Latest Guides


Pasadena Unified Enrollment Window for Transitional Kindergarten Opens, First Lottery Application Window Closes Jan. 27

Published on Saturday, January 21, 2023 | 5:56 am

[Image courtesy Pasadena Unified School District]
The Pasadena Unified School District has started its open enrollment process for preschool and Transitional Kindergarten (TK) programs for young learners.

Transitional Kindergarten bridges the time between preschool and traditional Kindergarten. Designed for children who turn 5 years old between September 2 and December 2, Transitional Kindergarten gives young learners an academic and enriched foundation to succeed in school.

PUSD has offered a TK program since 2012. This school year 2022-2023, PUSD has shifted to the Universal TK design. Earlier, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that phases in transitional kindergarten (TK) access for all of California’s four-year-olds, beginning in 2022-23 and reaching full implementation by 2025-26. The state required governance teams to approve a plan for early childhood access for all four-year-olds by June 30, 2022.

“Universal TK means that parents are offered a free school program starting at age 4, based on the state’s guidelines for birthdays, rather than previous years, being 5 for Kindergarten,” said Lindsay Lewis, PUSD’s Director of Early Childhood Education. “In PUSD, parents are able to choose between TK and our state-subsidized preschool program.”

The Universal TK program is offered at these PUSD schools: Don Benito Elementary at 3700 Denair Street, Field Elementary at 3600 E Sierra Madre Blvd., Hamilton Elementary at 2089 Rose Villa Street, Jackson STEM Magnet at 593 W Woodbury Road in Altadena, Longfellow Elementary at 1065 E. Washington Blvd. in Pasadena, Madison Elementary at 515 Ashtabula Street, McKinley School at 325 S. Oak Knoll, Norma Coombs Elementary at 2600 Paloma Street, Washington Elementary STEM Magnet at 1520 N Raymond Ave., Webster Elementary at 2101 E. Washington Blvd., and Willard IB Elementary at 301 S. Madre Street in Pasadena.

“UTK is allowing parents of four-year-olds to be a part of an all-day school program in PUSD, which previously has only been offered to kids that turn 5 by September 5,” Lewis  said. “Another benefit of UTK is the ratio of 1:12 in the classrooms.  This small teacher-to-student ratio allows more specific attention to development needs and play-based structures.”

Parents should be aware that TK is taught by credentialed teachers from the K-12 system, which now includes Transitional Kindergarten. They should also know that TK is part of the public school system and is free for families.

Lewis added that kids who were born between Sept. 2, 2017 and Feb. 2, 2018 may enroll now for the 2022-2023 school year at schools that may have available spaces. Those who were born between Sept. 2, 2018 and April 2, 2019 may apply online to attend TK for the 2023-2024 school year at

The best way for parents to find out if TK is available near their home is to visit your neighborhood school, which will advise you to register for the TK program nearest your home address. 

Placement in Transitional Kindergarten is determined by the family’s residence address. If the TK program for your address is full, do not hesitate to contact the PUSD Office of Enrollment at (626) 396-3639.

The first lottery application window ends January 27 at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit

Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.

Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.

Make a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *