Families with students whose fifth birthdays fall between Dec. 3 and as late as the following March 30 may now be eligible for early enrollment in the Plumas Unified School District’s transitional kindergarten program, thanks to a vote of the school board June 26.
Meeting in Quincy, Trustees Traci Holt, Dwight Pierson and Dave Keller unanimously approved a district policy update to expand the entrance criteria for transitional kindergarten, or TK as it’s popularly known.
Trustees Joleen Cline and Leslie Edlund, school board president, were unable to attend the meeting. However, both school board members had been part of previous conversations on the policy and its potential benefits for Plumas County families. The board as a whole agreed that expanding TK access should meet the needs of the individual communities.
Traditionally, students who reach age 5 by Sept. 1 of any given school year are eligible to enroll in regular kindergarten. Families must apply with the appropriate documentation and students need to complete required screenings for their grade level.
Enrollment in the TK program, which is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program and is voluntary, is geared for youngsters who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, according to PUSD practices and those of many school districts nationwide.
With the newly revised admission guidelines in place, that window of eligibility for turning age 5 is potentially expanded from Dec. 3 to March 30. After March 30, students would be eligible for kindergarten enrollment the following fall.
To be considered for TK enrollment at local elementary schools in Chester, Greenville, Portola and Quincy, students undergo a screening to test their knowledge of age-appropriate things like colors, recognition of numbers and letters, and their ability to write their own name, for example. The maximum score for the test is 35.
For students whose fifth birthdays fall in the Dec. 3 to March 30 date range, preschool may be recommended.
The school district has expanded the consideration for TK admission in the following ways.
– If TK enrollment will be in the best interest of the child.
– If the student scores 35 on the TK screening exam.
– Parents must receive information from the school district about the advantages and disadvantages of entering the program.
– Admission may be offered on a space-available basis at their local school.
Transitional kindergarten uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is developmentally and age-appropriate and TK classes are designed to assist children with academic, social and emotional skills they will need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. For more information, contact your local school or call the district at 283-6500.