For many years, Saint Joseph School has been blessed with an excellent Preschool program. Even in the case of a successful Early Childhood program such as this, we are always asking ourselves, “How can we grow?” and “How can we help this program to live our mission statement even more strongly?”
In response to these questions and after reflection on the part of the staff and the School Advisory Council as well as discussions with the Department of Catholic Schools, Saint Joseph School will be initiating a Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program as of school year 2020-21. Our Preschool program will end after this year, and we will begin this new 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.
Here are some reasons that Saint Joseph School will be closing Preschool and opening a TK program:
- Unity with the rest of the school: Unlike Preschool, a TK program will not be 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 will allow 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.
We are very excited about this opportunity for our school. Just as we have traditionally had a terrific Preschool program, we know that we are well-situated to begin an outstanding TK program that will build a stronger community in our school and benefit the academic development of our students.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or contact us for inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.