Enrollment » 2019 TK/ Kindergarten Q & A

2019 TK/ Kindergarten Q & A

During the 2019 parent night, families were encouraged to write down any questions they had regarding 2019-2020 TK/ Kindergarten.  Since then, we have received more questions and have compiled the questions and answers on this page.

 

  • Is the AM/PM kinder program going to be held at all elementary schools?  Yes
  • I’ve heard AUSD is having a budget problem, if this is true why is construction occurring?  School renovation expenses come from school bond funds that are separate from the district’s general fund which goes towards items like staff salaries, classroom materials, programs, etc. Bond monies can only be used for their intended purpose, in this case, the construction of schools.
  • In the future will AUSD accept more out of district students?  We only accept students from outside Albany when space permits.  
  • What is the average student teacher ratio for Kindergarten 2019-2020?  The maximum number of students allowed is 28. The average teacher ratio depends on the number of kindergartners we have each year. This year it was 24:1
  • I’ve heard once you are enrolled in AUSD, you can continue attendance in AUSD schools even if you move outside of Albany, is this true?  Any student who moves and lives outside of Albany must apply for an interdistrict permit.  Interdistrict permit approval is never guaranteed.  We approve permits when space is available.
  • Will the district provide a free before/after school enrichment activity in lieu of a full school day?  There are currently no plans to offer additional school district funded class time to the kindergarten day.  ACC childcare will be offering language/cultural instruction at each elementary school site, however space is limited in these specific programs.
  • What is the appeal process for receiving a schedule that does not work for your student/ family?  You can let your assigned school know that you would like to be added to the wait list for a schedule change.  
  • Can the district send school and schedule assignments earlier than July 2019?  Mid to late July is historically when these assignments are sent to families as we need this much time to process the enrollments.
  • What is the enrollment process for childcare with ACC?  Please visit ACC’s website and complete your application for childcare.  https://acc.ausdk12.org/ You can only complete this application once you have finished the enrollment appointment and your enrollment packet is accepted.  
  • I pay bills online, is this considered an original document?  Most utilities, banks, and bills offer the ability to print a copy that would be identical to what would be mailed to you.  This is accepted as long as it clearly displays the date it was sent (and is 45 days old or less), you name, and your Albany address.
  • Are doctor office print outs of immunizations sufficient?  Yes, as long as they meet the criteria which includes the medical provider’s information (or letterhead), the student’s name, date of birth, the names of the immunizations, and dates given.
  • Do the ACC child care times line up with the AM/PM schedule?  Yes, care will be available starting at 7:30am and end at 6pm
  • How many TK/ K families will you be able to accommodate in before/after care?   It is very likely that we will be able to serve all TK and Kindergarten families that need childcare service in our ACC school age programs.  Certainly, if you submit an ACC waitlist application within the priority enrollment period, you will receive a space in our program.  We will hire qualified staff members based upon the projected enrollment numbers to ensure the appropriate adult-to-student ratio is maintained.  It will only become difficult to ensure enrollment if, and when, a family submits a waitlist form very near to the start of school. 
  • I want to request a specific school for my student because of personal reasons, will this be taken into account?  We can never guarantee a school placement for a family. You will make school preferences after your packet is completed and received, but again we can never guarantee a school for your student.  It would be best to complete your enrollment packet during the priority window.
  • My work schedule will only work with one of the am/pm schedules and I need to ensure I get this schedule.  Unfortunately, we can never guarantee a school schedule for a family.  You will make schedule preferences after your packet is completed and received, but again we can never guarantee a schedule for your student.  It would be best to complete your enrollment packet during the priority window and contact ACC for childcare.
  • My student is preschool age and qualifies for TK, will they be accepted?  Yes, as long as your student’s birthday falls within the strict time frame of Sept 2nd-Dec 2nd 2014 and you have established Albany residency.
  • My student has an IEP, how will those accommodations be taken into account when school schedule and placement is made?  All students who require special services entering into TK/ K will be placed by the special education department to ensure that appropriate services are provided.
