Transitional Kindergarten in Oakland School District

Related Pages: Advice about Transitional Kindergarten

  • Check OUSD Reviews for questions about TK at individual schools

Parent Q&A

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  • Does anyone know if the best way to learn about the TKs that are held at Kaiser ECE (Hillcrest, Peralta, Chabot) is by visiting the regular elementary school open house tours? It seems like it would be nice to visit the actual facility where the TK is held. I am also trying to reach out to the relevant schools for information, but thought I'd ask here in case anyone else has some insight.

    Thank you! Liz

    Seconded. Online information on these programs is virtually nonexistent. We are zoned for Peralta and are debating whether or not we should apply for TK next year. I can't even find basic information like opening hours.

    Any info, insight, feedback from families would be appreciated!

    Thank you

  • Hello, my son will be TK age for next school year 2024-25 and am looking to do some research to inform doing the lottery this winter (although I think there’s also a chance i may end up sticking with our preschool one more year). I have been able to identify a list of schools (based on location convenience relative to husband's commute), including some that do not appear to typically be oversubscribed and am looking to do things like: visit the school, connect with parents from the school, and find out if aftercare is typically available at that school. The websites don’t seem great. My next step would be to contact each school directly to ask such questions, but was wondering if there is something else I am missing, like a typical time each year that schools hold events for interested families, or other advice? The list of schools I am looking at are (Lincoln, Emerson, Piedmont Ave, Hillcrest, Peralta, Sankofa, Chabot).

    The enrollment period typically goes from December to February (I think -- something like that). Most schools hold tours and/or info sessions starting shortly before the enrollment period starts and throughout the enrollment period. However, depending on the school the dates and times of the tours aren't always advertised well. I would suggest checking websites for those dates regularly starting in mid-late October. 

    Most schools will begin to have tours at the end of the calendar year. Definitely go to those! They are so helpful in getting to know the school and get a feel for it. They will be on the websites but sometimes you need to call. They probably don't know at this point though when they will be. They will be able to answer about aftercare now though as that doesn't change much from year to year. 

    Hello! I went through this process last year. It starts in Nov/Dec with a BUSD Kinderfaire event (Dec) and a schedule of tours for each school, followed by a schedule of open houses for each school (Jan), then the application window (Jan-Feb) and assignments mailed in mid-March. Hope this helps!

    My son was eligible for TK in OUSD this year, thanks to the expanded age range. In case you weren't already aware, every year TK eligibility is being expanded to satisfy the move to universal preschool access in CA. However, what I learned during tours and the application process this year, despite a much larger pool of eligible children, OUSD added only a few additional classes, I think only 2 or 3. I also discovered during tours that many parents were applying for Kindergarten having spent the entirety of the previous school year on a waitlist for a TK place. So there was already a disconnect between the number of available classes and demand, then the pool of eligible children increased and OUSD (from what I saw) did not add sufficient additional classes to cater to that larger pool. I have no idea what OUSD's plans are for next year - perhaps they are planning on adding sufficient additional classes -, but I say that to caution you that getting a place in anything other than your neighborhood TK is not guaranteed. I'm not even sure that getting a place at your neighborhood TK is guaranteed. 

    We did get a place at our neighborhood TK but declined it because it would not be a good fit for my kid and compared to staying at his preschool for another year it would have definitely been a bad move. We are still #9, #24, and #25 on the waitlists for our 3 other priority schools, so I'm assuming we will be one of the families that will remain on the TK waitlist for the remainder of the year, and will be applying for Kindergarten from scratch next year. 

    In terms of your questions about websites and how to find out about tours, etc, my recollection from this past year is that tours and info sessions took place in Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb, and that  - as you said - school websites were hit and miss. There was a central calendar of tours and information sessions on the main OUSD website but it did take some digging to find it. I believe everything was posted to this calendar: (you can scroll back to Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb to see when the schools you're interested in held their tours last year. I don't know if tours this year have posted yet.) In summary, I wouldn't be concerned yet - I plan to start looking in October to find information for Kindergarten tours this year. The deadline for TK applications for this school year was Feb 10, so it'll likely be around that time next year for your son's TK application. 

    Thank you to all who responded, very helpful!

