Press conference puts spotlight on Early Kinder program at Harkness
Senate President Darrell Steinberg held a press conference on Tuesday at H.W. Harkness Elementary School, giving the school a chance to highlight its Early Kinder program.
Harkness Principal Dr. Tiffany Smith-Simmons led a tour of the Early Kinder classroom and teacher Michelle Cazel-Mayo spoke with reporters about the value of the transitional program for young learners.
SCUSD’s Early Kinder program expanded this year and is now available at seven elementary and K-8 schools: Harkness, Pacific, A.M. Winn, Alice Birney, Leonardo da Vinci, Theodore Judah and Thomas Jefferson/Bancroft.
Early Kinder is a two-year program for children born late in the year and who may need more time to mature before tackling the rigors of primary academics.
When the state passed the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010, it changed the kindergarten age eligibility requirements. To enter kindergarten next fall, children must have turned 5 by September 1. Previously, students could enter kindergarten if they were to turn 5 by December 2.
Steinberg’s proposed bill would expand transitional kindergarten in phases to be open to all 4-year-olds by 2020.