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It’s back to school for some Roseville students

Dry Creek schools started Wednesday; high schools begin Monday
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Teacher Eileen Gordon had to slow the children down and remind them to clean up after themselves once they were done eating their snacks.

The kids were eager to move on - to first run around the playground and then to the big event, a visit to the library at Heritage Oak Elementary School in Roseville on Friday morning.

"We're going to get books!" Yasmine Meqbel squealed, during snack time.

This would be the transitional kindergartners' first visit to the library.

"We're thinking about all the thousands of books they're going to have," Gordon said.

Campuses in the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District began the new school year Wednesday. Some of the schools introduced transitional kindergarten classes, which serve children who aren't quite ready for kindergarten.

Transitional kindergarten emphasizes social, emotional and motor skill development, and focuses less on academics.

"Transitional kindergarten slows things down and the (kids) get to do more things appropriate for them, which is great," said Principal Amy Banks.

Under the Kindergarten Readiness Act passed in 2010, California mandates that public school districts offer transitional kindergarten beginning with the 2012-13 year.

Under the law, a child is eligible for transitional kindergarten if he turns 5 years old between Nov. 2 and Dec. 2. A child must be 5 years old by Nov. 1 to enter regular kindergarten. For 2013, that date moves up to Oct. 1. For 2014 and thereafter, the cut-off is Sept. 1.

Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Roseville City School District and Eureka Union School District already had transitional kindergarten classes in place, but are expanding those programs.

The new school year brought some other changes to Dry Creek campuses, including the addition of technological upgrades to about 90 classrooms funded through Measure E These classrooms now have flat-panel televisions, LCD projectors, document cameras and InterWrite pads. Heritage Oak Elementary School kindergarten teacher Elinor McCormick said staff underwent training but using the new technology is still an adjustment.

"We had to just jump in and it's really exciting," McCormick said.

The Roseville Joint Union High School District starts the new school year Monday, Eureka Union School District kids start Wednesday and Roseville City School District begins Tuesday, Aug. 21.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.