Questions and Answers from
Transitional Kindergarten / Kindergarten Information Night
January 24, 2024
If you missed the TK / K Information Night webinar, don't worry! View the slides here, watch the video of the presentation here.
Q. What are the age requirements?
A. Children that turn 5 on or before September 1, 2024 enroll in Kindergarten. Children that turn 5 between September 2, 2024 and June 2, 2025, enroll in Transitional Kindergarten. There are no exceptions.
Q. TK eligibility has grown significantly, has TK capacity at AUSD grown at a similar rate?
A. Yes, we accept every Albany resident that is TK-eligible.
Q. Will there be Kindergarten classes at all three elementary schools?
Q. Will there be Transitional Kindergarten classes at all three elementary schools?
A. We expect that TK will be at Ocean View Elementary and Marin Elementary, as it is for the 2023–24 school year.
Q. We do not live in Albany, but want to enroll here. There was a lot of information presented about the February 1–March 31 priority enrollment period. Should I fill out an online enrollment form and schedule an appointment?
A. You will need to use the Interdistrict Transfer process if you want to enroll in Albany schools, even if you have been attending preschool at the Albany Children’s Center. You must first obtain a release from your district of residence. Only when that release permit has been submitted to the AUSD Enrollment Office, and we have notified you that we have accepted your student, will you be able to enroll. We welcome out of district students and expect that many of our ACC families will be successful obtaining releases from their district of residence. If we accept your student, that means there is a spot available for them. Find out more at our Interdistrict Permit page.
Q. If our child is enrolled in preschool at Albany Children's Center (ACC), do we need to go through the AUSD enrollment process?
A. Yes, please follow all the instructions for enrolling.
Q. My child is currently enrolled in TK. How and when will I submit my school preference?
A. If your child is already enrolled in TK in an Albany Unified school, you do not need to re-enroll. You will receive a Kindergarten School Preference Form. Please follow the instructions sent with the form.
Q. My TKer has an older sibling at Cornell. What are the steps to transfer to Cornell for K?
A. You should have received a Kindergarten School Preference form recently. One of the questions on the survey asks about what school you prefer for Kindergarten. Another question asks about siblings. Just be sure to state that Cornell is your first choice and that your child has a sibling already at Cornell.
Q. How are schools assigned?
A. This is much more difficult and involved than you might think! We want to give families their first choice of school, but there are many important factors. We work hard to gender balance all classes, and to keep a very consistent class size across the district. We also must ensure that students who need special services will have them available at their school site. With many families moving into Albany in the summer, there are changes being made as we move students around to achieve the best balance possible, based on the new enrollees. We realize that families are anxious to know their school and their teacher, but we must adhere to this process for the benefit of students. And then, after we have done our best to build classes that are right for kids, unexpected withdrawals and late registrations happen. If you don’t get your first choice school, please know that the process used was thoughtful. If you really need a change, there is a very small possibility that late changes might make it possible. Let your principal know your situation. There is no guarantee that you will get your first, or even your second choice school.
Q. For current TK students going into K, will school assignment also be announced May 1?
Q. What about children with special needs in TK and K? Is the process any different?
A. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan, or you think that your child should be evaluated for special education, you should contact the Special Education Department at [email protected].
The answer to your question will depend on individual circumstances.
Q. Do we need to submit the online application before booking an in-person appointment?
A. Yes, once you have submitted your online application, contact the Student Services Coordinator by email at [email protected]
to make an appointment to submit the required documents.
Q. The enrollment requirements state that “original” documents are needed. Are printouts of online statements and medical records considered “originals”?
A. Yes. You may use printouts. It is important that all the paperwork be legible.
Q. Will you accept printouts of immunization record from MyChart or other medical provider websites?
A. Yes. The immunization record does not need to be signed.
Q. If my child got her vaccinations as a baby in another country and it's not in English, what can I do?
A. We require immunization records to be translated. Take a closer look at your records, they may have the translation printed, most records from other countries usually have the English vaccinations printed on the document.
Q. Is COVID a required vaccination?
Q. Is there "priority" within the enrollment priority window? Does someone who has an appointment Feb 1 have any priority over someone who has an appointment Feb 20?
A. No, it does not matter when in the priority window you enroll.
Q. For EL students, do they take the initial ELPAC test from grade K? If so, when?
A. EL students take the initial ELPAC when they begin school. They can take the ELPAC starting in TK.
Q. How does transition from TK to K work? Can a kid who is not yet 5 at the time of admission and enrolled in TK be moved to K immediately or shortly after they turn 5?
A. No. Both TK and Kindergarten are one-year programs. Kindergarten for the 2024–25 school year is for children who turn 5 on or by September 1, 2024. If your child enrolls as a TK because they turn 5 between September 2, 2024 and June 2, 2025, then your child will stay in TK until the fall of 2025. In the fall of 2025 your child would then go to Kindergarten. Students do not move from TK into K within the same school year.
Q. To volunteer in the classroom, what level volunteer status is needed? How often do you need to renew the volunteer status?
A. Thank you for asking! We love volunteers! You will need Volunteer I clearance, which must be renewed annually. More information can be found volunteering can be found here
Q. What reading curriculum does AUSD use?
A. For TK and K, we use Fundations and Fletcher's Place. For elementary students, K–5, AUSD adopted a curriculum approximately 10 years ago, Units of Study, for both reading and writing. Recently, with the understanding that these programs do not encompass all of the necessary components of a structured literacy program, the district has purchased supplemental curriculum and materials to address the need for instruction in phonological awareness, decoding, sight recognition, and language structures. These supplemental programs include Heggerty, Fundations, Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words (SIPPS), Quick Reads, and other programs/materials. Once a more comprehensive literacy curriculum is available, the district will embark on a collaborative adoption process.
Q. Is before-school and after-school care free and guaranteed?
A. Before- and after-school care is not free and space is not guaranteed. AUSD’s Albany Children’s Center
runs a small before- and after-care program called the “school-aged care program”. This is located at each elementary school and reduced rates are available for low-income families. AUSD also has a limited Expanded Learning Opportunities Program
. All other before- and after-school care is provided by other entities and is entirely separate from the District. Each family is independently responsible for obtaining childcare for their children, if it is needed, outside of the normal school day.
Q. When you say enroll as soon as possible for the ACC waitlist, is that Feb 1 or May?
A. ACC begins taking applications on Feb 1.
Q. Are you working to expand after-school care to meet demand as we understand the current capacity is low?
A. AUSD is very space-constrained. This is limiting our ability to expand before- and after-school care.