Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about Burbank Unified School District’s Transitional Kindergarten Program
Generally, what happens in transitional kindergarten?
In BUSD’s transitional kindergarten, teachers help children develop social skills through activities that build confidence and communication. They also expose children to reading, math and other academic subjects in exciting and interactive ways. Teachers use educational games and manipulatives to help them learn about words and sentences and understand mathematical concepts like counting and patterns. Although there is an academic emphasis, the program is heavily informed by the teacher’s knowledge of Early Childhood Education theory and application, as a primary goal is to meet the developmental needs of these young children.
Why is transitional kindergarten good for kids?
Transitional kindergarten provides children with opportunities to learn in an enriching and academically challenging environment that nurtures their growth. Research shows that children who attend kindergarten readiness programs like transitional kindergarten are more likely to do well in school and attend college. Parents all over California recognize the benefits of transitional kindergarten, and many parents have already been enrolling their children in similar programs, public and private, for years. Offering transitional kindergarten to Burbank students will help all of our kids get the best start possible, with a curriculum that has been designed just for them.
What are some of the key features I’ll need to know about Burbank’s transitional kindergarten program?
• School activities, calendar, and class configuration will be similar to traditional kindergarten.
• Just like traditional kindergarten, parents are not required to enroll their children in this program. Kindergarten is not mandatory in the State of California.
• Students who meet the age requirement for TK will not be eligible for traditional kindergarten until the following year.
• The curriculum is aligned with the Common Core kindergarten standards and taught by a teacher with a California Multiple Subject Credential.
• The instructional program is informed by the teacher’s knowledge of Early Childhood Education
How can I enroll my child in transitional kindergarten?
Enrollment for the Transitional Kindergarten program will take place online at https://burbankusd.asp.aeries.net/AIR/. You will then proceed to your school of residence to complete enrollment. Please contact the school and make an appointment. You will need to do the following:
- Bring in the paperwork you print from the online enrollment (if you are unable to print, the school site will do this for you)
- the child's original certified birth certificate
the child's immunization record
current Burbank utility bill (Burbank Water & Power, telephone or gas)
the parent/guardian’s picture I.D.
As not all of our sites currently have a TK class, Student Services will place your student once you have submitted all of your information to your school of residence. Placements are based upon date and time of enrollments and space available. Student Services will notify all parents of their placement via email and phone call. If you have any questions, please contact Student Services at 818-729-4502.
What will be the academic curriculum for Burbank’s transitional kindergarten?
In Burbank, we have created a curriculum and a pacing guide that is based on the Common Core state kindergarten standards, but modified to ensure that it is developmentally appropriate for young five-year-olds. In a traditional kindergarten format, the emphasis is much more on the mastery of content standards, whereas transitional kindergarten focuses primarily on exposure and exploration of the content. The same subjects (as traditional kindergarten) are covered, but at a different pace. And, just like a traditional kindergarten program, in TK, the instructional program is organized around larger themes and ideas.
Please explain the transitional kindergarten age requirements:
Children eligible for the program must turn five years old between: September 2 and December 2 for the 2021/2022 school year.
Where will Burbank’s transitional kindergarten program be held?
The school district has determined that transitional kindergarten will be held at eight elementary school sites: Edison, Emerson, McKinley, Miller, Providencia, Roosevelt, Stevenson and Washington. Students will attend the school that is closest to their residence based on the current district boundaries and space availability. Space is limited and placement is not guaranteed.
What about class size? Will transitional kindergarten have the same class size limits as regular kindergarten class sizes in Burbank?
The same district-wide class size requirements that apply to traditional kindergarten will also apply to transitional kindergarten.
How long will the transitional kindergarten day be?
TK students attend school for five hours per day.
How will we assess the progress of the TK students? Will they get report cards?
Students in our transitional kindergarten will be given most of the same standards-based assessments that are provided to students in our traditional kindergarten program. This is because we will want to have a good idea as to the progress they are making toward these standards. Although the goal in TK is not mastery of the academic standards, this will still be very helpful information for parents and the teachers of the traditional kindergarten programs that these children will enter the next year. TK students will get report cards at the end of each trimester. These report cards will provide information about academic progress as well as social/emotional growth.
How will the needs of English learners be addressed in transitional kindergarten?
Just like we do for all new kindergartners, BUSD will provide a Home Language Survey to be completed by the parent or guardian of incoming transitional kindergarten students. This will help us to determine whether or not the student should be administered the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). Students who are English learners in a transitional kindergarten will have the same level of services as those in kindergarten.
How will the needs of special education student be addressed?
Special education students will have equal access to this program. A TK student’s IEP goals will be addressed in the same ways as if that student was in a traditional kindergarten program.
What plans will be made for children who excel throughout the Transitional Kindergarten year and appear to be ready for first grade at the end of that year? Can they be promoted to 1st grade?
In rare cases, this may be a possibility. Having looked at several TK programs in the area, we have found that the percentage of students who have mastered most of the kindergarten standards and have the emotional readiness for first grade is quite low. However, we would look at individual students on a case-by-case basis.
Will these children get to perform in Holiday Programs, Spring Dances, and experience things like Valentine’s Day parties and Halloween Costume parades, field trips and so many of the other things that parents consider to be so important in the Kinder experience?
Yes. There is the expectation that our TK students and their families will be able to benefit from all of these types of experiences. These events would be calendared into the school year.
Will parents be afforded opportunities to volunteer and help in Transitional Kindergarten classes?
Yes. Parents interested in volunteering will be able to participate just like at any other school. They would have to go through our district’s adult volunteer processing protocol, and make arrangements with the classroom teacher that best serve the needs of the class. We encourage parents to help out this way.
If I want to know more about this new program, who should I contact?
To get the most up-to-date information about transitional kindergarten, please contact Stacy Cashman, Director, Student Services at 818-729-4502 or by email at email@example.com or Dr. Peter Knapik, Director, Elementary Education at 818-729-4482 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.