default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Lodi Unified School District moves forward with early education programs

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 12:00 am

For some children in Lodi Unified School District, the first year of school means being fully prepared to enter kindergarten with a little school experience already under their belts, thanks to transitional kindergarten programs.

Since the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 was signed into law, transitional kindergarten has become an authorized part of the state public school system — a move which made early education publicly available to, but not required for, students.

Many school districts — including Lodi Unified — have already begun implementing transitional kindergarten programs.

However, California lawmakers have been pushing to require adoption of early education programs like transitional kindergarten in all districts, though the newly proposed budget leaves little funding for other early education programs, like preschool.

According to the California Department of Education, transitional kindergarten is the first part of a two-year kindergarten program designed to prepare younger children for kindergarten.

Catherine Pennington, Lodi Unified’s assistant superintendent of instructional services and elementary education, said the district has been quick to roll out the new programs since the previous bill passed.

Lawrence and Lakewood elementary schools in Lodi and Podesta Ranch and Mosher elementary schools in North Stockon have already offered the program for one year. By next school year, Larson and Creekside elementary schools will join them.

“We will expand if the need is there,” Pennington said. “We are serving the children.”

Children who will turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 qualify for the program for the 2014-15 school year, but the program is voluntary.

Parents who do not live near a school that offers the program can opt to send their child to a school that does for that year. The child would then return to the school designated for their area for their remaining education.

Transitional programs are similar to regular kindergarten programs. However, a typical day for a student in transitional kindergarten will focus more on exposing students to curriculum such as letter, sound and number recognition early, without the pressure of mastering skills quickly.

“It gives kids exposure to what they will be seeing and learning in kindergarten,” said Melissa McClelland, a transitional kindergarten teacher at Lawrence Elementary School. “It’s a slower pace and it will be easier for them to learn it, so they can progress.”

If the current bill passes, these transitional programs will become a permanent fixture of public education in California and will require funding from the state budget.

There are already 160 students from the Lodi district enrolled in the transitional kindergarten programs this year. Many educators are already pleased with the progress of the programs.

“We’re finding it to be quite successful. Kindergarten teachers are telling us that the students are much more prepared coming in to kindergarten, and we expect that will set them up for success in the future,” Pennington said.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 99


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists