CTC issues guidance on transitional kindergarten staffing

With many districts starting to gear up for the new transitional kindergarten requirements, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing has issued guidance to clear up uncertainty over the appropriate credentials and permits for the class.

Starting next year, the entry age for kindergarten moves forward one month - thus children must be five years old by November 1.

To soften the impact of the change to families as well as to address calls for more age-appropriate services - the Legislature is also requiring districts to provide "transitional" kindergarten for those 4-year-olds that otherwise would have qualified for starting school.

There have been a number of questions posed to the CTC about who can teach the transitional service and the short answer is: those who teach kindergarten today.

Transitional kindergarten classrooms as defined in statute are not preschool classrooms or child development programs. Thus, holders of Children's Center Instructional or Child Development Permits including those with the school-age emphasis are not authorized to teach transitional kindergarten.

Transitional kindergarten classrooms can be staffed by holders of a teaching credential or permit that authorizes general education instruction in a self-contained classroom for the grade level of kindergarten, according to the CTC.

Administrators are reminded by the CTC that students identified as English learners in a transitional kindergarten must have the same level of services as those in kindergarten. That is, instruction in English Language Development or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English services must have a teacher authorized to provide the appropriate English learner instructional services indicated, the CTC said.

Specifically, the CTC says the following credentials are authorized for instruction in transitional kindergarten classrooms:

General: Kindergarten-Primary (grades K-3); Elementary (grades K-8)

Standard: Early Childhood (grades preschool-3); Elementary (grades K-9)

Ryan/SB 2042: Multiple Subject (grades preschool, K-12 and adults); Multiple Subject University Intern (grades preschool, K-12 and adults); Multiple Subject District Intern (grades K-8); Specialist Instruction Credential in Early Childhood Education.

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