Young students at Dennis Earl Elementary were given the gift of time this school year by getting a head start on their education before they reach kindergarten.
The transitional kindergarten class at Earl is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that was created by the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010. The Turlock Unified School District enacted TK classes this school year at Wakefield, Dennis Earl, and Medeiros elementary campuses.
“TK serves as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten,” said Earl Elementary TK teacher Jill Temple. “The district looked at the state preschool standards, as well as the Kindergarten Common Core Standards, and formulated a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.”
A child who is eligible for transitional kindergarten if his or her fifth birthday falls between Nov. 2 and Dec. 2 for the 2012-13 school year.
“TK gives the children the opportunity to get a head start in school,” added Temple. “The child learns important emotional and academic skills that will help them succeed when they reach kindergarten.”
TK provides young learners with a high-quality early education at no cost to parents, to ensure that they have an opportunity to continue learning. The same type education at a private preschool can be too expensive for many parents.
“At Earl we have two TK class sessions that are split up in the morning and afternoon. The six weeks that we have been in school I have noticed an improvement in each of them,” said Temple. “On the first day of school, many of them didn’t know how to hold a pencil the correct way or how to follow instructions. They have an opportunity to start their kindergarten experience with kids their own age, and with teachers that can tailor lesson plans to their needs.”
TK will follow the traditional school year calendar. The TK schedule will mirror that of the site’s afternoon kindergarten class schedules.
“We currently have 17 students enrolled on our morning class and 18 in our afternoon class,” said Temple. “We are hoping to increase the number of students the following school year.”
The ultimate goal for the TUSD is to have TK programs at all the elementary schools.
“So far, we have received positive feedback from parents and administrators,” said TUSD Superintendent Sonny Da Marto. “It’s going to make a big difference in the academic success for the child.”
For more information on enrolling a child in transitional kindergarten or kindergarten, contact your local elementary school office.