Transitional Kindergarten

... a year of discovery



Welcome to IUSD's Transitional Kindergarten webpage. This online resource is the place for news and information about the Irvine Unified School District's efforts to establish a first-rate educational foundation for so-called "young 5-year-olds".


What is Transitional Kindergarten?

In short, the state of California has moved the cut-off age for kindergarten enrollment, and that means some children won't be starting kindergarten as early as their families had planned. To accommodate children who were impacted by the shift, school districts are now required to offer Transitional Kindergarten (TK) programs, starting in the fall of 2012.


Is your child eligible to enroll?

For school year ... ... will your child turn 5 years old during this time period?

2016-17 and beyond

September 2 through December 2

If the answer is "yes," your child is eligible for Transitional Kindergarten.


Here's a little more background

Up until now, students who turn 5 years old on or before December 2 were allowed to start kindergarten. As a result, children with later birthdays could begin when they were still 4 years old. But some policymakers argued that those younger learners lacked critical social, literacy, and math skills. So in 2010, California passed the Kindergarten Readiness Act, which has gradually shifted the birthday cut-off date for kindergarten enrollment. The idea is to ensure that future students enter kindergarten as 5-year-olds, but it has been implemented gradually over three years (beginning back in 2012).


A few more facts about TK

So what does Transitional Kindergarten look like? Think of it as sort of a hybrid that combines the essential foundations of preschool with the California Common Core Standards for kindergarten, nurturing each child's intellectual and socio-emotional growth. Eligible families are not required to participate, and the state has left it up to individual school districts to establish their own transitional programs. In IUSD, a committee of educators initially spent seven months develping the TK Continuum of Standards, and continue to meet regularly to develop curriculum and refine instruction.

Transitional Kindergarten Parent Night

IUSD will offer parents an opportunity to learn more about Transitional Kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year at our TK Parent Information Night on February 23, 2017. It will be held at Cypress Village Elementary (355 Rush Lily, Irvine, CA 92620) from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm.

To view materials from the TK Parent Information Night held for the 2016-17 school year, click on one of the following:

TK Parent Orientation Presentation

TK Parent Information Brochure

TK Parent Packet including Curriculum Standards


IUSD Transitional Kindergarten Continuum of Standards

Please click on the link to access the continuum of standards for each curricular area:

Social Emotional

Fine and Gross Motor

Language Arts


Science and Social Studies


TK School Sites for 2016-2017

Transitional Kindergarten is not offered at every elementary school site. The following sites will be offering TK for the 2016-17 school year:

Cypress Village, Portola Springs, Santiago Hills, Canyon View and Woodbury - Serving Schools in the Northern Irvine area

Culverdale, Deerfield, Plaza Vista, Springbrook and Westpark - Serving Schools in the Central Irvine area

Alderwood, University Park and Turtle Rock - Serving Schools in the Southern Irvine area

Sites are located regionally and designated (upon completion of enrollment) based on assigned neighborhood school and space availability.


How to enroll your child in TK


  1. Enrollment will begin March 3, 2017 for the 2017-2018 school year; you can enroll through IUSD's online enrollment process, which can be started by clicking here or visiting Students who are enrolled and meet the eligibility requirements will automatically be enrolled in TK. When you enroll online for TK, please choose the Kindergarten grade level and it will be adjusted at the school site when you complete enrollment.

  2. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully on the IUSD enrollment page to complete the registration process.

  3. To access TK Health Documents necessary for enrollment, click on each link:
    1. TK Immunization Requirements
    2. Report of Health Examination for School Entry
    3. TK Physical Waiver Form
  4. Upon completion of enrollment, if your assigned neighborhood school site does not offer TK, you will be designated to the closest site that does offer TK (based on space availability).


Questions and answers

What is the difference between Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten?

The Transitional Kindergarten classroom will provide developmentally appropriate thematic-based curriculum. The curriculum is a hybrid between the California Preschool Learning Foundations and the California Common Core Standards for Kindergarten. Students in the TK program will be provided a program that will bridge their early childhood experiences to those of the public school system.

Is my child required to go to a TK class if their birthday falls within the cut-off date?

No, it is an optional program for families.

Can my child enter kindergarten if they are eligible for the TK class?

No, kindergarten entry is based on the new cut-off dates.

Where will the TK classes be held?

The classes will be held at elementary school sites within IUSD. Sites are located regionally and designated (upon completion of enrollment) based on assigned neighborhood school and space availability.

If the TK class is not offered at my child's neighborhood school, where will they go?

Based on space availability, they will go to the TK classroom at the school closest to your child's neighborhood school. Please keep in mind this is a one year program; your child will return to their assigned neighborhood school the following school year.

Which school will my child attend for kindergarten if they go to a different school for TK?

Your child will still go to their assigned neighborhood school for kindergarten, unless you choose to pursue IUSD's Open Enrollment and follow those procedures.

Will there be transportation to the schools offering TK classes?

No, again, TK is not compulsory, and transportation would be cost-prohibitive. It is the parents' responsibility to transport their children to their TK program.

Can my child participate in TK if his/her birthday is in September?

For the 2016-2017 school year, IUSD'S TK program will only be available for students who turn five years old between September 2 and December 2. Children turning 5 on or before September 1 are eligible for Kindergarten in IUSD.


Additional TK resources

To learn more about Transitional Kindergarten, please visit the California Department of Education website at:

TK California Website:




Updated January 31, 2017