Transitional kindergarten to be discussed tonight

Transitional kindergarten to be discussed tonight

Michele Ellson

Schools leaders are preparing to implement a transitional kindergarten program for young 5-year-olds. They’re set to lay out their plans for implementing the program at tonight’s Board of Education meeting.

State lawmakers authorized a transitional kindergarten program to serve young 5-year-olds that was to start this year but was delayed due to a lack of funding. The program will admit children who turn 5 between October 2 and December 2 for the 2013-2014 school year and between September 2 and December 2 every year after that.

District officials expect to enroll 75 children in their transitional kindergarten program next year; as of March 5, the families of 49 children had applied. Classes will be held at Henry Haight Elementary School and elsewhere as needed, a presentation to be offered tonight says.

The curriculum will include a focus on vocabulary development and communication skills and efforts to develop English language skills, along with developmentally appropriate materials for social interaction and creativity during play, the presentation says.

District leaders will also be discussing summer school programs for special education students, English language learners and students from lower-income families, particularly students who are struggling on performance tests.

They are also set to present interim budget projections for the current school year and the two years that follow. Governor Jerry Brown recently released funding formulas that show Alameda Unified receiving more money over the next several years if his proposed school funding changes are accepted by the state Legislature, though the district could also be forced to pay back up to $7.4 million it collected through a 2008 parcel tax measure if last week’s state appeals court ruling overturning a portion of the tax stands.

The school board is set to discuss its options in a closed session tonight, though the board had previously voted to ask the state Supreme Court to consider the case.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue, and will be broadcast live on Comcast cable channel 15.