Frequently Asked Questions about Transitional Kindergarten (TK)
How is the district funding this program?
The district’s Transitional Kindergarten Program is funded by the State of Washington for qualifying students.
How is Walla Walla’s Transitional Kindergarten different than the traditional kindergarten program?
Students are normally eligible for traditional kindergarten when and if they are five years of age by August 31.
Walla Walla’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is intended for 4 year-old resident area children who are not yet five by August 31. Through a screening process, eligible students qualify if it is determined that program access is necessary to ensure they are successful in kindergarten the following year.
In most cases, TK students will continue into regular kindergarten the following year, however there may be instances when a student is promoted to first grade instead.
What is the program like?
Per state law, Walla Walla’s Transitional Kindergarten program mirrors the district’s traditional kindergarten program. School year length, length of day and programming are similar while ensuring age and developmentally appropriate social skills, activities, structured play, and academic experiences are incorporated.
Can a student from another district enroll in WWPS Transitional Kindergarten?
The TK program mirror's the district's traditional kindergarten program. Students requesting enrollment from other districts will be considered according to space available. Parents/guardians are responsible for transportation of open enrolled students.
Is transportation provided?
Students who live within the WWPS boundary receive transportation services to and from their residence just like other kindergarten students in Walla Walla Public Schools.
Can a child with an IEP be enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten?
Students with IEPs may be enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten if they otherwise meet the pre-requisite and qualifying criteria requirements. Students with IEPs who are age five by August 31 must be enrolled into regular kindergarten per OSPI rules. Just like traditional kindergarten, students who qualify for special education services will be served through the traditional IEP resource and support model.
Can children who are of kindergarten age be enrolled into Transitional Kindergarten instead of regular kindergarten?
Per OSPI guidance, children 5 years old by August 31 must be enrolled in Walla Walla’s traditional kindergarten program.
What does the class size and staffing model look like?
Each Transitional Kindergarten classroom is staffed with a full time, certificated teacher and a full time classroom assistant. A target classroom size of approximately 20 students per class has been identified.
Are breakfast and lunch services available?
Identical to the district’s K-12 grade programs/schools, students in Transitional Kindergarten have access to full breakfast and lunch services including the USDA free and reduced meal program (depending on the child/family’s economic situation).
What will the instruction look like?
The requirements for Transitional Kindergarten are established by RCW 28A.150.315.
These include provisions of a curriculum that offers a rich, varied set of experiences that include, but are not limited to:
Established learning environments that are developmentally appropriate and promote creativity.
Learning through hands-on experiences.
Acquiring social and emotional skills, including successful participation in learning activities as an individual and as part of a group.
Developing initial skills in the academic areas of reading, mathematics, communication and writing.
Providing experiences in such topics as science, social studies, arts, health and physical education
Acquiring large and small motor skills.
What will the class makeup of students be?
Similar to Walla Walla’s traditional 5 year-old kindergarten program, the Transitional Kindergarten program will consist of a diverse, heterogeneous makeup of students representing varying levels of skills, abilities, race and other demographic indicators.
Will dual programming be offered in Transitional Kindergarten?
Students who qualify for language support will be provided targeted English language development (ELD) services. Depending on the number of qualifying students and family interest, one or more Transitional Kindergarten classrooms may offer one-way dual immersion programming for Spanish speaking dominant students who wish to attend district dual programming at either Edison or Green Park Elementary Schools when they enter traditional kindergarten.
¹ 2009 Community Council Study: Enhancing the Educational Attainment of Our Valley’s Children; 2015 Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition Study: Mobilization Taskforce & Early Learning Agenda Setting; 2016 Community Council Study: Education as a Path to Economic Growth; 2016 Sherwood Trust Study: Early Years Taskforce; 2016 Collaborative Study: Community Conversations