Summer Newsletter 2021

Policy Update: Universal TK Is Here

With the passage of the 2021-2022 California budget, transitional kindergarten (TK) will be expanded, with full implementation of universal TK slated for the 2025-26 school year. This expansion is an enormous shift to the early education and K-12 landscape. Some highlights for UTK are:

DIAL EE supports districts with UTK 

While more detail for UTK is being worked out by the assembly, like many others, the Center for District Innovation and Leadership in Early Education (DIAL EE) is asking itself, “Now what?” as we think about our next steps.

The expansion of TK, including revisions to the existing program that address current concerns about ratios, class size, and developmentally appropriate curriculum and instruction, presents school districts with an opportunity to strengthen their overall early learning programs (preschool – kindergarten). For DIAL EE, this is a moment to reflect upon the groundwork laid by early educators and the opportunity to work collaboratively with those in early education and K-12 to strengthen the alignment and integration between these two systems to meet the diverse needs of young students and families. DIAL EE will be supporting its school district partners with their implementation plans of UTK, including developing resources and tools. We will share these resources and tools with the broader community in hopes that it may be helpful for those who are also asking the question, “Now what?”


There has been a Unicorn sighting! In the episode, The Bookends, Dr. Janet Schulze, Superintendent of Pittsburg Unified School District, sat down with Dr. Carla Bryant to discuss how she uses early education as a strategy to achieve better outcomes for children from preschool through high school.

Follow the Buzz

Find out what’s buzzing in early education and P-12 alignment efforts with us on Follow the Buzz, a podcast that highlights innovative ideas and practices, big and small, wherever they are. In the first episode, Soul Sisters: Multicultural Representation Matters in Children’s Literature, Crystal Hawkins, Wendy Hernandez, and LaWanda Wesley talk about the importance of Soul Sisters, written by Crystal Hawkins and Ingrid Estrada-Darley, to increase multicultural representation. Together, they discuss why children need to see themselves as the protagonists in books and its impacts on their development.


California STEAM Symposium

DIAL EE has partnered with California STEAM Symposium to increase the presence of early education administrators and educations at the 2021 conference. DIAL EE will provide 100 registration scholarships to the 2021 California STEAM Symposium. Click the flyer button to find out how you can make use of the scholarship.

Toolkit Feedback

We recently released Enhancing the Visibility of Early Education in California School Districts toolkit to support school districts to increase the visibility of early education in their districts. We welcome any feedback you may have. Feedback link