What makes an excellent early childhood program for a child’s first educational experience prior to Elementary School?
At St. Joseph Mountain View, we are always asking ourselves, “How can we grow?” and “How can we help this program to have our mission statement resonate even more impactfully?”
In response to these questions, we launched our Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program in 2020, replacing our previous Preschool program.
What is Transitional Kindergarten?
A Transitional Kindergarten in a private school uses a unique, specialized curriculum based on kindergarten standards and is designed to support students who are 4 years old by September 1st.
TK emphasizes both social-emotional development and academic readiness and foundations. TK is the first part of the Kindergarten program.
This program helps prepare young students for the second part of our Kindergarten program at our Elementary school program (grades K – 5) and Middle school (grades 6 – 8).
Benefits and What to Expect from our TK Program:
- Unity with the rest of the school: Unlike Preschool, our TK program is not separated from the rest of the school in any way. TK students may attend morning assembly, have a “buddy class” relationship with eighth-grade buddies (currently limited by licensing requirements), and do not need special permissions or face limitations in attending Mass or using any other facilities in our school.
- Focus on academics: TK has a specific curriculum in the State of California which is designed to introduce students to all major Common Core standards for Kindergarten (since TK is viewed as the first year of a two-year Kindergarten program).
- Social-emotional focus: TK students will have the same social/emotional and developmental focus as Preschool students since they will be the same age (4 and 5 years old).
- Continued great teaching: As a regular classroom teacher, the TK instructor is required to either be credentialed or be in the process to be credentialed within 5 years of the date of hire; Being on the same schedule as K-8 teachers allows the TK teacher to participate in all professional development, staff meetings, etc., which will benefit overall school instruction and faculty.
- Dismissal options: All core instruction will take place from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
- Extended Care: TK students may go to regular Extended Care before and after school including participation in appropriate after school clubs, allowing the school to better support family needs in the area of childcare and supervision.
Just as we have traditionally had a terrific Preschool program for many years, we have extended that to an outstanding TK program that will build a stronger community in our school and benefit the academic development of our students.