Getting Ready for Kindergarten

The start of school is an exciting time for children and their families.  Several webpages are dedicated to our enrollment process, but this page is about giving parents information and tips on how to get ready for Kindergarten.

How old must my child be to attend Kindergarten and First Grade?

The passage of California’s Senate Bill 1381 changed the enrollment dates for children entering kindergarten and first grade in California.  This law is being gradually implemented and requires a child entering kindergarten be five years old by:

  • September 1 of that school year

Similarly, students entering the first grade must be six years old, students entering the second grade must be seven years old, etc.

The Transitional Kindergarten program (previously known as High Fives) is offered for students who have Fall birthdays (September 2 to December 2) and could benefit from a blend of preK and kindergarten curriculum that would ease their transition to kindergarten the following year.

Because Senate Bill 1381 changed the age of children eligible to attend Kindergarten, children turning 5 after September 1 are no longer eligible for elementary school enrollment in the fall of that year.

The location for the Transitional Kindergarten varies each year according to space. Students who enroll in Transitional Kindergarten are assigned to the program and school for only one year. Families whose child participates in the Transitional Kindergarten Program must also apply for Kindergarten enrollment the following school year so they can be assigned to their K-5 school for Kindergarten through the student assignment process for all entering Kindergarten students.  More information is available by contacting the Admissions Office.

2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth:

The 2020 Vision, a city-wide collaborative effort to improve the educational success and health of Berkeley’s children and youth, is working to help children get ready for Kindergarten.  You can download the 2020 Vision Informational Flyer with strategies to help get your child ready for Kindergarten and a calendar of important things to do in the months leading up to the start of Kindergarten. También se puede leer en español: Preparando para el Kinder (PDF).

Learn more about the 2020 Vision here.


Helpful Links:

Preschool California Website – Transitional Kindergarten Page

California Department of Education Transitional Kindergarten FAQ – PDF Print Version

Parent Preference Form 2015-16: English | Español