TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM WAITING ON STATE

TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM WAITING ON STATE

Even though a transitional Kindergarten program is set to go here in our area, school district officials have the program on hold while they wait for a green light from the state. Reporter Dan Stork has the latest…
The Morongo Unified School District is ready to implement Transitional Kindergarten for the coming school year, but is waiting for assurance of support from the state. Governor Jerry Brown wanted to eliminate the new program statewide, but the Legislature wants to keep it in the budget. Transitional kindergarten is an optional program that will provide up to a year of school before kindergarten. It is aimed at children who would have been eligible for conventional kindergarten, under old 5th-birthday cut-off rules, but who will miss eligibility under new rules. Assistant Superintendent Tom Baumgarten estimates the rule change translates into 45, 113, and 180 children in the Morongo Unified School District who are likely to enter transitional kindergarten in the next three years, as the age cut-off date is moved back one month each year. Baumgarten told Z107.7 that classroom space and furniture have been set aside, but teachers will not be hired until the state is definite about funding the program. Transitional kindergarten classes will initially be only offered at Twentynine Palms Elementary School and Yucca Valley Elementary School. Bus transportation will continue to be provided for conventional kindergarten, but not for transitional kindergarten; parents will have to provide transportation.

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