I received a few questions about the Student Assignment Committee’s discussion on the district’s plans for Transitional Kindergarten at the August 8 meeting. For those who aren’t sure what that is, last year the state passed a new mandate on schools, gradually moving the age cutoff for Kindergarten eligibility to September 2 from the current December 2.
Students entering Kindergarten in 2012-13 must be age 5 by November 2, 2012; those entering in 2013-14 must be age 5 by October 2, 2013 , and students entering Kindergarten in 2014-15 and thereafter must be 5 by September 2 of the year they enroll. For students who turn 5 between December 2 and the new cutoff date, the state will require districts to create a Transitional Kindergarten program to serve young four-year-olds who otherwise might have enrolled in public Kindergarten. This is a good idea, developmentally, but it’s not exactly coming at a great time for California school districts, since there is no additional cash coming with the new mandate (the Legislature is very good at thinking up new things for us to do but less good at figuring out how to pay for them).
Anyway, I wasn’t present at the meeting where staff outlined preliminary planning for SFUSD’s Transitional Kindergarten, but I did listen to a tape, so I’ve posted audio of that part of the discussion here (.mp3, about 20 minutes).
As I said in my earlier post last week, there were really more questions than answers about the district’s plans for this program so far. Board members asked staff to bring the topic back to a Board meeting in September, hopefully with more of the blanks filled in — time is short as we will need to have enrollment materials printed for prospective families by early November.