Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is expanding

What is changing?

Starting with the 2022-23 school year,  all school districts in California, including SFUSD, will be required by state law to expand their Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classrooms until all 4 year olds are eligible for TK by 2025-26. SFUSD will phase in this expansion over the next four years in alignment with state law. Please see the below chart for the eligibility by school year:

*Mobile users: Please scroll to see the rest of the table.

2021-22 School Year

2022-23 School Year

2023-24 School Year

2024-25 School Year    

2025-26 School Year

Current TK eligibility:

Student turns 5 between 9/2-12/2

TK eligibility:

Student turns 5 between 9/2- 2/2

TK eligibility:

Student turns 5 between 9/2-4/2

TK eligibility:

Student turns 5 between 9/2-6/2

TK eligibility:

Student turns 5 between 9/2-9/1

What is Transitional Kindergarten?

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) bridges the preschool and Kindergarten years.  Taught by a multiple-subject credentialed teacher, TK is part of a two-year Kindergarten program that offers a modified curriculum which is based on the CA Preschool Learning Foundations and the Kindergarten Common Core Standards. This grade level provides children time to build necessary social, developmental, and academic skills for Kindergarten success and beyond. 

At the time of application, eligible students will be placed in Transitional Kindergarten for the 2022-2023 school year, then they will need to reapply the following year in order to continue into Kindergarten for the 2023-2024 school year.

Is Transitional Kindergarten mandatory?

No, even if a child is TK eligible, parents have a choice of whether they want to enroll their child in TK or preschool. 

How do I apply?

The application and enrollment process for Transitional Kindergarten is the same as for Kindergarten. Families who are interested in Transitional Kindergarten should complete a General TK-12 Enrollment Application form. Submit the form and supporting documents to the Educational Placement Center.

For the school year 2022-23, the deadline to submit is February 4, 2022.

Application forms and instructions can be found at or at 555 Franklin Street, Room 100; San Francisco, CA 94102.

What if I have already applied for TK for 2022-23?

You can submit a new online application or submit an application revision form. Both forms are available at or 555 Franklin Street, Room 100; San Francisco, CA 94102. 

Which schools have Transitional Kindergarten?

Currently, Transitional Kindergarten is offered at the following SFUSD Early Education Schools (EES) and Elementary Schools (ES). Later this fall, SFUSD will be adding new TK school sites to accommodate the additional students who are eligible for TK. Information about new TK sites will be shared publicly when it’s available.  Families interested in visiting Transitional Kindergarten classrooms should contact the sites directly to schedule a virtual tour. 


More Frequently Asked Questions about Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

My child turns 5 years old between September 2nd and February 2nd. What options do I have?

Parents must decide which environment is appropriate for their child. There are 2 options:

  • Parents may enroll in a District PreK program (or, if already enrolled in PreK, children may stay in PreK an additional year).  Subsidies or tuition for PreK still apply. These families are opting out of Transitional Kindergarten (TK).  


  • Parents may enroll their child in a SFUSD Transitional Kindergarten program.

What does a high quality TK environment look like?

TK sets the stage for learning through inquiry, exploration, and problem solving while introducing children to grade-level content standards.  The teacher and peers nurture language development through interactions and conversation.  The environment promotes independence, social emotional skills, and self-regulation that are essential for a successful entry into Kindergarten.


What are the TK teacher qualifications?

TK is taught by a multiple subject credentialed teacher (elementary school credential).  The Early Education Department provides support for the TK teacher through ongoing Professional Development and Coaching.

If there are more requests than spaces available at a given school, what are the TK program tiebreakers?

Students who are eligible and are requesting Transitional Kindergarten will be assigned to their highest ranked request as long as there is space at the school.  If there are more students applying than there are openings at a particular school, choice assignments will be made by looking at all the possible combinations of tie-breakers in the following hierarchical order.

  1. Presently enrolled in the SFUSD Early Education School offering TK.  Students who have been enrolled in a Pre-K program in the 2021-22 school year where TK will be offered in 2022-23 will receive this tiebreaker for their current school.
  2. Has a younger sibling enrolled in a SFUSD Pre-K program and are requesting placement at the same site.  In an effort to support families with siblings, the TK student will have a tiebreaker for the site where a younger sibling is already attending a pre-K program.  Siblings are defined as students with the same parent/guardian and living at the same address.
  3. Lives in an area of the city with the lowest average test scores.

What are my options if my TK age child has special needs?

Families should identify their child’s special need(s) on the Application Form and attach formal documentation. Individual considerations will be made for these children.

What is Assembly Bill 22 (AB 22) and what does that change for my child?

Beginning in the 2022–23 school year, all Local Education Agencies will be required to expand their transitional kindergarten (TK) classrooms with the requirement to offer TK to all four-year-olds by the 2025–26 school year. SFUSD plans to phase in enrollment and eligibility in alignment with AB 22.

AB 22 also establishes the following student-teacher ratios: 

  • 24 students to 3 adults: with 1 credentialed teacher and 2 paraprofessionals, or teacher aides, or
  • 20 students to 2 adults, with at least 1 credentialed teacher in the classroom.

What are the age requirements for Kindergarten and first grade?

California law requires that a child must be five years old on or before September 1, 2022 to be legally eligible for Kindergarten and six years old on or before September 1, 2022 to be legally eligible for first grade.

Who can I contact with more questions?

Please contact the SFUSD Educational Placement Center at (415) 241-6085 or the Early Education Department at (415) 379-2700 with any additional questions.