  • My son's birthday is in October, so we are getting ready to apply TK for him. The assigned school  Joaqin(Based on zollow) does not have TK program, so I am not sure if we can get TK opening for sure. He is only 3 and 9 months old now so I want to plan this as early as possible. We live very close to Montclair elementary and Thornhill as well, but it's not assigned to that school. I wonder how likely we can get enrolled into TK for these two schools - assuming I submit everything during the first opening window. I know these two are probably popular among others, so I start worrying about it now.


    My understanding is that if your zoned school does not have a TK program, you'd be among the first for the TK program in your district. Joaquin Miller area would be within  District 4, and there are several schools with TK (Thornhill, Montclair, Glenview, Sequoia, Laurel). You'd list schools in the order of your preference and hope to get lucky. Please also keep in mind that the waitlist moves throughout the summer and well into the first few weeks of school. 

    Here's a map for the schools in OUSD:

  • Hi Parents, 

    My 4 year old will be attending TK in September (She'll turn 5 in mid-September). She has been in a Spanish immersion program since 2 years old and we want to do whatever we can to continue her on a bi-lingual path so Melrose Leadership Academy is 1st on our OUSD list. We are curious to hear any feedback about the following schools: Montclair, Thornhill, Glenview, Sequoia & Hillcrest 

    Thanks for any insight or thoughts! 

    Have you also considered Manzanita SEED and greenleaf?

    Hilcrest doesn’t have TK. Otherwise, it is a great school and very well supported by the parents. It is not diverse.

    Hi, just a quick correction to the previous responder. Hillcrest **will** have a TK for the first time this upcoming school year, 2023-24. It will be co-located with a few other schools' TK programs on the former Kaiser Elementary campus. No feedback to offer since it's obviously new, but we are a longtime Hillcrest family that's been very happy with the community.

  • OUSD TK Waitlists?

    Apr 25, 2022

    Hello parents! Does anyone have any insight about OUSD TK waitlists? My kiddo is #12 at Thornhill. I've read through BPNs posts about kindergarten waitlists, but I know that TK is a whole different thing given the limited availability of classes. If we don't get off the waitlist, does my kid just not get a placement this year? (He's also in the 50s on the Montclair waitlist, so I won't hold my breath.) Our neighborhood school (Hillcrest) doesn't offer TK, unfortunately.

    Any advice on moving him further up the waitlist, other than patience? People keep telling me to "stay on top of" (aka nudge) the school and/or OUSD, but it seems like everything is centrally controlled and there's not much an individual parent can do. It's not in my nature to bug people and be the squeaky wheel, so I'm perfectly comfortable letting the system do its thing, but I also don't want to disadvantage my kid if there's something else I could or should be doing to help him. Any advice is welcome!

    Unfortunately there's not much you can (or should) do except wait. There was a time before the enrollment process moved online when being a squeaky wheel sometimes helped, but one of the upsides (in my opinion!) of the online system is that it is more transparent and simply moves in order of your lottery pull. Principals and other staff can't bump you up above other families. If you're willing to wait past the start of the school year, spots sometimes open up then, but possibly not enough to get you in with #12. If you want your child in TK even if it's not at one of those schools, you can call the Student Enrollment Center to find out which schools have space--there are many that do, or that have shorter waiting lists.

    If you are set on Thornhill or Montclair, I think you need to have a backup plan because it's very possible that you may not get in at #12 on the waitlist.  If you would really like your child to go to TK next year, I suggest reaching out to the Student Enrollment Center to see what other programs might still have space.

  • We live in the school boundary for Glenview but my son landed on the wait list for TK. He's at #3, so I realize he may move up before school starts. My main concern is that if he's still waitlisted on the first day of school, what do we do? Do we just show up? (I got that advice from an OUSD teacher friend of mine at one of the top schools.) Do we stay home and wait to hear back? How long? Who would contact us to let us know he got in or didn't? 

    I'm concerned that if I'm not proactive, my son could be overlooked, but I'm also concerned about starting off on the right foot and not being disruptive. It's a crazy time, it's a new campus, we're new to the whole process, so I'm nervous. Any insights from those of you who've been through this is much appreciated!

