Date: March 18, 2005
Dear County and District Superintendents:
This letter is to inform you of a specific change to California Education Code (EC) Section 37202 pertaining to extended-day kindergarten classes that are operated as part of an early primary program (pursuant to EC 8970-8974). An early primary program consists of same-age students or any combination of state preschool or child development program, kindergarten, first, second, or third grade students who are provided integrated, experiential, and developmentally appropriate instruction. Thus, within an early primary program, kindergarteners may exceed the four-hour maximum instructional day otherwise applicable to them (pursuant to EC 46111).
Since the inception of the early primary program provisions, any school district offering an extended-day kindergarten class in some but not all of its schools has had to seek a waiver of EC Section 37202. This section requires that all students at a given grade level in a district receive "an equal length" of instructional time.
Assembly Bill 2407 (Chapter 946, Statutes of 2004) revised EC Section 37202 to incorporate a specific, ongoing exception from the equal-length-of-time requirement for extended-day kindergarten classes operated as part of an early primary program. Thus, waivers of EC Section 37202 for this purpose are no longer needed.
By way of background, please note that the following criteria apply to an early primary program:
Moreover, if a school district wishes to implement an extended-day kindergarten class as part of an early primary program, the following steps should be taken:
To reiterate, a waiver of EC Section 37202 is no longer needed to operate an extended-day kindergarten as part of an early primary program.
If you have any questions or need any additional information regarding the provisions of AB 2407, the establishment of an early primary program, or the operation of an extended-day kindergarten, please contact the Elementary Education Office, at 916-319-0839. If you have any questions regarding waivers, please contact the Waiver Office, at 916-319-0824.