  • Is transportation provided for TK students receiving child care?  Walking groups are assembled any time students move from one location to another.  AUSD does not provide busing.  The ACC TK childcare will be offered on-site for the 2019-20 school year and TK students will not need to be transported.  If families choose to utilize a different childcare program, they will need to plan for the transportation independently. 
  • Can you explain what “push in” means and how it is implemented? "Push in" support means that an ELD teacher, or a reading, or math intervention teacher goes in the classroom during class time to provide support to specific students. The other alternative is "pull out" support where these teachers provide instruction outside of the classroom. Student need determines whether services are push in or pull out.
  •  Are there specific drop off and pick up times for child care through the ACC?  Childcare runs from 7:30a -6p, you may drop off after 7:30 am and pick up no later than 6 pm.
  • When can I schedule a school tour at the elementary schools?  You will need to contact each individual school site to schedule a tour.  Schools are currently accepting tours.  Please be advised that tours do not run during summer break.
  • Where can I find more information about the childcare programs at each elementary school?  Please visit http://acc.ausdk12.org/ for more information.
  • What is provided to kindergarteners as far as snack, breakfast, and lunch?  If your student will be in before/after care you may want to supply your student with additional snacks. Children in ACC childcare programs receive breakfast (served 8:00-9:00) and an afternoon snack (~3:15) as a part of the childcare program.  Lunch time will be provided for students in ACC childcare.  Families can pack a lunch or purchase/receive an AUSD school lunch to eat during lunchtime. Click here to apply for free and reduced lunch.
  • Is TK available at all elementary schools?  TK is only available at the Albany Children’s Center.
  • What will transitions from before/after care to the kindergarten class look like?  Students will be instructed to line up and walk with a child care provider to/from their child care program.  The ACC childcare staff members will know which children are participating in the before and after care program; they will know which classrooms these children attend for the school day.  They will walk the young children to class and they will pick them up accordingly.
  • Will the language programs be available to Kindergarten students that are enrolled in childcare? The children enrolled in Kindergarten childcare at Marin will have an opportunity to participate in the Tupelo Spanish enrichment program.  This program provides about 30 minutes of Spanish instruction to children on a daily basis.  It is not an immersion program.  The Chinese language and culture programs offered for Cornell Elementary and Ocean View Elementary will still be available for kindergarten families.  As always, we will only be able to enroll a small number of kindergarten students into these programs.  The children enrolled in the Chinese school programs will continue in these programs for subsequent years.
  • What is the schedule for before and after care?  Please see the Albany Children’s Center website for more information. http://acc.ausdk12.org/
  • Where on campus will students be during before and after care?   Space will be provided and will vary at each site depending on facility needs.
  • How much will child care and lunches cost?  Please refer to the Albany Children’s Center website for more information about child care costs as it is dependent on how many hours of child care you require  http://acc.ausdk12.org/ . In 2018-2019 lunch could be purchased for $4. Click here to apply for free and reduced lunch.
  • Is there a formal system for arranging carpools?  Not at this time.
  • What is the homework load like for kindergarteners? This will be explained at the kindergarten orientation before school begins.
  • What extracurricular activities are available to kindergarteners? Outside of the ACC’s childcare, there are no after school activities for kindergarten students.
  • What kind of instruction will be offered during childcare hours?  Albany Children’s Center school age childcare programs follow state regulations and protocols regarding environment design, developmentally appropriate practice and play-based learning programs.  The ACC instructors will establish a balanced program that offers whole group instruction, small group project time, outdoor playtime and independent choice time.  They will coordinate with the TK and Kindergarten teachers to ensure the instruction offered in childcare is connected to the instruction in the school day classroom.  Please see the Albany Children’s Center website for the different programs available http://acc.ausdk12.org/ .
  • Where can I find more information about the school renovation projects?  Please visit our district’s website WWW.AUSDK12.ORG for information about the renovation projects.  You can also review school board meeting notes for additional information.
