What is Transitional Kindergarten?
- Transitional kindergarten (TK) is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a developmentally and age-appropriate modified kindergarten curriculum. TK does not replicate preschool or kindergarten. It addresses the child’s language, literacy, and pre-math skills with an emphasis on social and emotional development. The program blends preschool and readiness standards for kindergarten with a focus on hands-on and experiential learning. Research shows that taking the time for readiness for school can predict success later in the formative years of elementary and secondary education. Getting a strong start is very important.
2023 - 2024 School Year
Who can attend Transitional Kindergarten?
- With the rollout of California’s Universal TK, children who turn 5 from September 2, 2023 through April 2, 2024 are eligible to enroll in TK for the 2023-24 school year.
My child turns 5 on April 3, 2024. Can an exception be made for my child to enroll in TK?
- No. Children must turn 5 on or before April 2, 2024 to attend TK. Assessments are not used to determine TK enrollment eligibility.
My child has a birthday that falls within the TK age-eligibility window. Can my child skip TK and enroll directly in Kindergarten?
- No. We strictly adhere to the age eligibility requirements for a child to enroll in kindergarten. A child must turn 5 on or before September 1, 2023 to enroll in kindergarten for the 2023-24 school year.
Transitional Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions
What will the Transitional Kindergarten program look like for my child?
- The TK program is taught by credentialed teachers and runs 5 days a week. Hours for the program are still being determined. TK offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum that allows students to explore, create, and learn through purposeful play based activities. Social emotional, fine motor, and academic skills are all integrated in this hands-on program to build a strong foundation for meeting the rigor of kindergarten the following year.
How is TK different from Kindergarten?
- TK is a bridge from Preschool to Kindergarten. It does not replace kindergarten. The TK curriculum provides a bridge for our young five year olds between the flexible, exploration based environment of preschool and the more structured academic setting of kindergarten. It promotes each child’s progress in all areas where they develop and practice the social, emotional and physical skills that support and naturally accompany a child’s intellectual growth.
Transitional Kindergarten Important Information
Transitional Kindergarten is defined as "the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate." (Education Code, Section 48000(d)).
The benefits of a Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program:
- allows for the gift of time for children who would benefit from a two-year program
- improves social-emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development
- builds self-esteem and identity as a successful student
- reduces grade retention and special education placement
- offers a valuable opportunity to integrate the early learning and elementary systems
- provides a credentialed teacher for the program
The state of California is allowing individual school districts to create TK programs with standards and curricula that meet the unique needs of their student populations.
When can I sign my child up for Transitional Kindergarten?
- The 2022-23 TK enrollment is ongoing.
- The 2023-24 TK enrollment priority window begins January 17, 2023 and is ongoing.
Where do I enroll?
- Our enrollment process is all online. The online enrollment application and forms are available on the Hillsborough City School District website at: Registration
Where will the Transitional Kindergarten classes be held?
- The campuses with TK for the 2023-24 school year are South Hillsborough Elementary and West Hillsborough Elementary.
Is TK mandatory ?
- TK is not a mandatory grade. Families with students whose birthdays fall within the TK birthday guidelines (above) have the option to enroll in TK or keep their child in preschool. Many of you are familiar with the Hillsborough Recreation Preschool Program and we encourage you to view their programs.
Do children in universal TK have to meet the same vaccination requirements as in regular kindergarten?
- Yes. Under California’s kindergarten immunization requirements, even four year old children need their pre-kindergarten immunizations prior to the first day of TK.
What happens after a year of Transitional Kindergarten?
- Transitional Kindergarten is intended to be the first year of a two year kindergarten program. Students will move to kindergarten the following year, will have a space reserved for them at their resident school, and will not have to re- enroll.
What if I have more questions?
- For more information you may call Margaux Mansfield, District Registrar at (650) 342-5193. Additional information regarding Transitional Kindergarten can be found in Education Code Section 48000.