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Early Childhood Education Programs

Consistent research in early education has shown (National Education Association, National Library of Medicine, 2017) that providing a high-quality education for children before they turn five yields significant medium- and long-term benefits for students. Children in early childhood education programs are:
  • less likely to repeat a grade
  • less likely to be identified as having special needs
  • more prepared academically for later grades
  • more likely to graduate from high school
  • higher earners in the workforce.
LESD encourages our families to participate in the UTK program. Research shows that 90% of brain growth happens before kindergarten. Providing our families and students access to a quality education at earlier grade levels can assist in this overall cognitive development. LESD has always supported an equity approach to education, and the expansion of universal TK will assist in bridging the equity gap by granting access to universal TK for all children regardless of income or race. 
All LESD UTK programs are in session 5 days a week and follow the District calendar. Class times on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday are 8:30am to 2:30pm; minimum day Thursdays are 8:30am to 1:05pm. Each classroom will follow developmentally appropriate teaching practices utilizing curriculum that is aligned within the CA Preschool Learning Foundation and the Common Core State Standards. The California Preschool Learning Foundations (CDE 2008, CDE 2010b, and CDE 2013b), California’s Common Core State Standards for kindergarten, and the kindergarten Content Standards for California Public Schools are resources that help teachers define what to teach in the TK classroom. Class instruction is provided by a fully credentialed certificated general education teacher along with the support of an additional classified support educator. 
What is Transitional Kindergarten?
Transitional kindergarten is a State of California Department of Education initiative begun in 2010 to provide developmentally appropriate kindergarten access to children who turn five years old between September 2 and December 2. Children who attend and complete TK then move on to kindergarten the following year. So, a child with a birthday within the TK range will have two years of kindergarten experience before going to first grade.
 
Transitional Kindergarten  is designed to be developmentally appropriate and supports the transition between preschool and kindergarten. At this time, based on existing TK structures , students in Lawndale who are 4 years old and turn 5 between September 2nd and December 2nd can participate in the program. Currently,  four Lawndale Elementary School Sites support Transitional Kindergarten programs including: Anderson Elementary, FDR Elementary ,Green Elementary, and Mitchell Elementary.  In the 2022/23 school year we are happy to announce that a TK program will be provided at Twain Elementary.  
 
How Will the Age Expansion Roll Out?
Over the course of the next four school years Transitional Kindergarten will be expanded each year to include 4 year olds turning 5 by the following birthdates. The plan is to gradually phase in younger students each year.
School Year
Birthdate Range
2021-22
Currently - students who turn 5 between September 2, 2021 and December 2, 2021
2022-23
Students who turn 5 between September 2, 2022 and February 2, 2023
2023-24
Students who turn 5 between September 2, 2023  and April 2, 2024
2024-25
Students who turn 5 between September 2, 2024 and June 2, 2025
2025-26
Any student who will turn four by September 1, 2025
Moving forward any student who will turn four by September 1 in the year they are enrolled