  • How are school choice preferences communicated to the before/aftercare program?  Once you complete your enrollment packet and it is approved, you will need to apply for before/after care with the Albany Children’s Center.  In the ACC application, you will indicate what your preferences were.  Over the summer, the ACC and the District Office will be in communication with one another regarding student school placement.  Additionally, when you receive the notice from the District Office in July telling you what your child’s school assignment is, please contact ACC to inform them of this information.
  • Can my 4 year old enroll in child care services at the ACC?  Your student must be enrolled in school to enroll in child care.  A 4 year old would need to enroll in preschool.  ACC does offer a preschool program, please visit their website for more information: https://acc.ausdk12.org/ .
  • Is the full time child care program listed online the same as the ACC?  Yes, they are the same.  The Albany Children’s Center is AUSD’s district run child care provider. There are other child care providers, however they are privately owned and are not affiliated with AUSD.
  • Does my lease agreement need my student’s name on it?  It is not necessary, however the parent/guardian name will need to be listed.
  • Is the AM/PM schedule decision final?  Yes, this was recently voted on and approved by the school board.
  • I have a current TK student, do I need to re-enroll them in kindergarten?  As long as you maintain attendance with AUSD you will not need to re-enroll your student.
  • Which schools have a PTA?  All three elementary school have active PTAs. We encourage you to join!
  • Are busses provided to students?  AUSD does not offer bussing or transportation to all students.
  • Will Ocean View kindergarten students placed at Marin and Cornell be mixed together in classes and play?  Ocean View kindergarten students will be placed with an Ocean View kindergarten teacher at Marin or Cornell sites.  All students will have recess on the play yard.
  • Who will be the administration contact for Ocean View Students at Marin and Cornell?  Terry Georgeson will continue to serve as principal of Ocean View, however contact logistics are still being decided.
  • What will lunch look like for students? The logistics are still being discussed, however every student in ACC childcare and on free and reduced lunch will have the opportunity to lunch at school.
  • Since all kindergarten students will be placed at Marin or Cornell, will we have the option to remain at that school for the following year?  Each student will receive a school placement letter in mid to late July, and will be assigned to one of three schools; Ocean View, Marin, or Cornell.  This will be their elementary school assignment K-5th.  If you wish to request a school change, you would need to be added to the waitlist located on our district’s website www.AUSDK12.org.  We do our best to accommodate all school change requests, but can never guarantee that we will be able to grant your request.
  • Currently there is small group time, will there still be small group time with the new AM/PM schedule? Yes, there is small group instruction in all grades K-5.
  • How many students and classrooms will there be? This is to be determined.  While we do our best to predict how many students will be in kindergarten and TK, class size is based on enrollment numbers.
  • My student’s daily schedule incorporates a napping period.  Will naps be available? Naps are not a part of the school day for TK or Kindergarten.
  • Why did AUSD go to an AM/PM model?  Please review the previous school board notes and videos located on the district’s website for additional information about this.  www.AUSDK12.org.
  • Will Ocean View after school staff be moving to Tupelo at Marin? All of the ACC school age childcare staff currently working at Ocean View Elementary school will move with the children in their care.  The Cedars program that serves TK and K students will move to ACC, Cornell and Marin accordingly.  The exact staffing details are still being worked out.
  • Will Marin and Cornell be able to manage the influx of children that will be provided with child care?  Yes, ACC has been working with school staff in planning and organizing for this change.
  • Does the AM/PM schedule apply to grades 1-3 as well?  The AM/PM schedule only applies to TK and Kindergarten students.
  • When will I receive my school & schedule preference link?  You will receive within 3 business days of completion of your appointment.
  •  Can you share the maximum class size for Kindergarten? The maximum class size is 28:1 for Kindergarten.
  • Will kindergarteners in before/after care be mixed in with other grades?  What does this look like?  The children in the TK and Kindergarten childcare programs will not be mixed with other grades for the majority of the day.  We are able to provide separate classrooms for these young children.
