On the next two Fridays, April 22 and April 29, Wilshire Crest Elementary School will “Roundup” events for its Extended Transitional Kindergarten Program.
The original Transitional Kindergarten program, launched a few years ago at LAUSD elementary schools, provides a “bridge between preschool years and traditional Kindergarten” for children who will turn five between September 2 and December 2 of the current school year.
This year, the district added a new Extended Transitional Kindergarten – for preschool children who will turn 5 at any between December 3, 2016 and June 30, 2017. This program, by next year, will completely replace the district’s old half-day preschool, the School Readiness and Language Development Program (SRLDP).
Unlike SRLDP, the new ETK program – like the regular TK program at all local schools – is a full day class. But unlike regular TK, which is based on Common Core California standards, ETK, according to a story last year in the LA Times, uses California Preschool Learning Foundations:
The expanded transitional kindergartners will learn lessons primarily through play, said Lisa Harmison, the ETK teacher at 186th Street Elementary School and a 32-year teaching veteran. In addition to social-emotional skills, their goals include:
• Language and literacy (listening, comprehension, concept development — for example, what is a rectangle, what does it look like, what objects are rectangles?)
• Fine motor skills like drawing, and working with pads and keyboards; gross motor skills like spatial awareness and body awareness — learning personal space
• After that, they’ll be able to learn to write their names, know the letters of the alphabet, understand story structure, and expand their receptive and expressive vocabulary so they can recognize and copy phrases that mean something to them, Harmison said.
Also, unlike the TK program in place at all LAUSD neighborhood schools, ETK is available only at a select few schools, including Wilshire Crest and Queen Anne Elementary.
The ETK class at Wilshire Crest is taught by Eileen Washington, a Sycamore Square resident and National Board Certified teacher, who says she takes her ETK students even further than the curriculum requires, so they also learn letter sounds and begin reading well before the end of the school year. Washington says she’s particularly excited about the local aspect of the program, and is trying to identify and enroll all eligible students.
The upcoming ETK Roundup events will help. Beginning at 9 a.m., interested parents can learn about the program, meet Ms. Washington, tour the Wilshire Crest ETK class, and fill out enrollment forms (please bring proof of residence and the child’s birth certificate).
For more information, contact Ms. Washington at the Wilshire Crest School office – (323) 938-5291.
Wilshire Crest Elementary School
Extended Transitional Kindergarten Roundup
Friday, April 22, 2016 & Friday, April 29
5241 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
[This story has been updated to clarify birth date and eligibility information, to add the April 29 roundup date, and to include information about the California Preschool Learning Foundations]