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TUSD looks ahead to next year with kinder registration
Registration for both transitional kindergarten and kindergarten will begin next month for all eight Turlock Unified elementary school campuses (Photo contributed).

Despite this school year being full of uncertainties, it’s already time for parents to begin looking ahead as Turlock Unified School District prepares for 2021-2022 kindergarten registration.

Registration for both transitional kindergarten and kindergarten will begin next month for all eight elementary school campuses. For the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be an online option for parents to be able to complete the entire registration process remotely. While it’s hard to say exactly what the academic year will look like for TUSD’s youngest students come next August amid current school shutdowns, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Heidi Lawler assured parents that their children would be safe no matter what the game plan is.

“It is very likely that many of the COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be with us well into the future. With our increased proficiencies and better technology, we will have more options available to make the school year effective and safe,” Lawler said. “With that said, the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine gives us high hopes that 2021 will see TK-12 classrooms with students learning and making in-person connections with their peers and teachers.”

There are several key dates for parents to remember when it comes to registration, as well as due dates for applications from families wishing to enroll their child in one of TUSD’s four choice programs: Dual/Two-Way Immersion at Wakefield and Osborn, the POD at Julien and the Discovery Math & Science and Renaissance Visual and Performing Arts programs at Walnut. 

TK/K Neighborhood School Registration will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at each school site, and parents are encouraged to check with their neighborhood school for more information, including lottery applications for choice programs.

Choice program lottery applications are due Jan. 27 and the lottery will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3. 

To be eligible for kindergarten, a child must be five years old on or before Sept. 1, 2021. To be eligible for TK, a child must turn five years old between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, 2021. The following documents must be provided at the time of registration: immunization verification records; original birth certificate, passport or baptismal certificate; proof of residence (e.g. TID bill and one of the following: PG&E bill, phone, cable, lease agreement); and photo identification. Children presently attending preschool classes and who are eligible for TK/K must also register.

The immunization requirement has not been waived by the State of California, and TUSD recommends making appointments for vaccinations now in order to avoid the rush when school reopenings are announced.  

All kindergarten students must register at their designated home school attendance area, and registration packets will be available from students’ home school on Jan. 6. 

“Transitional kindergarten and kindergarten are the first opportunities in a student’s formal TK-12 education and develop essential early literacy, numeracy and social skills. Foundational learning and school experiences prepare students for primary elementary grades and early success may be a predictor of future academic achievement,” Lawler said when discussing the importance of kindergarten. “With the implementation of the current California standards, rigor has increased at every level. As a result, students are often reading, writing and demonstrating strong number sense as a result of their kindergarten program prior to entering first grade.”

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