BEVERLY HILLS—On February 15, the Beverly Hills Unified School District announced the possibility of opening a transitional kindergarten class. If approved the class would start in September of this year.
The district has introduced the possibility of a transitional kindergarten class in response to “The Kindergarten Readiness Act” passed by State Legislation in 2010, which changes the kindergarten entry date from December 2 to September 1, so that children enter at age five. According to preschoolcalifornia.org, starting in 2012 the legislation will phase in the new age requirement by moving the cutoff date one month a year for three years. As a result, all districts are required to create and implement transitional kindergarten classes for students born between September and December. The classes will offer “developmentally appropriate curriculum” that would prepare children for kindergarten.
“These changes are critical to the state’s education code are critical because California’s children start kindergarten at a younger age than kids in almost any other state, often without the maturity and the social, early literacy and pre-math skills they need to meet the challenges of kindergarten,” stated BHUSD Superintendent Dick Douglas to Canyon News. “At the same time, California has some of the highest standards for what we expect our children to learn in kindergarten. The evidence shows that giving these younger kindergarteners an extra year can make a big difference in their long-term success.”
The transitional kindergarten classes will be taught by credentialed teachers. “The thought is that children enrolling in transitional kindergarten may benefit from an extra year of preparation to develop socially, emotionally, physically and academically,” said Douglas.
Students born after September 1st may be admitted to kindergarten on a case-by-case basis if the school district agrees that early admission is in the best interest of the child.