The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is moving ahead with plans to continue its transitional kindergarten (TK) program, despite budget cuts that could eliminate funding.
The district ran a pilot program this year. The idea is to send older, more mature children to regular kindergarten and send younger ones to the transitional program, which includes what's described as "structured play" as well as elements from traditional kindergarten.
Current California law allows students who turn five years old between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 this year to participate in the program. It begins in September with other schools.
"We believe that, despite the confusion that exists around the program in the Legislature, it is in the best interest of our students and our district to continue to offer the program next year," said Christine Williams, assistant superintendent of educational services. "The current law is still in place and mandates this program, and we don't feel it is fair to our students or parents to wait to make a decision."
Districts are being told that since both the State Assembly and Senate budget committees have rejected the Governor's proposal for eliminating TK, and since the proposal is strongly opposed in both houses, the current TK law will most likely remain in place for the 2012-13 school year.
The governor could bring a revised proposal to the table in his May budget revision. However, the SRVUSD Board of Education believes that the benefits of this program outweigh the small potential cost impact.
Currently, there are 222 students registered for the 2012-13 program, which is set to be offered at John Baldwin, Neil Armstrong, Golden View and Coyote Creek elementary schools. The school day is the same as traditional kindergarten with morning and afternoon classes.
Families whose children will turn 5 on or between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, 2012 and have not yet enrolled in the school district may enroll in the TK program by contacting the district's Educational Services Department.