It’s hard to believe the start of school is just one month away! While we continue to finalize all the details for the beginning of a new school year, I am excited to announce a new change we are planning for the 2021-22 school year. At the July 26, 2021 board meeting, information was presented to the Board of Directors regarding plans to adjust our district early learning or preschool program.
While the COVID pandemic has been difficult for many students and families across our community, one of the most troublesome areas to bridge the gap between home and school was with our youngest learners. So much of
the early learning experience is exactly that, an experience. Students learn and develop many of the most basic and fundamental skills watching, working in small groups, and learning those things that are essential to eventually succeed in a global society. Many of these skills were tough for students to attempt via a virtual setting. While the advancement of technology has allowed many wonderful breakthroughs in the world we know, depending on technology to educate our youngest learners was an arduous task to say the least.
With that said, district officials have made the decision to invest additional support in the CSD preschool program
beginning next year. What does this mean for our students and community? In the Fall, CSD will continue with our traditional preschool program as we have done in the past while we plan and prepare for a mid-year transition. In January, the CSD preschool program will transition to a full day, non-tuition based preschool program running five days a week. Currently, CSD also has an ECEAP Preschool program running five days a week which will continue as is. So beginning in January, CSD will begin their “Transitional Kindergarten” class giving Burbank residents two full-time preschool programs.
You may be asking yourself, what is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)? TK is an early learning program for students who turn 4 by August 31. It provides children who exhibit a need, an opportunity to engage in a high quality early learning experience. Per state law, Transitional Kindergarten mirrors the district's traditional kindergarten program but delivers preschool content/skills. In most cases, TK students will continue into regular kindergarten the following year, however there may be instances when a student is promoted to first grade instead.
We are excited to add to this outstanding early learning opportunity for our community. If you are interested in
learning more about the CSD preschool programs, please contact Columbia Elementary School or the CSD District
Office for more information. We are committed to starting students out with the knowledge and skills necessary to
enhance their learning experience in the Columbia School District. The best intervention is prevention and we are
looking to get our youngest learners off to a dynamic start to their education.
Todd Hilberg, Superintendent