    In normal times, they would call you to offer the spot, and generally TK neighborhood waitlists do clear, so I expect you will have a spot shortly after registration ends in June and it will be moot. But if you don't get in, there's no particular benefit to just showing up--the school doesn't have control over getting you in. (This used to be less true, but one benefit/downside to the newish online enrollment process is that the waitlists go in order, and you can't jump them by being the squeaky wheel as you could before. I think this is a plus from an equity perspective, but appreciate that it can be frustrating!) If you've accepted a spot elsewhere in the district, you'd go to that school until the waitlist moves. If you haven't accepted any other spot and are just on the waitlist for Glenview, then yes, you can stay home until something shifts. The waitlists expire on the 10th day of school and then you can go into the enrollment office to see what other openings exist if you don't get in and aren't placed anywhere else (i.e., if you were planning to do preschool or have your child home if you didn't get into Glenview TK). It's not yet clear how the pandemic may affect all of these processes, though.

    #3 is very high on the waitlist. So many kids get off of waitlist in the summer or during the first 2 weeks of school. 

  • Hi, it's time to submit the OUSD ranking, and I'm looking for recent information about the following schools' TK programs:

    • Montclair
    • Emerson
    • Glenview
    • Thornhill
    • Sequoia

    It's hard to get a sense of the TK classroom environment in short tour or info session.  Any info about the teacher, the curriculum, the teacher's aide and other supports, general school environment, etc.  Also looking for insight into how you've liked the before- and after-school options for your TK child.  Feel free to reply by private message, if you'd rather not post publicly. 


    It’s not on your list, but in the area of others that are...Have you considered Piedmont Avenue TK? The teacher, Ms Drake, is AMAZING! I was really impressed by her and the kids in my daughters Kindergarten class who had been through the TK there. 

  • Hello Dear Parents,

    I have a 3.5 year old daughter. Her birthday is in November. She is eligible for transitional kindergarten. She is my only daughter and I am a foreign citizen. The school system is such an unknown for me. There are so many mixed information like lottery,neighborhood based transfer such as such. They sound an alien language at the moment.

    We live in North Oakland and the closest transitional kindergarten has 1 out of 10 in great schools web page. It  really looks bad from outside as well.There are good TKs like Thornhill or Montclair but they are 3 miles away from our current rental. Is it possible to choose those good schools as our choice in the application? Do we have any chance that we might get in? If so, we will just stay in our current rentals. If that is not possible, we need to move out to a good school district in North Berkeley, which is a big hassle and almost impossible with our dog. We cannot afford a private school either.

    I would appreciate if you could show me a roadmap during this TK application procedure to get in a good TK. I want her to go to a good school where she will love learning and social as much as possible and love schools.

    Thanks a lot

    I wouldn't put too much stock in the Great Schools website assessment - it looks pretty inaccurate to me, and the parent reviews are almost all glowing.  We have known several Emerson families who have all been really happy there, including with the TK program.  Emerson has been steadily improving over the years and I predict will be hard to get into within the next few years as the demographics of the neighborhood change.  The school our kids went to, Peralta Elementary, was similarly low-scored on the Great Schools site, and it's an incredibly in-demand school now.  Parent involvement at Peralta made a huge difference, and I believe there is a very engaged parent group at Emerson as well.  I would tour the school, meet with the principal, and seek out some PTA members to talk to before writing it off.

    Unfortunately, the deadline for OUSD has passed and school assignments have already been made. Montclair Elem TK had a long waitlist and I know many who did not get in. It won't hurt to try but I think it's a long shot now. If you are not working or have flexible hours, MCPC (also in Montclair) is a co-op based school where parents volunteer hours to offset cost, and they have a TK program. Their preschool program may be a bit difficult to get into, but I think their TK program is not so bad since there are completely free, public school options.

    We are zoned for Thornhill.  My oldest did TK there and my youngest will also do TK.  The OUSD options process allows you to rank schools outside of your zone, although siblings and neighborhood kids are supposed to have priority enrollment.  Not every school offers TK, and there were a number of non-neighborhood kids in my daughter's class.  The thing about TK is that it is optional, so you could go in to the enrollment process with the idea that if you don't get into a school that you want, you will just stay in your current preschool.  FWIW, some friends of ours sent their daughter to a TK program that was rated a "1" because they were planning to enroll her in private school starting in K.  They had a positive experience. Even outside of TK, the OUSD options process takes patience, which sometimes means dealing with uncertainty about where your kid will end up through the first week or two of school.  

