PUSD gives families a heads-up about changes to kindergarten policy

Julie Reichle

Principal Anne Dolid introduces herself to a new Kindergarten student in August 2021.

On April 12, Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) sent a notice to school families about pending state legislation that will likely impact families with children preparing to enroll in Transitional Kindergarten (TK), kindergarten, or first grade for the 2022-23 school year.

Senate Bill 70, which would require all students to complete a year in kindergarten before entering first grade to ensure children are prepared for elementary school, now heads to the state Assembly after passing in the Senate in a bipartisan vote. 

If SB70 is signed into law, kindergarten will become mandatory for all 5 year olds beginning in the 22-23 school year.  Children who turn 6 years old on or before Sept. 1st, 2022 will be enrolled in first grade. “This new language may also restrict the District’s ability to provide the degree of flexibility for families that it has in the past,” according to the email.

For the 2022-23 school year and beyond:

Transitional Kindergarten (TK)*Kindergarten1st Grade
2022-235th Birthday on or after Sept. 2, 2022 to Feb 2, 2023 = TK5th Birthday on or before Sept.1, 20226th Birthday on or before Sept. 1, 2022  
2023-245th Birthday on or after Sept. 2, 2023 to April 2, 2024 = TK5th Birthday on or before Sept.1, 20236th Birthday on or before Sept. 1, 2023
2024-255th Birthday on or after Sept. 2, 2024 to June 2, 2025 = TK5th Birthday on or before Sept.1, 20246th Birthday on or before Sept. 1, 2024

* Enrollment in TK is optional

From the email:

Currently, the age requirements for kindergarten and first grade in the language of PUSD’s Administrative Regulation 5111 (adopted in October 2021) align to the language that will be in the new law, but will require some adjustments requiring enrollment eligibility for the District’s TK program. These proposed adjustments will be brought to the PUSD Board of Education following Governor Newsom’s signing of SB 70. 

Families of children turning 5 and 6 in 2022 and beyond are encouraged to become familiar with SB 70 and its potential impact on their child’s enrollment for next school year. 

This information was presented to the Board of Education at the February 9, 2022 meeting.  During this presentation, the District recognized that there are current families with 5-year olds that are not currently enrolled in kindergarten and will turn 6 years old prior to September 1, 2022.  Since it is not possible for these children to meet the criteria outlined in SB70 and the District’s AR 5111, a special accommodation has been made to provide them with the option to enroll their children in kindergarten or 1st grade during the 2022-23 school year.

The Board Presentation slide deck from February 9, 2022, can be reviewed here.

PUSD says it will provide more information to families once the bill becomes law and more details are available.

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