  • What is the 90 minute support time? What will this look like? In the am/pm model, two teachers are assigned to share one classroom. One teacher is the teacher for the am class, the other is the teacher for the pm class.  The 90 minute support time is when the teacher who is not responsible for the class comes in to support students. This will happen during both the am and pm class.
  • Are there vegetarian lunch options?  Yes
  • Do the schools hold earthquake and active shooter drills?  Yes, all schools have regular earthquake, fire, and lock down drills.
  • How do you apply for free and reduced lunch?  Please visit the food service website to complete the free and reduced lunch application: https://ausdschoolfoodproject.org/ .
  •  Does my student need to be present at the time of my enrollment appointment?  You are not required to bring your student to the appointment, but they are welcome to attend.
  • My student was born after September 1st but is ready for Kindergarten, can they enroll in Kindergarten?  No. They would qualify for TK.
  • Can my TK student skip kindergarten and start 1st grade the following year?  No. TK is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program.
  • Is P.E required for Kindergarteners? Will, that continue to be 30 minutes 2 times a week? By law it is not required however, we provide two 30 minute blocks of P.E. per week to mirror the first through third grade.
  • Will the music program still be used?  As long as funding is available through the music fund, TK/K will receive music for 14 weeks as they have in prior years.
  • Will the library schedule stay the same?  The number of minutes in library will stay the same. The prep schedule dictates what time each class goes to library which changes year to year.
  • Is it correct to say that the teachers will be required to spend 90 minutes of overlap time in the class and that time will not include prep-time?  Teachers will overlap together for 90 minutes. This does not include during prep period.
  • How will the different therapies outside the classroom work? For example speech therapy/occupational therapy for Kindergarteners, when will they go and how will they make up that time missed in class?  Any service that a student qualifies for will be provided during their school day. It is not considered missed class time as it is part of their educational program.
  • Will the before/aftercare program have more access to the school?  Such as library time and more time on the play structures? Each site will have adequate space for playtime and indoor programming during childcare hours.
  • Will there be enough space in the before/after care program for all the Kindergarteners? If not, how will that work? Whoever fills out the application first will get a spot? Will subsidized families have a priority? Or will returning students (TK students who got care this year)? Students with siblings in the program? Etc.  Yes, we anticipate enough space for all TK/K students. Subsidized families have priority by law.
  • How will the before/aftercare program schedule change? We have heard at several board meetings that it will become more academic. What will that schedule look like? When can we expect to see a tentative schedule for this?  The before/aftercare program for TK/K is now an all day program. As in prior years, the program will continue to include whole group instruction, small group learning, choice time, and play.
  • At the board meetings, it has also been said that some of the before/after school staff are Credentialed teachers. Who are these teachers? How many of them have teaching credentials? And are those staff members who do have teaching credentials split up evenly between the before/after care sites?  All ACC teachers who have credentials are teaching in the 12 month pre-school program.
  • How can the school staff/administrators and before/after care work together as a team? As of now, the programs are pretty separate.  While there is collaboration, they are two separate programs.
  • As of now, it looks like the first group of incoming Kindergarteners at Marin will have the following schedule: *Kindergarten & 1st grade at Marin, *2nd grade off-site likely at the middle school annex, *3rd grade off-site at the high school, *4th and 5th grade at Marin.  Currently the plan is Kinders will go to MA and CO; Grades 1-2 will go to the AMS Annex; Grades 3-5 will remain at OV until the AHS New Addition is complete.
  • Marin will be a new school when they return and unfamiliar. Can we start the planning process of Marin’s construction with the understanding that students may have to move to multiple sites throughout the process?  All plans are based on available space.
  • Some parents have no way to get their children to the other elementary schools (they use public transportation from UC Village). Can the schools facilitate a carpool program? AUSD has reached out to UCB and their response is they cannot facilitate a carpool program due to liability issues. However, we will continue to work with UC Village to see if there are other options available. We will also explore other options such as a "walking school bus".
