional kindergarten. They will be notified of parent meetings and enrollment dates.

To sign up, email Cheryl Krueger at ckrueger@tvusd.k12.ca.us with the following information:

Child’s name and home school (look up online at www.tvusd.k12.ca.us)

Parent’s name, email address and phone number

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