New kindergarten program at SIA will focus on younger students

by | Dec 15, 2022 | Other News

Strelitz International Academy plans to launch a new transitional kindergarten program for eligible new and re-enrolling students for the upcoming school year. The SIA TK program is designed for students old enough for kindergarten, but who need an extra year to develop kindergarten readiness skills. Transitional Kindergarten bridges the gap between preschool and kindergarten, providing an extra year to acquire kindergarten academic, social, and emotional readiness for students who need it.

In Virginia, a student must turn five years old by September 30 of their kindergarten year in order to start kindergarten. That means that some students start kindergarten before their fifth birthday, while others on the older end of the group, turn six years old as early as October 1. As a result of being so young, some students with summer birthdays find themselves struggling to keep up with their peers. In many cases, an extra year to grow and mature has long-term positive consequences.

The TK program is not for all younger children of kindergarten age. A child’s kindergarten readiness is determined through teacher evaluation and parent observation of both academic and social skills. Children who may be ready for kindergarten academically but may need time to work on impulse control, social skills, and fine motor control may benefit from the new program. Many studies have shown that students who are ahead of their peers in academic, social, and emotional skills reap long-term positive benefits on their social, emotional, and academic success.

In TK, students will have the opportunity to hone this confidence into leadership skills and advanced academics in their later elementary school years and beyond. Transitional Kindergarten gives these students the advantage that many of their older kindergarten peers have, merely as a result of their age. SIA’s transitional kindergarten program is designed to provide parents with a developmentally appropriate, research-based program which grants children that gift.

While parents are sometimes hesitant to hold their child back due to social stigmas from their own school experience, there are many long-term benefits of delaying a younger child’s start of kindergartern. Instead of struggling to keep up as the youngest students in the class, when completing the transitional kindergarten program, these children might be the leaders in kindergarten the following year.

Over the years, SIA has had parents decide to hold their children back in the EY4 class or Kindergarten in order to give their child the gift of a year. The transitional kindergarten class will give these students the advantages of both the extra play of EY4 and the academic skills of kindergarten. Transitional Kindergarten students will have a similar curriculum to kindergarten, but they will have more time to work on their skills within the IB World School Program. The full day class, 8 am until 3:30 pm, will have an option to include fullcare. Students will work on reading, writing, and math with more time to play. These students will also participate in the same specialty and enrichment classes as the SIA Kindergarten program, including PE, art, music, Hebrew, and violin, with the addition of swimming.

For more information on Transitional Kindergarten at the Strelitz International Academy, contact Carin Simon, Admissions Director, at 757-424-4327.

Strelitz International Academy is now enrolling for the 2023-2024 school year for all grades.

Strelitz International Academy is a recipient of funds from United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Annual Campaign.

-Carin Simon