By Misty DUPLESSIS
In 2010, California Senate Bill 1381 was signed into law, changing the age requirement for students entering kindergarten. The bill also created a new grade called Transitional Kindergarten that would act as the first year of a two year kindergarten program with emphasis on developmental skills.
On Wednesday, April 25, representatives from the Glendale Unified School District held a parent meeting to discuss and answer questions about the new grade and what parents could expect.
“The meeting went very well,” reported GUSD Transitional Kindergarten Coordinator Lise Sondergaard adding that there was not a lot of parent concern and that most of the questions asked where individual-specific.
Sondergaard has been a supporter of the new law because the research she has seen shows that kids who start school at a younger age tend to have less academic problems later in their educational career.
“I am always for anything that gives kids extra time and extra school,” Sondergaard said. She said she felt that students will benefit from the extra year of kindergarten because it will provide them with the readiness they need to move forward.
The local Glendale elementary schools that will host the new grade include La Crescenta Elementary, Marshall Elementary and Cerritos Elementary.
The staff at La Crescenta Elementary School has already begun to prepare for the arrival of the new class by ordering new paint, carpet and furniture for the designated classroom to make a welcoming environment for the new students.
“We are very excited to be the home of the new Transitional Kindergarten. We will be bringing students from all of the La Crescenta area,” said La Crescenta Elementary School principal Kim Bishop.
Although Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has proposed cutting funding for the program, Glendale school representatives are committed to offering parents the option of having their children participate.
For more information about Transitional Kindergarten, visit gusd.net.