    Hello! Yes, the process can be very confusing!  I’m not sure if you are aware of this requirement, but TK was created for kids who are turning five in the fall, not for kids turning 4. If your daughter is 3.5 and will be 4 in November 2018, she is not eligible for TK until Fall of 2019. TK for this Fall is for kids born between Sept 2 and Dec.2 of 2013. There are some very good schools with low scores—Melrose Leadership Academy is one of them. When the time comes, you can put whatever your first choice is; it doesn’t have to be the school closest to you. People very very often get their first choice! I hope this reply is helpful!

    This is from the OUSD website:

    What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?
    Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a full day class OUSD offers for students whose birthdate is between September 2, 2013  and December 2, 2013.

  • Any experience with Oakland's expanded TK program?  Our pre-school is no longer affordable and we are looking into other options.  Our daughter has a Dec. 31 bday so TK is not an option (or so OUSD tells me), but the ETK program is limited to 4 schools (PLACE @ Prescott, La Escuelita, Reach Academy and Carl B. Munck), all of which are geographically inconvenient, not to mention they don't have great ratings.   

    Expanded TK was new this past year and is largely intended to reach low-income children who may not have had access to preschool, so it's a pretty limited and targeted program. It's correct that the TK cutoff is December 2nd, unfortunately. Another option may be OUSD's preschool program, which has a full-pay option that is still far less costly than private preschool. There are many OUSD preschool programs across the city, so that could give you some additional options. The list is on the OUSD website.

  • Oakland school lottery myths

    Nov 11, 2017

    hi, I’m hoping to gain some insight and debunk some ousd myths about the school lottery system. A friend just told me that you may gain priority in the lottery if you submit your application sooner in the open enrollment time. This goes contrary to all logical thought since most schools don’t tour until December and enrollment starts mid November. The city itself doesn’t even do a school fair until December. Is there any truth or founded rumor to this? 

    Also, if you don’t get your first choice are your chances higher of getting your second or third? I’ve heard of people playing the lottery in sf (putting their first choice second or third). 

    We are hoping for a non neighborhood school so mainly wanting to know if there is anything to the rumor of time of submission having anything to do with your chances. 

    Thank you!!!

    We optioned last year for TK. It was their 1st year using an online system (or so I was informed). They don't even collect the data until the close of the lottery window. Perhaps when it was paper, there were people starting an early tally, but that is not a lottery, that's 1st come 1st serve. What is true is that OUSD works out the lottery results for applications submitted within the options window before they look at late applications. Perhaps that's where the "sooner application' priority myth originated.

    A friend of mine put her 1st choice as #1, 2 and 3 on her child's option form. She suggested we do the same convinced it made statistical sense. OUSD told me that is not how it works, and when I filled out our online application it wasn't even physically possible. You can't use the same school twice in the digital form. 

    The one thing that did help us was putting a "safety school" (i know, sounds awful) in the lower rank of our list. No one in my neighborhood wants our neighborhood school. There were 5 kids in the surrounding blocks applying for TK. Of course everyone tried for the star schools, and everyone who didn't put a "safety school" was assigned our neighborhood school. Everyone of us who did put a school with a better chance, were placed in the lower ranked/with less demand school.  One family stayed in Pre-k, and a few petitioned for another placement. 

    The welcome center urged us to put the schools down in order of our preference. 

    My experience is also with TK. That is a fraction of the student population and quite a few desirable schools still do not offer that grade, so the statistical properties of that lottery are a little different, and weren't reported separately in the OUSD book to give insight into some hidden strategy. 

    There is zero truth to this (although apparently it was once the case--many years ago--that applications were first come-first serve and people lined up in the wee hours to submit them, and we were actually at an open house last year where a retired administrator told parents this, causing some panic!) In today's enrollment process, all on-time applications are processed at the same time. In the past, I believe the lottery has assigned a number to each application and when your turn rolled around, it ran through your list of schools looking for open spots before defaulting to your neighborhood school if none were available, so there was no particular benefit to listing a less in-demand school first (but certainly a benefit to not stacking your list with schools that are all hard to get into). That also explains why there's no benefit to listing the same school three times--if there's not a spot, there's not a spot. You're not getting a raffle ticket (as in some charter assignment processes where numbers are drawn and certain priorities might get you extra entries). However, I understand that the assignment process is moving online this year (last year just the applications were collected online, but the lottery was not run in the online system) so that may be handled differently--I'd ask and see.

