Desert Sands's Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional Kindergarten

We are excited to be able to provide transitional kindergarten (TK) classes at each of our elementary schools. As part of the district’s Universal Prekindergarten Plan, TK enrollment eligibility will be expanding over the next few years in conjunction with the implementation of the state of California’s implementation timeline. Please refer to the table below for the eligibility requirements based on the child’s birthdate. Please contact your local elementary school for more information regarding TK classes.

School Year Eligibility
2023-2024 5th birthday between September 2 and April  2
2024-2025 5th birthday between September 2 and June 2
2025-2026 4th birthday as of September 1

Young students in classroom

We use Benchmark’s Ready to Advance curriculum to support the whole child. This is a comprehensive pre-K curriculum that is research-based and grounded in the understanding of how children learn. This program builds and integrates knowledge across several learning domains to prepare children for kindergarten. Above are all of the domains that are addressed in the program. For more information see:
Program Overview Brochure

What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

Transitional kindergarten, often referred to as TK, is a free public school program for 4-year-olds who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and April 2 for the upcoming school year 2023/2024. It is designed to be a bridge between preschool and kindergarten. It is taught by a credentialed teacher with early childhood development expertise. Transitional kindergarten is intended to help build a strong learning foundation and prepare children for kindergarten with literacy skills, such as identifying letters, letter sounds, and math skills, such as counting objects and completing word problems. TK also helps develop skills like remembering the rules and controlling impulses. All DSUSD elementary school sites have TK programs.

Benefits of TK

A considerable body of research supports the long-term benefits of two years of excellent learning environments, especially for dual language learners and children living in poverty and challenging life experiences. Research also indicated that inclusive programs benefit both children with disabilities and their peers. High-quality preschool programs can increase school readiness at kindergarten entry and improve school performance long term.

A report released from the American Institutes for Research showed the impact that California’s transitional kindergarten program had on children. It was created through the California Kindergarten Readiness Act in 2010. When the children began kindergarten, the children who attended transitional kindergarten were academically five months ahead or more of their peers, who were the same age. Researchers discovered that transitional kindergarten students had higher literacy skills. They were able to identify more letters and sounds and advanced math skills. In math, the students were more skilled in counting objects and completing word problems, than those who did not go to transitional kindergarten. In addition, the study found that transitional kindergarten students had “greater executive function”, meaning, skills, such as remembering the rules and controlling impulses. The study did not find any major differences between the two groups in social and emotional skills.

Does my child have to attend TK?

California Education Code (EC) Section 48000(k) states that eligibility for transitional kindergarten (TK) does not impact eligibility for another program including the California State Preschool Program, Head Start, as well as other subsidized programs administered by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS).  This means that families whose children are eligible for TK and are also eligible for subsidized early learning and care programs will still be able to choose to send their children to those programs.  Families may also continue to enroll their children in private preschool programs or keep their children at home.


* Information provided by Riverside County Office of Education and Solano County Office of Education

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