Natomas Pushes Back School Start Age


THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
The rules have changed: Children starting kindergarten this year in the Natomas Unified School District must be 5 years old by September.

Children who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 will enroll in a new “transitional kindergarten” program. 

Natomas school district officials are working to to inform parents of the changes by posting answers to frequently asked questions as well as an informational brochure online and holding a series of kindergarten parent orientation meetings. 

Changes to state law called for rolling back the kindergarten starting age over the course of several years. (California was only one of four states that allow children as young as 4 years old to attend kindergarten.) 

“Senate Bill 1381 was written to provide local education agencies with the flexibility to plan the most appropriate and effective program for their students and therefore implement the full extent of the law early, if desired or needed,” said Kendra Shelton, coordinator of NUSD’s school readiness programs.

“It was determined that Natomas Unified School District, like many school districts across the state, would opt to provide early full implementation.” 

What does this mean for parents of children who turn 5 between September and December? When they register their child for kindergarten they will be signed up for transitional kindergarten. The program is much like kindergarten and enrollment is voluntary.

Transitional kindergarten will be offered at five schools in the district – Bannon Creek, Two Rivers, Witter Ranch, H. Allen Hight, and Natomas Park. 

“(Transitional kindergarten) provides an opportunity for young learners to learn and grow with similar age classmates and supports the concept of a continuum of learning services,” said Shelton. “It helps our community by acting as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten for our youngest kindergartners.” 

Registration started Jan. 13.

Natomas USD – Transitional Kindergarten – Brochure

Natomas USD – Transitional Kindergarten – Frequently Asked Questions

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