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Published on January 17, 2024
San Diego Unified Rolls Out Pre-Enrollment for Universal Transitional Kindergarten for 2024-25Source: Google Street View

Starting January 22, parents in San Diego can enroll their 4-year-olds in Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) for the 2024-25 school year. The pre-enrollment window, which lasts until February 2, aims to prepare youngsters for kindergarten through a full-day program that balances academic learning with creative playtime. According to a statement from the San Diego Unified School District, UTK is now the first step in education, available to all eligible kids within the district.

Eligibility revolves around age; if children turn 4 by September 1, they can be pre-enrolled at their local school. This year, about 300 extra spaces have been introduced, bringing the total number of available seats to approximately 5,200. Santos Gonzalez, the Early Childhood Education Director for the district, highlighted the district's dedication, “The increase in UTK seats being offered for the upcoming school year represents the district’s commitment to our littlest learners,” he said.

Each UTK classroom boasts a pair of educators and aligns its schedule with the elementary school's, ensuring consistency across the educational experience. Beyond the academic perks, these young students also receive complimentary, healthful breakfasts and lunches during school days. In a nod to the program's comprehensive benefits, Board of Education President Shana Hazan stated, “Not only does Universal Transitional Kindergarten help every child reach their potential, our free full-day program in every neighborhood provides a wonderful childcare option for working parents without making a dent in their wallets.”

The process for pre-enrollment is straightforward, parents can contact their neighborhood school directly starting January 22. Families will be guided to the nearest school with available slots if capacity is reached. According to an overview by the San Diego Unified School District, after the initial window closes on February 2, enrollment will persist through the end of the current school year and throughout the summer. This staggered approach endeavors to accommodate as many families as possible.

Superintendent Lamont Jackson underscored the broader implications of UTK, emphasizing its role in establishing a fundamental learning environment for children. This sentiment was expressed in his statement, “For many parents, a UTK classroom may be their child’s first structured learning environment, and it’s a true partnership between families, teachers, and the district.” With a vision of positive academic beginnings, the district aims for a collaboration that fosters a sense of belonging among students as they embark on their educational journey.

To learn more or use the UTK School Finder, interested parents can click here.