Town Square

Transitional kindergarten eases youngest children into the classroom

Original post made on Aug 31, 2012

A lot can happen in a year. Ann Hanneman knows this from both personal experience and the short time she has spent teaching transitional kindergarten in Mountain View.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 31, 2012, 10:41 AM


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Posted by confused
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I'm confused. Why do kids whose birthdays fall in November and are not eligible to go to Kindergarten for the 2012-2013 school year need transitional Kindergarten? Did I miss something in the dates they provided?
Eventually children will only be eligible for Kindergarten if their birthday is before Sep. 2nd. Those children whose birthdays fall after Sep. 2nd will go to preschool and be among the oldest in their Kindergarten class the following year. So why does that group of students need a transitional Kindergarten? Isn't that what Preschool is all about? Transitioning kids into Kindergarten.
Some one please explain...

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Posted by @confused
a resident of Gemello
on Aug 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm

You have the dates right. Not everyone can or does send their kids to preschool.

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Posted by Tom
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 1, 2012 at 9:35 am

I agree with "confused".

Transitional Kindergarten should be for the youngest students entering kindergarten. Instead, those that are currently in Transitional Kindergarten will be the oldest in the class when they enter.

Those in Sacramento didn't have their thinking caps on when they came up with this program.

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Posted by What a waste
a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

My child is in daycare all day because I work full-time. She has a fall birthday and will be impacted by this change. The transitional kindergarten will not benefit her in any way since she is used to 9 hours in daycare/preschool. This is a total waste.

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Posted by confused
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

Thanks for confirming my suspicions. Waste of money it is.
Most of us work which means some sort of day care. Hopefully we can afford one that is structured enough to prepare the kids for their future. If not there is free preschool for those who don't make enough and for those of us in between there is the YMCA program that offers help to parents who have trouble affording the cost. There is no need to transition children whose birthdays fall only during three months of the year, especially the three months of the year that will make them the oldest and in many aspects most mature kids of the group.

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Posted by Ron
a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

This isn't actually very confusing. The state moved up the cutoff date for kindergarten and created transitional kindergarten so that affected parents wouldn't have to pay for a year of preschool/daycare. It certainly would have been nice if "free preschool" and YMCA programs were universal, but that is not even close to being the case.

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Posted by confused
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Only kids whose birthdays are affected by the change qualify. So, basically 1 out of 4 kids will qualify for this transitional Kindergarten. Doesn't really address affordability or the need for more access to preschools since Kindergarten is now more like First grade.

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Posted by Unfair
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm

All kids need some form of pre-school or "transitional kindergarten". What about the kids born between Dec 3 and Sept 3? They are going to have to "hit the ground running" even if this is their first experience with school. Kindergarten use to be the year when kids learned their letters, numbers, listening to teachers, and focusing their attention, and all the basics that would ready them for first grade when academic skills would begin to be taught. Now those skills are taught in kindergarten. Kids coming to kindergarten straight from a home environment and with no pre-school experience will be a far greater disadvantage to the ones who got to attend the transitional kindergarten or whose parents could afford to pay for private pre-school.

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Posted by Khash
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 30, 2013 at 12:05 pm

My son is entering kindergarten this year and will turn 6 on November 21st.

Transitional Kindergarten saved me money as I didn't have to pay for full time daycare.

It sucks because a lot of my sons friends got to go to kindergarten and he'll be a year behind. So I'm sure he kind of feels left out, the kids his age are a year above him. Which I reminded him, most of the 1st graders are the same age as him.

But now he is already reading, and writing and calculating math, so I feel that he will excel in Kindergarten this year. It was a bummer, but a helpful bummer, because my son is ready as all ever for kindergarten this year.

My son benefited because he got to experience transitioning into a school based setting, he knows what to expect in Kindergarten, has friends and will now be able to really thrive, yes he'll be 6 and one of the oldest in his class, but he will also be able to catch on to things faster and really be successful!