Transitional Kindergarten

What is Transitional Kindergarten?

Transitional Kindergarten, often referred to as TK, is an exciting educational opportunity for children who turn 5 between September 2nd, 2024 and September 1st, 2025. Transitional Kindergarten is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program which offers an additional year of school to our younger students. Transitional Kindergarten bridges the path between preschool and kindergarten and gives students the gift of time that will help them build a strong foundation for future school success. Transitional Kindergarten is a full-day program.

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TK teacher talking to her students at a table in class

TK benefits children, families, and schools.

  • Children are better prepared to succeed.

  • Families have an additional option to ensure their children enter kindergarten with the maturity, confidence and skills they need to excel.

  • Schools benefit because children will be better prepared to succeed academically and less likely to be placed in special education or held back in later grades.

What does an Escondido TK classroom look like?

Escondido Union School District TK program is grounded in developmentally appropriate, early childhood learning experiences.  Teachers and staff engage in extensive professional development on creating experiences where young children thrive. Dedicated attention is given to identifying student’s strengths and interests and engaging them in experiences that help them flourish. EUSD TK classrooms are best described as vibrant, bustling, and full of enthusiastic children and staff.  

Powerful Role of Play

Play is a cornerstone of EUSD’s TK program and developmental appropriate centers serve as a means of helping students thrive while engaging in play-based learning.  There is a wealth of research on the influence that play has on cognitive development.  The prominent developmental psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, engaged in extensive research on the role of play in early childhood asserting that play is the pathway in which children learn.  Here are several points that Vygotsky asserts:

  • Pretend play frees a child’s thinking from concrete experience, creating a foundation for abstract thinking and symbolizing.

  • Pretend play supports children’s ability to manage their own behavior and emotions.

  • Play creates a zone of proximal development for young children because they are capable of more mature and sophisticated thinking and behavior when they are engaged in a pretend play context

For more information on Vygotsky’s thoughts regarding the importance of play in early childhood visit page 50 - 54 in California Department of Education’s instructional resource Powerful Role of Play in Early Education (PDF).

Rick Oser

Rachel Lopez
Secretary II

Art Fuentes
Secretary I

EUSD TK Vision

Through a student-centered, play-based approach, EUSD’s Transitional Kindergarten will develop social, emotional, and academic readiness skills that actualize the unlimited potential of every learner.  

Our students are nurtured and supported as they expand their passion for learning, creativity, relationships, and communication skills.  Learning experiences are authentic, personalized, evidence-based, equitable, and inclusive.

How do Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, and Kindergarten compare?


EUSD Preschool Programs

EUSD Transitional Kindergarten

EUSD Kindergarten

Basic Requirements

Student must turn 4 years old by September 1st. Student must reside in the EUSD school boundaries. More details.

Student must turn 5 years old between September 2nd and September 1st. (inclusive).

Student must turn 5 years old by September 1st.


California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks.

Transitional Kindergarten builds on the skills children may have learned in preschool and serves as the first of a two-year Kindergarten program.

Student works toward end-of-year standards for Kindergarten.



Student receives a report card three times a year.

Student receives a report card three times a year.


EUSD Preschool Website

Registration and Enrollment Page

Registration and Enrollment Page

More Information

EUSD Preschool Website

Learn more about Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten at the Kindergarten in California website.

See School Bell Schedules for individual EUSD hours.

Learn more about Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten at the Kindergarten in California website.

See School Bell Schedules for individual EUSD hours.

See School Bell Schedules for individual EUSD hours.