  • I am a mom of an almost 4 year old (late September bday) and we are starting the school search process for a good TK program. It is very important to me that she learn another language (not tied to any particular one although leaning to Spanish) at an early age. I am looking at Dual Immersion language programs at OUSD and have found that Melrose Academy, Manzanita Seed, Korematsu and Esperanza all have dual immersion in Spanish. Would love any insight parents have into these schools and your experiences with them. Also looking at Yu Ming, but we are not in the area, they do not offer TK and I understand getting in is extremely difficult. Any tips on getting in? Can I get into another school and still go to Yu Ming later?  I'd also like to be able to send her to EBI, but the tuition price tops Cal and I cannot afford that at the TK stage. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    My daughter goes to MLA and it is awesome. I highly recommend you check it out. The principal is a strong leader with caring, loving teachers. I know parents who have kids in TK there and are very happy with it. 

    If you're open to dual immersion in French, don't forget about Francophone Charter School of Oakland.  The school is in its second year of operation, and there was a lottery for K this year but it's certainly possible to get in.  Not sure if there will be a lottery for TK but I know they offer a TK program. 

    Regarding Francophone Charter School of Oakland, there was a TK wait list for this year. There was also a change in school leadership from last year. If you do decide to consider the school, I suggest finding out as much as you can about plans for next year, faculty retention, potential site changes, and the hiring/recruitment process for teachers. 

My son was born on Dec 7. I called OUSD before he was ready to start school, and there was absolutely no flexibility. He did another year at his preschool, which luckily had a good "pre-K" program that satisfied his curiosity. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Experience w/ TK Classroom @ Emerson Elementary?

June 2016

Hi There! We're enrolled at Emerson for the Fall - my daughter is 4 1/2 and I'm nervous. She's been in a preschool with a 6-1 ratio for the past year and the ratio at Emerson is ....24-1!?? I wonder if anyone has experience in the TK classroom at Emerson and would be willing to share. I'm curious about how kids do there with less adult support and also about how the day looks (are they expected to sit still and listen to the teacher most of the day?). Thanks so much, Kasey

My son is currently attending TK at Emerson. He originally came from a tiny preschool that only had 12 children. We attended some of the first of the month Emerson Saturday playdates to get a feel for the school, meet some parents and have some questions answered prior which helped a tiny bit with the transition to a big school.

Ms. Brooks is great! She has a very calm demeanor and many strengths, as well as recognizing the individuality in each child. (Though I have recently heard that she may be teaching the Kindergarten class next year.) The TK seemed to have an influx of volunteers, including some Oakland High students. There was also a dedicated assistant in the afternoon every day.

There is much more flexibility in the TK room than in the Kindergarten so rest assured the children are not sitting all day. I can't tell you exactly how the day goes but in the morning they do sit briefly and then it is free choice play. They have P.E. with Coach Carter once a week and on rainy days she sometimes comes in too. Ms. Brooks would also do Yoga with the children.

Hope that answers some of your questions. Claire

Considering OUSD Transitional Kindergarten

Jan 2016

Hi, My son will be 5 years old in November (2016). He is in a great preschool, but I am considering transitional kindergarten for him because it is 5 days a week and it's free. I've found very little information about the different TK programs offered through the Oakland School district. I've found lots of helpful info about k-12 but very little about TK. We live in the Cleveland school district - but since they don't offer TK we will have to apply to another school. Can you please share your experience with TK in Oakland? I've looked at Sequoia (but have little hope of getting in) so am interested to hear about other schools. And really any school - or just the TK experience in general. Thank you so much for any help/advice you can share. Katherine

Hi - Our son is in TK at Glenview this year. We also applied to Sequoia, having heard great things about the TK teacher, but didn't get in. Our teacher, Ms Shreve is wonderful, we really love her.

