State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile

State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile - California

June 2018

This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.

Kindergarten Requirements
What is the compulsory school age? Age 6 Cal. Educ. Code § 48200
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Age 5 on or before September 1 Cal. Educ. Code § 48000
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Opt-in: Age 5, district decision - if governing board determines it is in best interest of child. Any child with a birthday falling between the previous December 2 cutoff date and the new cutoff in any year may be admitted to a transitional kindergarten program.
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? No
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? Yes — Half-Day Cal. Educ. Code § 46117
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 600 hours per year for kindergarten (3 hours/day). 840 hours per year for grades 1-3 (3.83 hours/day) Cal. Educ. Code § 46117;
Cal. Educ. Code § 46112;
Cal. Educ. Code § 46201
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? To avoid penalties, districts must maintain class sizes of 33 or less in kindergarten and 32 or less in grades 1-3. Grant funding is available to reduce kindergarten to 1:20 or lower and grades 1-3 to 1:25 or lower. Cal. Educ. Code § 41376, Cal. Educ. Code § 41378, Cal. Educ. Code § 54525
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Teacher preparation: First time credential applicants who will be responsible for reading instruction must take the reading instruction competence assessment. All teacher preparation programs must offer instruction in the knowledge, skills and abilities required by the assessment. Cal. Educ. Code § 44283
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3?
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? School districts with early primary programs must provide educational continuity from preschool through K-3, including: establishing connections with preschool programs to ensure smooth transitions. Cal. Educ. Code § 8974
Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness? What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? Assessments are required for grade 3. Cal. Educ. Code § 60642.5
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? Results are used to inform instruction and intervention. Cal. Educ. Code § 60642.5
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Interventions available in grades 2 and 3. Interventions include summer school or additional instruction outside of the standard school year. Cal. Educ. Code § 48070.5
Is there a third grade retention policy? Third grade retention is required unless the student’s teacher determines in writing that retention is not the appropriate intervention. Cal. Educ. Code § 48070.5
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required? Parental consultation is required and parental appeal is allowed. Cal. Educ. Code § 48070.5
Social-Emotional Learning
Where is social-emotional development emphasized in statute? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.

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