Transitional Kindergarten – Frequently Asked Questions


Should I consider Transitional Kindergarten for my child?

We often say that a Transitional Kindergarten year is truly a gift you can offer to your child. At Ascension, the appropriate candidate for TK is one who is a bit young to start Kindergarten but is excited and ready to begin exploring kindergarten concepts. On the flip side, if your child is Kindergarten age, but you feel that a 2-year Kindergarten option will give them the opportunity to mature socially, emotionally, and academically to ensure future success in school, then we also encourage you to consider a Transitional Kindergarten year. At Ascension, we require that our TK students turn 5-years-old by the end of December. A unique aspect of our program is that at the end of the TK year students are evaluated for placement in either traditional kindergarten, but in some cases, we may determine that a student has met all the standards academically and socially and should advance to first grade. Essentially, TK gives your child that extra time, assurance, and confidence that increases their readiness for the challenges that await them in subsequent grades.

How Are Kindergarten standards introduced in TK?

Children at this age learn largely through play. At Ascension, Transitional Kindergarten students are provided with opportunities both inside and outside to learn math, language, art, and social concepts through play and discovery. We begin with an excellent creative curriculum that introduces the kindergarten standards at an age-appropriate pace while encouraging students to explore their interests and use their unique voice so that we instill a love of learning from a young age.  We are in the process of becoming a Nature Explore Certified school and have developed an outdoor classroom space and teaching garden that allows our students to be inspired by nature as they create, learn, and explore the curriculum standards that are introduced.

Is Transitional Kindergarten a full day?

Yes, our Transitional Kindergarten students enjoy a full school day from 8:30 AM-3: 00 PM.  This affords them plenty of time for the introduction of academic lessons as well as play-based exploration, specialty classes, fun activities, and a read and rest time in the afternoon. Especially during the beginning of the school year, we find that students might take a nap during the read and rest time and that is absolutely fine! Built into each day are three opportunities for Outdoor Exploration Time. The majority of core lessons are presented during the morning hours. For TK students we do offer an option to pick-up at 1:00 PM, as we understand that some younger students may prefer a shorter day. We do find, as the year progresses, that most students want to stay the whole day as to not miss out on any of the fun!

What are the options for after-school care?

Ascension offers Extended Care as a safe, fun, and flexible option for daily before and after school care for your children. The hours are 7-8 AM and 3:15-6:00 PM and the cost is $7 per hour.  This service can be used on an as-needed basis. Additionally, the school offers a variety of afterschool enrichment classes that vary by trimester but typically include choir, art, woodshop, sports, and music classes.

What are the benefits of having my child in a Transitional Kindergarten environment?

At Ascension, we have credentialed teachers overseeing the curriculum and teaching our Transitional Kindergarten Class. The standards are introduced and taught in a way that helps ensure Kindergarten readiness.  According to a Study, The Impact of Transitional Kindergarten on California Students, TK gives students an advantage at kindergarten entry on a range of literacy and mathematics skills, including letter and word identification, phonological awareness, expressive vocabulary, problem-solving, and knowledge of mathematical symbols and concepts.

Teachers here have also noted social and emotional benefits to exposing students to the TK-8 campus environment. Students in our program benefit from attending weekly chapel services and establishing a special relationship with a “chapel buddy” a mentor from our 7th-grade class. TK students also participate in specialty classes including music, PE, and garden time. What we see from these interactions and operating within the larger school is a boost in maturity and confidence that dramatically eases the transition to the next grade levels.

How do I learn more?

We invite you to Schedule a Tour to get to know our TK and Kindergarten program better.