TK in general is more academic than I expected. There are lots of worksheets, tracing etc. I had hoped it would involve more play than it does, and I'm not sure how different it is than kindergarten. Our kid has homework every day, which seems crazy. They are currently developing the curriculum and I'm not sure they've gotten it all figured out yet.

All that being said, our kid is happy at Glenview, and loves the teacher and classmates. Glenview is a sweet place. I wish there was less homework overall but I think it's pretty standard in OUSD, unfortunately.

We do feel lucky to qualify for TK too. Our kid will be well-prepared for K. Good luck! anon

Oakland TK Families: How's it going?

Nov 2015

We are considering TK for 2016-17 and would love to hear from current (or recent) OUSD TK families on how your child is doing and what you think of the program at the school you are at. Also especially interested in hearing from families with parent(s) who work full-time--were you able to find aftercare that accepted your TK student? If not, how did you solve the extended day dilemma? Are there any Oakland preschools offering, or considering offering, a program similar to the TK aftercare program that the Berkeley JCC offers? Thanks! Prospective TK parent

My child started the school year in TK at a school with a good reputation that had not previously offered TK. The curriculum and environment were not ideal for four-year-olds--frequent transitions between activities, incredibly short recesses, lots of many-step directions relayed from across the room, pretty advanced motor work with scissors etc. It was pretty much just kindergarten! I think TK is probably a good fit for a child who is actually developmentally ready for kindergarten but just not chronologically old enough. Our child had a difficult time in TK and we ultimately went back to preschool, where there were thankfully still spaces. Perhaps as OUSD gets more experienced with TK, it'll be a better option for more types of children, but for now, if you can at all afford it, just do an extra year of preschool. If you'd like more details, have the moderator give you my e-mail. Opted out of TK

Transitional kindergarten near Rockridge?

Aug 2015

Due to my son's birthdate he won't enter kindergarten until 6 years old in 2017. Some tell me that it's actually better for a boy, anyway, given slower social development. I have a very smart and savvy kiddo, but he could use some social skills (despite being in a preschool setting for 2 years...). Anyone have advice/experience with this? I have a disability that does not allow me to drive, or even take the bus long-distance. Does anyone know if my disability will be considered by the OUSD when choosing a T-K program for my son? I live in lower Rockridge, Oakland, a few blocks away from Peralta (Rockridge area) and about 1 mile to Chabot. Neither has one, but the nearest schools are Emerson and Piedmont (both a bus ride away). Does anyone have experience with the Emerson or Piedmont programs, or any other in the OUSD? Thanks for advice. CR

Here's what I know about the transitional K program at Emerson:

  • Last year there were 25+ kids with ONE teacher who did not have an assistant or an aide with her for any portion of the school day.
  • The students are given activities that do not seem age-appropriate, such as tracing numbers 1-100 on a hundreds chart, and lots of time spent sitting for instruction. There seems to be lots of desk work (worksheets, closed-ended projects) and not a lot of open-ended, creative/interactive projects.
  • Last year's teacher was dedicated and well-intentioned but new to teaching, and with 25+ kids, I'm worried she will burn out quickly. But she has good classroom management skills and manages to teach the children even though she has way too many in her classroom.

Hope this info helps.

Transitional kindergarten at Sequoia in Oakland?

June 2014

Hello! I've recently realized that our son will be eligible for TK in the 2015 school year. He will be five in September. We are zoned for Glenview but on the border of the zone for Sequoia. I don't know if zoning matters for TK, and I do know that Glenview will be moving during construction, and currently doesn't have a TK. I've read good things generally about the Sequoia TK. But, I know the TK program is quite new, so I'm wondering if any parents of current TK Sequoia kids can give some input. Do you like the teacher? How was the transition from preschool? What were things that you liked or disliked about the class/teacher? And this is more of a TK general question... How does one decide if their child is TK ready? Thanks in advance! I appreciate your input. Allison

