For the first time, the Long Beach Unified School District will offer full-day kindergarten and full-day transitional kindergarten (TK) widely this fall. Combined with expanded after-school offerings that are planned at little or no cost, these enhanced programs could save families hundreds of dollars each month on child care in the new school year.
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LBUSD announced the expanded offerings this week after its Board of Education approved memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Teachers Association of Long Beach on the implementation of full-day kindergarten and full-day transitional kindergarten.
Until now, the typical school day for such programs lasted about three hours. The new programs, which will be offered at every elementary and K-8 school, will double that time to about six hours.
“We know that many parents are eager to take advantage of these extended learning opportunities,” LBUSD Superintendent Jill Baker said. “These all-day sessions will provide convenient, economical, developmentally appropriate instruction and learning experiences that prepare children for success in subsequent grade levels. We’re excited to offer these expanded programs.”
For 2022-23, TK classes will serve children born between Sept. 2, 2017 and Feb. 2, 2018. Families with children born after Feb. 2, 2018 can contact LBUSD’s Early Learning and Elementary Office at (562) 997-8247 to ask about enrollment options. The fall TK classes will be capped at 24 students served by two adults, creating a ratio of 12 students for every adult.
Kindergarten this fall will serve students born between Sept. 2, 2016 and Sept. 1, 2017.
Parents who do not want their children to experience the full-day schedule can pick up their children earlier, after the state minimum number of minutes (180 minutes for TK and 200 minutes for kindergarten), without interfering with instruction in core subjects like math and reading. The extended day simply provides additional time for activities such as drama and art, including ample opportunities for outside, play-based learning.
All TK and kindergarten classrooms will feature new furniture. Outdoor play equipment will allow for age-appropriate activities. The full-day schedule and new furniture will provide for play, outdoor learning, art, science and other important developmental opportunities.
All elementary, middle and K-8 schools will provide Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) programs that build upon the current after-school program called WRAP (Winners Reaching Amazing Potential). These programs will be made available to students in grades TK-6 at little to no cost. LBUSD’s Child Development Centers School Age Care and Kids’ Club also will support this programming, along with community-based partners. More site-specific information will be forthcoming.