Communications Across the District
Communicating TK's value to families is critical, and everyone from front office staff to superintendents can deliver the message about its benefits.
Creating a communications plan can guide the sequence in which you distribute information and develop materials needed to engage with district staff, families and the community about TK.
Districts have found that principal's meetings, and other gatherings where staff discuss important district updates, are prime opportunities to share information about TK implementation. See examples of district communication and presentations for more information. It is particularly critical for elementary school staff and district employees working directly with families and the community to receive communications training on TK, as they often serve as the primary messengers and trusted sources of information for families and community.
Creating Consistent Messaging
Work with your Public Information Office to develop a set of talking points that can articulate the benefits of transitional kindergarten. Wherever possible, incorporate important information about implementation in your own district. These talking points can be distributed to district administrators, school board members, administrators, teachers and staff (including front office staff) to ensure consistent messaging on the benefits of TK.
- California's kindergarten curriculum and standards have changed over the years, and many of the skills children were once taught in first grade are now taught in kindergarten. Transitional kindergarten is the right program at the right time.
- Transitional kindergarten serves as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten, giving children more time for hands-on, interactive learning.
- Transitional kindergarten provides children with the gift of time to learn skills that will help them build a strong foundation for success in elementary school.
Click here for more messaging ideas. Other resources for information about TK and messaging can be found in "Facts about TK" and "Sample Parent Recruitment Letter" on pages 4 and 16 of the Preschool California Transitional Kindergarten Parent Outreach Toolkit.
Offer Trainings to Ensure Consistent Messaging
Hold a series of training sessions for kindergarten and transitional kindergarten teachers to develop their understanding of TK. Offer similar trainings to all grade level teachers and school staff (aides, front office staff, etc) so they, too, can confidently answer questions families may have about TK, and articulate its benefits.
Designate Point People
Identify a few people at the school who can provide more in-depth information about transitional kindergarten to families. If the transitional kindergarten teacher has already been chosen by the time recruitment begins, involve him or her in conversations and meetings to help build the parent/teacher relationship.
For more information on TK communications, please see the Early Edge California (formerly Preschool California) Transitional Kindergarten Parent Outreach Toolkit and the CCSESA Transitional Kindergarten Planning Guide, 12.
Above material adapted from Preschool California Transitional Kindergarten Parent Outreach Toolkit.