A new program designed to help autumn-born youngsters develop kindergarten-readiness skills is set to begin next month at three Oroville-area elementary school districts.
The program is called "transitional kindergarten." It was mandated for all school districts under state SB1381, the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010.
Oroville City Elementary School District, Palermo Union School District and Thermalito Union School District are ready to begin the program when school starts in August.
Department of Education official Carrie Roberts said Tuesday transitional kindergarten is the first year of a two-year program where children spend the first year getting ready socially and emotionally for kindergarten.
"The idea is not making kindergarten two years long," she said ... what we're trying to do is prepare for the kindergarten year ahead."
Roberts said most children enrolled in transitional kindergarten will be in it for the first year and traditional kindergarten the next year.
The three Oroville area districts are implementing the plan differently, which the state allows under the mandate, according to Oroville City Elementary Superintendent Penny Chennell-Carter and Palermo Union Superintendent Jacqueline Dolar.
Enrolling in transitional kindergarten depends on the cutoff date for enrolling in regular kindergarten.