  • Can the district offer/pay for classes (E.C.D or Education related) if the before/after school staff (including the paras) wants to take any classes over the summer? Or is there a program already in place like this for them?  The district is in a structural deficit and is in the process of making ongoing budget reductions. There are no classes that are paid for by the district. However, we do have a program in place for the 21 required hours per year that the ACC staff must take.  We have a partnership with Alameda County and many of the classes are free.
  • Can the district ask to use the soda tax funds from the city for enrichment programs for the Kindergarteners? And/or before/after school improvements?  The City of Albany has asked AUSD to submit one or two ideas for use of the soda tax. We will be advocating for crossing guards and the Healthy Me program at ACC. Residents of Albany can attend the meeting and vote on how they want the funds to be allocated.
  • For the parents who pick OV as a first choice, are they also getting a preference option for Marin or Cornell for the Kindergarten year?  The enrollment process follows Board Policy which is listed on the website.
  • Can more enrichment programs be added to the schools? For children who are not in the before/after care program, the program paid for by the parents similar to the Chess program often offered at Marin.  After school Enrichment programs are based on space.
  • How will the lunches work? Will students who receive free or reduced lunch still get lunch? Do they have to be enrolled in the before/after care program to get this lunch?  1. We have not finalized the lunch schedule 2. All students on free and reduced lunch will get lunch. 3. Students enrolled in before/after can either buy or bring lunch. Students not enrolled in before/after care will not get lunch, unless they are on free and reduced.
  • How are we considering the achievement gap with this new schedule? What programs, interventions, and extra support are going to give to the students of color who statistically will suffer the most with a shortened school day?  We are in weekly conversation at the District Leadership meetings to address issue of equity, anti-bias, and support for all students not meeting or exceeding California state standards.
  • Exactly why is the placement being disclosed at the end of July? Can it be moved up?  AM/PM placement cannot occur prior to mid-end of July. We need to allow enough time for the majority of enrollments knowing University Village students enroll later. Placements cannot be moved earlier because we need to maintain school and classroom size balance. July is the earliest that we make an educated guess on class size and the number of kindergarten classes at each school.
  • Can you explain how the placement for an am/pm schedule will be chosen? It is likely more parents will want the Am schedule so how will the lottery work for this schedule.  Per Board Policy, AM/PM placement will follow the same priority placement as kindergartners: 1: SPED placements 2: Priority enrollment if there are siblings 3: All other priority enrollment 4: Parent requests. If there are more requests than space available at any point in the priority process we will hold a lottery for the spaces available.
  • What is the most likely plan if enrollment drops? Will the classroom sizes just be smaller? Or will a classroom be closed? Or open Inter-District transfers for Kindergarteners?  We will be monitoring enrollment closely. If enrollment drops, we will look at spaces that may be available for interdistrict transfers. We also carefully look at class sizes to make sure we do not overload K classes.
  • Is there a way to make sure the before/after care is consistent? For example the students who go to before care go back to that same classroom for after care.  The care will be consistent. The room may not.
  • Can we consider a later start/ later finish? (Later than 8:10.) And how much are the other school start schedules being considered when planning this? For example if Kindergarteners start at 8:20 instead can the other elementary grades start at 8:35 to give parents time to get to other sites.  Some of the Ocean View parents may have to travel to three sites. This start time allows them to do so.
  • How will it work for parents who have multiple children and can't make the pick-up/drop offs but don't want to pay the full 1-2 hour chunks required for after school care? I.e. Parent who has child at Middle School and Marin needs 15-20 minutes but doesn't want to pay aftercare for this. Can the before/after care be broken down in smaller slots such as 30 minutes?  We are looking at school start times to accommodate for this.
