Aiming to “give our youngest kindergartners a better start in school,” Coronado Unified has announced a transitional kindergarten program for the 2012-2013 school year.
Designed for children who turn 5 years old between Nov. 2 and Dec. 2, transitional kindergarten provides components of the traditional kindergarten program, including computer lab, science lab and visual and performing arts.
Services for special needs and English language learners are also included. Teachers are credentialed and have special training in early childhood development, said Claudia Gallant, director of curriculum and learning in a press release.
The daily schedule will vary. In the fall, transitional kindergartners will attend class only in the morning. The schedule will be extended gradually from half days to full days over the year, so that by the spring transitional students will be attending daylong classes.
Under a new state law, the program is mandated for all children born between November and December. Children starting their academic careers this year must attend transitional kindergarten before enrolling in kindergarten.
Five-year olds born before November may also attend if a parent feels it would better suit their child's needs. For those “young fives,” the program creates a bridge between early learning and kindergarten,” Gallant said.
To attend, those children must complete a required continuance form agreeing to a “two-year kindergarten experience for their child,” she added.
Registration for transitional kindergarten has begun at both Silver Strand and at the Early Childhood Development Center.