My son is in 1st at Sequoia and was in regular K last year with the teacher who is currently teaching TK (Tontra Love). Last I heard she would be teaching TK again next year but I can't say that with 100% certainty as I am not in a position to know. I can't speak to TK since I didn't experience it, but I can say that any child would be lucky to be in Ms. Love's class. I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about her as a teacher and a person. She is warm and loving yet sets good boundaries. She strives to meet each kid where they are at, provides differentiated instruction, and was unbelievably helpful with behavioral challenges my child had both when in her class and also this year -- never blaming or labeling and always seeing his strengths and wanting to help him succeed. Based on my experience, I really can't imagine a person more suited to teaching TK. She truly surpassed all my hopes and dreams for what his first teacher would be like. I'd also like to give a plug for Sequoia as a school. We have been very happy there and have found the teachers and administrators to be very welcoming to the diverse community served by the school. It is really a very sweet place. A Sequoia Mom

Emerson Elementary Transitional Kindergarten

June 2013

I'm a parent of a child with an early Sept. birthday who ''should'' be starting kindergarten in 2014. We are starting to investigate our school options and are hoping the Transitional Kindergarten program at Emerson Elementary in Oakland will be just what we're looking for. The reason I'm reaching out to this list is because I've had a very hard time finding any parent feedback on the program at Emerson and also feedback on what happens after TK. We plan on sending our kids to our neighborhood school for elementary (not emerson). I'm wondering if many of the TK kids leave Emerson after TK? Also if participating in TK effects your chances of getting into your neighborhood school. Thanks for your insight! Curious Parent

Not all schools have TK programs, so many students go to other schools for TK, then on to whatever school they get into for regular kindergarten. My daughter was in TK at PLACE @ Prescott, and is going to Chabot for kindergarten.

In regards to the TK program, I would describe it as what Kindergarten used to be when we were all growing up. More play-oriented, less emphasis on academics as compared to current kindergartens, and age appropriate. Having had my daughter at Emeryville Child Development Center for PRE-K, I definitely thought my daughter learned a lot more in TK, as opposed to PreK in preschool. I felt she was challenged a lot more, but the program also takes into account the younger age of the children, as opposed to being in kindergarten, so there's nap-time, etc. wendy

My daughter went to TK last year and we were very happy with Ms. E's class. She is a really great teacher and highly recommended. In the TK class had many kids coming from elsewhere, Emerson not their home school. My daughter will stay at Emerson for K, but many of her classmates went back to their home school- I would said 2/3 of the class. Like any other school, parents need to get involved and volunteer in class which we did and that helped the teacher and the kids. TK mother

My son's birthday qualified him to start kindergarten last fall so I enrolled him at our local elementary school, but then worried that he wasn't quite ready for ''big kid'' school and all the confinements that came with that. After much debate and worry, I made the decision to enroll him in the TK program at Emerson--site unseen--which is a 20-minute commute for our family. As it is a pilot program, there wasn't a lot of information going in and all the parents were nervous and didn't really know what to expect. I can tell you that we were all pleasantly surprised. What we got was an amazing teacher (Danielle Erwin) who is passionate about educating young minds. The class sits on the carpet, instead of at desks, so it is not as formal as a classroom. Ms. Erwin does a good job blending play and instruction. The transition to the full-day schedule, limited play time and short lunch period was a big adjustment but I think it's great to have a year to get used to a new routine and school environment without all of the academic pressure that kindergarten now brings. I have absolutely no regrets about enrolling my son in TK and the Emerson community is great. All of the parents are incredibly passionate, and contribute in their own ways. My son's class was approximately 23 kids, and 9 were from outside the neighborhood so will attend kindergarten at a school other than Emerson. Attending TK at Emerson will not impact your assignment as the district assigns you to the school in your neighborhood regardless. Feel free to contact me if I can answer any other questions! Emerson TK Parent Alumni

Experience with OUSD Transitional Kindergarten?

December 2012

Hi, my daughter turns five on September 12 of this coming September and i am interested in the OUSD transitional kindergarten program. Does anybody have any experience with this program? Was it good or bad? Have you heard anything about it? What school did your child attend? I'm also considering putting her in kindergarten and perhaps keeping her there for two years. Does anybody have experience with that? She would be going to Chabot. Thanks for your advice. Mom of sept birthday kid

I'm a parent of a fall birthday kid, we're enrolling her in TK next year. As I understand it, TK is prioritized for kids who have birthdays within the cut off. So for next year, that would be for kids with birthdays between Oct. 1 and Dec. 1. So if there is more space, they'd consider a Sept birthday kid. Don't know anything about trying to do two years in K, sorry. Good luck! fall birthday mama