Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?
    Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is an early year Kindergarten experience for “young five year olds,” (all students whose 5th birthday falls between September 2nd and December 2nd are eligible for TK in OUSD). TK provides our youngest students with a “Kindergarten Readiness” year, giving them a stronger foundation for success in their following year of traditional Kindergarten and beyond.


    How do I enroll my child in TK?
    Follow the four easy steps on the enrollment process during Enrollment Season (November 13, 2017 - January 26, 2018) for the 2018-19 school year. Visit to get started or call a Student Welcome Center at 510-879-4600.

    What is the "cut off date" in California?
    California's (Senate Bill 1381) changes the age when children can begin Kindergarten. Under this law, California’s Kindergarten age requirements are that all children must turn 5 years old on or before September 1 in order to enroll in Kindergarten.

    Why did California decide to change the "cut off date"?
    Prior to the passage of the Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB 1381), California’s December 2nd cut off date for Kindergarten entry was one of the latest in the nation. In most states, children must turn five by September 1 in order to start Kindergarten. California’s late Kindergarten cut off allowed children as young as 4 years and 9 months old to be in Kindergarten classes with children more than one year older. While rolling back the Kindergarten entry date a few months may seem small, it can make an enormous difference during the early years when children are rapidly growing and developing. 

    What about my child who turns 5 in the fall?
    Transitional Kindergarten is available for 4 year olds who will turn 5 between September and December.

    If my child attends TK, is he/she being held back?
    No. TK provides a year of developmentally appropriate early education, so that students begin traditional Kindergarten with the academic, social, physical, and emotional skills that they need for success through the rest of their educational careers.

    What grade will my child go into after TK?
    TK is the first year of a two-year Kindergarten experience. Children are eligible to go onto traditional kindergarten after completing TK.

    Does enrolling my child in TK mean that he/she will graduate high school late?
    Children who attended TK will be 18 years old when they graduate high school and will turn 19 years old several months after graduation.

    What is the difference between TK and preschool?
    TK builds on skills that children may have learned in Preschool or at home and uses a “modified Kindergarten curriculum” that is developmentally appropriate for young five year olds entering into a traditional school setting.

    How is TK different from traditional kindergarten?
    TK is not a replication of traditional Kindergarten. Transitional Kindergarten uses a combination of standards including the CA Dept. of Education’s Preschool Learning Foundations and the Common Core Standards for Kindergarten. In addition, the TK classroom environment includes many more opportunities for social-emotional development, fine-and gross-motor activities, ongoing language development, and complex social play. This is accomplished through dramatic play time, small group instruction, and project-based learning.

    What are the benefits of TK?
    TK provides an intentional learning space for children to develop social, emotional, physical, and academic skills with developmentally appropriate instruction. TK prepares students for the social and academic expectations of traditional Kindergarten, reducing the likelihood of future grade retention, and setting students up for academic success as they progress towards college and their future careers.

    Does TK provide support for English Language Learners?
    English learners in Transitional Kindergarten will have the same level of services as those in Kindergarten.

    Is TK free or will I have to qualify based on income?
    TK is part of California’s K-12 public school system and is free and open to all age-eligible children.

    What is the school schedule for TK students?
    Transitional Kindergarten students share the same bell schedule as Kindergarten students and they participate in all activities at a school site like other students (field trips, assemblies...)