Parents have another option for adequate programming that meets the needs of students not quite ready for a traditional kindergarten program.
What is Transitional kindergarten (TK)?
Students receive an extension of preschool and a slower paced kindergarten to meet their individual needs. This program allows students to engage in schooling as opposed to waiting a year, become more academically prepared and less likely to be placed in special education or retained after one year of kindergarten.
How will students transition out of the TK program?
Students may move to a traditional kindergarten classroom at any point during the year if they achieve kindergarten benchmarks. Students may enter 1st grade next school year if end of year kindergarten benchmarks are accomplished. Students may enter traditional kindergarten next school year if another year will benefit them either academically and/or social-emotionally.
What to consider when enrolling in the TK (Criteria)?
- No preschool prior to age 5
- Late summer birthday and will turn 5 relatively close to the August 31 cut-off date
- Not adequately mastering preschool standards
- Social/emotional needs that may hinder their interactions with peers
- Delays in speech/language, gross motor and/or fine motor skills
- Difficulty with self-help skills such as handling bath room needs, managing their coat and bookbag or eating lunch independently
- Struggles separating from family without crying or exhibits high levels of anxiety
- Seems uninterested in school related tasks, like cutting, gluing or holding a pencil.
TRANSITIONAL Kindergarten v. TRADITIONAL Kindergarten
Explore kindergarten content standards v. Master kindergarten content standards
Modified curriculum based on student needs v. Curriculum follows a pacing guide with differentiation as needed
Program is student driven/student focused v. Program is teacher driven/student focused
Develop social/emotional skills v. Reinforce social/emotional skills
15:2 student/teacher ratio v. 20+:1 student/teacher ratio
Opportunities for less structured “play time” v. Highly structured center time