  • What is the current procedure for getting incoming TK/K parent feedback, concerns, suggestions? How is the district getting input from parents while changes are being made? For site-specific questions/feedback/suggestions, parents can contact their principal. For enrollment, contact Kristin Nichols at the Enrollment Center. The Transition Housing Team (THT) members can also be contacted. Principals also provide information to incoming parents via their site newsletters, website, school tours, and the welcome packet that they will receive over the summer.
  • Will students still receive free choice time? Yes
  • How many and how long is recess expected to be?  Each K-team within each school site will determine the length and frequency. Estimated snack recess is 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Will TK/K still be able to do field trips? If, how will this work? If not, what will replace it?  Field trips can still take place. Sites will work it within the AM/PM schedule.
  • Will the 90 minutes have small group time? How long will it be?  Yes. The time duration will depend on the specific activity. The strength of the 90-minute co-teaching is the enhanced ability to have small groups.
  • What plans are being made to ensure that the class sizes for kinder students are kept to the current or lower numbers?  We try to keep our kinder class sizes as low as possible. The average teacher to student ratio depends on the number of Kindergarteners we have each year. This year it was 24:1.
  • How will subsidies work for families?  We have subsidies for both preschool and before/after care. AUSD needs to implement protocols set forth by the State of California. The CSPP contract awards subsidies for eligible preschool children, and the CCTR contract awards subsidies for eligible school age children. In order for families to show their eligibility, they need to qualify based on their income, family size, and need. The need could be parents working or going to school and need child care. Then we utilize the Alameda County Pilot Family Fee schedule to determine the family's income eligibility. Parents need to produce documentation of their income and their family size.
  • Will all families who need tuition assistance receive it?  It depends on space availability.
  • What will the after school class sizes look like? What will be the ratio of students to teachers?  Our ratio for school age program is 14:1
  • Moving multiple times per day to different care providers may be disruptive. What plans are made to build continuity into students' days?  We work diligently to build strong relationships with the students, but we cannot guarantee that students will in one or two classrooms all day.
  • On the website it states, “kindergarteners will be kept in a separate program for ‘most of the day’” what does ‘most” mean? Is there a way to make sure the before/after care classrooms are consistent?  During the school day, Kinders will have their own part of the school, playground time. We cannot guarantee that students will have the same classroom for before and after care.
  • How will before/after care program change in terms of programming?  For K and TK, before and after care will be open all day. ACC staff will have the opportunity to provide more robust programming.
  • What types of resources are being dedicated to improving the before/aftercare program?  We will maximize the resources we currently have to continue the exemplary programs we offer to our students. This past Fall, ACC received a 5-star rating, and the before/after care program received an audit/contract monitoring review in January, and it received a 0 error rate.
  • Can the district ask to use the soda tax funds from the city for enrichment programs for the Kindergarteners? And/or before/after school improvements?  The City of Albany has asked AUSD to submit one or two ideas for use of the soda tax. We will be advocating for crossing guards and the Healthy Me program at ACC. Residents of Albany can attend the meeting and vote on how they want the funds to be allocated.
  • How can outside enrichment be offered and coordinated with the existing program? What subsidies or funds will be available to ensure that they can be offered class-wide?  There are currently no additional funds for outside enrichment other than what is currently offered. Currently, TK/K students receive PE, Music, Library enrichment.
  • How will we make sure the students receiving free/reduced lunch are not singled out?  The children in the ACC program will not be singled out because they will all eat together.
  • Has the topic of using bond money to fund aspects of the transition be revisited? Is there an opportunity, for example, to provide tuition assistance for families impacted by the increased tuition costs?  No, Bond funds are for our construction projects. Every dollar will be needed to complete the projects at AMS, AHS, OV, and MA.
  • Is using SchoolCARE for after school tuition or enrichment subsidies an option?  SchoolCARE has a process for determining how they will expend their funds through a community wide survey process and by speaking to principals, parents and staff.  There is a SchoolCARE Board that facilitates this process. SchoolCARE historically prioritizes funding positions for teachers and staff and specifically during the school day.