San Diego 4-year-olds to graduate kindergarten ahead of state deployment


State leaders have approved the rollout of Transitional Universal Kindergarten over the next several years, and San Diego Unified will offer it to 4-year-olds this fall.

Meanwhile, at least five districts in San Diego County do not offer interim kindergartens and have no plans to change them.

San Diego Unified officials announced this fall that they will provide families with at least 2,800 places in transitional kindergarten. District officials say children in the district who turn four on September 1 will be eligible for the program offered in 54 schools.

“No matter where you live or work, we want you to come to school,” said Stephanie Seminsky, director of early learning in the district.

In July, the state promised to begin funding universal transitional kindergarten for all four-year-olds in public schools by 2025. Children can be 4 years old on September 1.

However, not all 4-year-olds have access to early childhood education programs. It may depend on the school district they attend.

At least five small, elementary school districts in some of San Diego County’s wealthier areas – Cardiff, Del Mar, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach – don’t offer transitional kindergartens, even if public school staff say they have to.

The leaders of those districts said they would not offer it unless the state gave them money to do so.

They are called “basic aid” districts and, unlike most public school districts, which receive a lot of money from the state’s per pupil funding, most of the money comes from local property taxes rather than of State. It means that.

The five core aid districts are the Coastal North County districts, which range in size from 547 students at Rancho Santa Fe to 4,900 students at Encinitas.

Most of these school districts earn thousands of dollars more per student than the average California school district. Some parents argue that this is why, like most other school districts, there is a need to provide transitional kindergarten.

District leaders can afford to offer a transitional kindergarten without compromising other programs they consider more important, such as early grades in Delmar or programs in science, technology, engineering, or math. It indicates that there is not.

When contacted by email recently, the five supervisors in the Basic Assistance District said they had no plans to change or update their position on transitional kindergartens. .

The California Department of Education, which supports the implementation of the state’s education law, says state law requires all elementary and charter schools to provide kindergartens of transition to age appropriate children.

Transitional Kindergarten is an additional optional year that precedes Kindergarten.

Children’s advocates say such early education opportunities are critical to their development, improve their academic performance, increase their students’ chances of graduating from high school and are coveted by working parents. He declares that he will bring the benefits of.

Valencia Park elementary school principal Lorimua said he helped pilot the expanded transitional kindergarten program in the Unified District of San Diego.

In transitional kindergartens, children learn the basics of school behavior, such as how to line up and hold hands, she said.

“When you walk into the kindergarten room, you can quickly see who’s never been to school,” Moore said.

However, early childhood education is expensive and inaccessible to many families.

The state provides free childcare or preschool education only to families who meet tight income requirements. According to the YMCA Child Care Resource Service, unqualified families must pay preschool fees, with an average annual cost of over $ 15,000 in San Diego County.

On the other hand, transitional kindergartens have been offered to certain children, depending on their date of birth.

Currently, only California children aged five between September 2 and December 2 are guaranteed access to transition kindergarten to public school. The rules that many advocates say are arbitrary.

The state budget trailer bill passed in July will gradually expand state-funded transitional kindergartens to all four-year-olds by September 1.

The new state budget trailer bill reflects the same wording in state law that five districts use to justify not offering transitional kindergartens, so five districts do. no transitional kindergartens You are unlikely to change your mind.

The Budget Trailer Bill states that the school district must provide an interim kindergarten for children of the required age as a condition for the school district to receive state funding – a condition that the Basic Assistance District does not. not apply to them.

Last year, San Diego Unified piloted an all-day transitional kindergarten program, open to 4-year-olds regardless of their date of birth.

The program combined an interim kindergarten teacher and a kindergarten teacher in the same classroom. The idea was that kindergarten teachers would bring specific expertise in early childhood education, such as the use of play-based learning, while transition kindergarten teachers would bring curriculum expertise. and educational standards.

Space was limited because it was a pilot program. Serving Low Income Families In Title I school classrooms alone, we have served approximately 1,000 4-year-olds.

There was not enough space to meet the demand. Initially, about 2,500 families applied and 480 were on the waiting list, according to Seminsky.

According to Seminsky, this year’s school district can serve at least 2,800 transitional kindergarten children.

San Diego Unified does not yet know how many 4-year-olds there are in the district, but plans to serve 54 elementary students who provided a pilot program and expand it throughout the district. Notes from 2022 to 2023.

San Diego 4-Year-Olds to Get Transitional Kindergarten Prior to State Deployment Source Link San Diego 4-Year-Olds to Get Transitional Kindergarten Prior to State Deployment

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