About the Project

Early Edge California (formerly Preschool California) and a panel of experts have worked together to develop TKCalifornia to serve the needs of teachers and administrators as they implement transitional kindergarten. TKCalifornia is the result of a content creation and a review process led by 20 experts from across the state, including local school districts, county offices of education, researchers and state-level decision makers. Their expertise spans the areas of language and literacy development, early math, social emotional development and executive function, culturally responsive education and dual language acquisition.

The content and materials on this site are based upon the following key agreements and recommendations identified by our experts as critical to TK students’ learning:

  • reflecting  the continuum of development of all children, recognizing the breadth of their experience, and meeting them where they are to help them advance;
  • fostering warm, responsive relationships;
  • supporting family involvement;
  • offering examples of good teaching;
  • providing concrete guidance for teachers by showing how to sequence instruction and presenting easy-to-use resources;
  • helping teachers understand the use of formative assessment;
  • supporting teachers in differentiating instruction;
  • articulating with preschool and kindergarten;
  • focusing on the essential strands for teachers to build the foundation for kindergarten success; and
  • providing integrated learning and instruction.

Members of our expert planning and advisory committees, and other leaders who contributed, include:

  1. Barbara Blakely, retired transitional kindergarten teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District
  2. Shirley Esau, Principal, Washington Elementary, Kingsburg Elementary Charter School District
  3. Dr. Linda Espinosa, retired Early Childhood Education Professor and Dual Language Learner Researcher and Consultant
  4. Elia Garcia, Santa Clara County Office of Education, Early Learning Services
  5. Sylvia Gonzalez, Director of Early Childhood Education, San Diego Unified School District 
  6. Dave Gordon, Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools
  7. Wilma Hashimoto, Associate Director Early Care and Education/Local Planning Council, Fresno County Office of Education
  8. Whit Hayslip, Early Childhood Education Consultant and former Assistant Superintendent of Early Childhood Education, Los Angeles Unified School District
  9. Dr. Lisa Kaufman, Director of Early Learning Services, Santa Clara County Office of Education
  10. Camille Maben, Division Director, California Department of Education, Child Development Division
  11. Elizabeth Magruder, Early Childhood Education consultant and teacher
  12. Peter Mangione, Co-Director, Center for Child & Family Studies, WestEd
  13. Dr. Carola Matera, Assistant Professor, California State University Channel Islands
  14. Dr. Linda Platas, Program Officer, Heising-Simons Foundation
  15. Cheri Reaves, Consultant, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
  16. Janis Shinmei, Program Coordinator, Early Childhood Education, Los Angeles Unified School District
  17. Christopher Steinhauser, Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent of Schools
  18. Dr. Deborah Stipek, Professor, School of Education, Stanford University
  19. Gary Waddell, Deputy Superintendent, Instructional Services, San Mateo County Office of Education
  20. Joyce Wright, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support Services, Sacramento County Office of Education

The process and meetings were facilitated by Vickie Ramos, Deputy Field Director, Preschool California; Hedy Andersson, Field Coordinator, Preschool California; and Susan True, Executive Director, First 5 Santa Cruz.

TKCalifornia is operated and maintained by Early Edge California, a statewide nonprofit advocacy organization that is working to increase access to early learning opportunities for all of California’s children, starting with those who need it most. Early Edge California is proud to have sponsored Senate Bill 1381 by Senator Joe Simitian, which changed the kindergarten entry date and created transitional kindergarten, giving our youngest kindergarteners a head start that will yield significant payoffs in future academic success.

This project was created in 2012 and continues to expand and grow. For more information about the expert planning and advisory committees, leaders who contributed, and facilitators involved with Early Edge California (formerly Preschool California), please contact Hedy Andersson at handersson@earlyedgecalifornia.org. TKCalifornia will continue to be fine tuned and developed over time, and Early Edge California looks forward to connecting with educators and implementers in the field to provide updated, high-quality resources to support TK implementation. 

The development of this website was supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to sustainable, research-based solutions in education, science, and policy.