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Transitional Kinder at RCELC

What is TK (transitional kindergarten)? 

Public: TK is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program.  EGUSD Standards can be found here:

River City ELC: Our TK program, like public TK, is the year prior to kindergarten. Our kindergarten preparation is a three-part play based, child centered program consisting of: Early preschool, Preschool and TK.  When children begin at our Early Preschool level, they typically exceed the EGUSD standards PRIOR to our TK program. For example, the EGUSD standard for TK is to recognize their first name and 13/26 alphabet letters.  When children finish our three-part program they are likely to recognize their first and last name as well as all alphabet letters.

What are the classroom ratios?

Both: Classroom ratios are 1:12 with a maximum of 24 children

Public: If 24 children are present only ONE of the two must be qualified. (Note: Any teacher who is or was assigned to teach TK, or a combination of kindergarten and TK, on or before July 1, 2015, is "grandfathered in" to teach TK without having to meet the additional unit requirement for TK teachers)

River City ELC: BOTH teachers must be fully qualified.  In addition, our early preschool program (ages 2-3) ratio is 1:8. No grandfathering or exceptions for qualifications are allowed, all teachers have always needed the required units.

Who is overseeing the program?

Public: California Department of Education/School District

River City ELC: Regulated by Department of Social Services for health and safety regulations (law).  Annual inspections are conducted and there is strict supervision regulations.  Children may not be left unattended/unsupervised at any time.  It is important to find out if your public school will have visual supervision, including using the restroom. Ask if the restrooms are located in the classrooms if not, will the children be escorted by the teachers?

Do the children nap?

Public: No rest period is offered.

River City ELC: Napping is not but rest periods are required by law.  In most cases, children will nap, if not an alternative quiet activity is offered after a rest period.

Is ECERS used (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales)?

Public: No usage of ECERS

River City ELC: Usage of ITERS/ECERS in all infants, toddler and preschool classrooms. RCELC is a Tier 4 (out of 5) rated school with the QRIS system through Sacramento County Office of Education.

*Note: The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale is used for QRIS (Quality Rating Improvement Scale) systems.  This environment rating scale covers children's broad range of developmental needs: language and cognitive, social and emotional, physical development, and health and safety.



Are milestone development assessments conducted for screening any delays?

Public: No, parent concerns have to be formally requested for assessment.

River City ELC: Usage of ASQ Milestone Assessments is used for all children in the infant, toddler and preschool classrooms. These assessments are done at minimum annually and if concerns arise, we can re-screen as needed.

Per Ages and Stages website: “Why is it important for my child to be screened?

Regular screening provides a fast and helpful look at how your child is doing in important areas like communication, social skills, motor skills, and problem-solving skills. Screening can identify your child’s strengths, uncover new milestones to celebrate, and reveal any areas where your child may need support. It helps you understand your child’s development and know what to look for next. And it helps you work with doctors and educators to plan next steps when it makes the most difference—your child’s critical first years of life.”


Do you have outside/recess time?

Public: Yes, limited to required instructional minutes.  This limits the amount of time children can be outside, running, jumping, climbing, etc.  A majority of a public-school TK students’ day is spent indoors sitting.

River City ELC: There are no limitations to physical gross motor skill development.  These skills are critical to early childhood development.  According to Michigan State University, “These types of movements are important for young children to practice as they develop because they help children learn how to coordinate and control their body movements. Gross motor skills also help lay the foundation to be able to complete fine motor skill movement such as pinching or grasping.”  Gross motor helps in the long run to develop fine motor, this will help develop skills such as writing.


Does my child have to be potty trained?

Public: Potty training is subject to the districts decision.

River City ELC: No, we work with the family to help with potty training. No pressure or deadline is set, it is based on the child’s development.

What is the curriculum like?

Public: Standardized curriculum

River City ELC: Themed, child directed, play based curriculum.  The curriculum is tailored and individualized for the child’s level. The curriculum is delivered through units of study, which are theme based topics that provide a balance of activities using commonly recognized developmental domains.  The curriculum is developed by Nancy Dougherty, M.A.  who has worked in a variety of aspects of early learning from direct care to creating early learning standards to coaching providers.



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