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San Diego school board member on TK: 'It was a little bumpy'

Teddy LaPietra wears a hat he made on his first day in transitional kindergarten, Aug. 29, 2022.
Courtesy of Sara LaPietra
Teddy LaPietra wears a hat he made on his first day in transitional kindergarten. San Diego, Calif. Aug. 29, 2022.

A new grade called Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is being expanded to all 4-year-olds across California. The San Diego Unified School District is offering the grade to every 4-year-old this year, ahead of the schedule set by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

But there have been bumps in the rollout, said School Board Trustee Shana Hazan.

"What I've heard from families is it was a little bumpy," she said. "But all the feedback I have received is that kids are doing well, that things are falling into place. But it shouldn't have to be bumpy.”


Hazan sat down with KPBS to talk about TK, including why she didn't put her own 4-year-old daughter in the program this year.

Here's some of what she said:

On why families shouldn't have to experience bumps in the rollout:

"I'm a mom, and I know it's like everything we want, we wanted yesterday. Because time is of the essence when we're talking about our children, when we're talking about students. Every day matters, every week matters. And saying, 'oh, well, next year,' — next year isn't good enough for kids who are in that grade and in that class this year. And so I know that we are all going as fast as we can."

On why she didn't send her 4-year-old daughter to TK and instead kept her in her existing preschool program:


"I did not know with confidence that putting her into a TK classroom in the district would provide that same environment and experience. And I think some of my concerns were: 'Are we ready? Do we have the facilities? Do we have staff who are equipped? 'I didn't have confidence in that as a parent, and I didn't want my child to be a guinea pig. And that's why I'm really committed to making sure that every single child has a good experience."

On how TK teachers are doing during the rollout:

“There are great things happening in our TK classrooms. We have wonderful educators who care deeply about our kids. We have not just one, but two wonderful educators in these classrooms. And we have a whole system that is committed to supporting the needs of these kids and getting it right."