The Los Altos School District hosted a presentation last week for the parents of preschoolers, aimed specifically at promoting the district’s transitional kindergarten and kindergarten programs.

Superintendent Jeff Baier and Sandra McGonagle, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, led the Nov. 16 event, outlining the programs’ benefits.

“While we have an incredibly strong academic program for students, we really want to be sure we’re developing future-ready skills for students, and it starts in our preschool and our TK and kindergarten program,” McGonagle said at the meeting.

LASD’s TK and kindergarten programs offer STEM, wellness, the arts, outdoor garden-based and indoor hands-on science and computer science. McGonagle said all LASD teachers personalize learning for their students, are paired with experienced LASD mentors to hone their skills, engage parents as educational partners and have access to a variety of resources to ensure student success.

Transitional kindergarten – a bridge between preschool and kindergarten that builds social, emotional and academic skills for kindergarten and beyond – is intended for children who turn 5 years old between Sept. 2, 2022, and Feb. 2, 2023.

Students in the TK program learn through active play and group activities, as well as a hands-on, project-based and collaborative curriculum.

The district’s teachers are key to its success, according to Baier.

“We are a strong, community-based school district with strong communities at each of our schools,” he said. “What we hear over and over again from our families is that they have tremendous appreciation for our teachers, the dedication of our teachers, the expertise of our teachers, the commitment of our teachers.”

Although LASD is focused on academic success, Baier added, families also appreciate the emphasis on the emotional and social development of their children and feel that their students are part of a community on campus.

Upcoming meetings

LASD has scheduled two Kindergarten and New Family Information Nights, where parents can learn about the district’s approach to education, teaching staff and academic program, from STEM to the arts.

• 7 p.m. Dec. 2: Families can meet in-person with the principals of the seven LASD elementary schools on their respective campuses, visit classrooms and ask questions of current parents. Registration is not required.

• 7 p.m. Dec. 15: Families can meet with Baier and McGonagle via Zoom. Registration is required at bit.ly/3coWrPp.

By

Staff Writer

Angela Tam covers local schools as the Town Crier's education reporter.