Transitional Kindergarten

Gehlen Catholic's Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a five-day a week full day program offered to children five years old who are developmentally young and who need an additional year of growing so that they may be successful when entering a full-day kindergarten program. It is a bridge between preschool and kindergarten for those students who, in essence, need time to absorb and express ideas, learn more about friendships, assert their independence, and examine the world around them.

What are the overall goals of TK?

The transitional kindergarten program offers a nurturing environment with meaningful, developmentally-appropriate, hands-on enrichment experiences for children to develop at their own pace in:

  • Social skills (cooperation, friendship, decision-making, self-confidence, listening skills, problem solving)
  • Emoptional well-being (positive attitude, self-responsibility and self-help skills; respect for self and others)
  • Physical skills (fine and gross motor skills; confidence in physical capabilities, use of all senses for total learning)
  • Intellectual skills (independent thinking, memory, problem-solving skills, language and literacy skills, understanding of the world)
  • Spirituality (experience wonder and awe in God’s creation, develop a relationship with God, express gratitude for God’s many gifts, use prayer as communication with God, faith).

Parents of TK children are to be commended for acknowledging the benefits of a smoother, longer transition for their children, a benefit which will increase their child’s success throughout the years ahead.


Who qualifies for TK?

Gehlen Catholic's TK welcomes children of all faiths who will be five years old by September 15th of the year in which they are enrolled in TK. It is preferable that children have attended preschool prior to enrollment in TK.

How does TK operate?

Gehlen Catholic’s TK follows the school calendar (180 days) and hours (8:25 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.). The first half of the TK day is academically-based with instruction by a certified teacher. Students will benefit from a rich curriculum which includes prayer, language and literature enrichment, science and math experiences. The second half of the day will be activities-based under the certified teacher's planning, direction and assessment. The afternoon of TK will include rest, snack, and creative play time as well as classes in physical education, library, health and music.

Gehlen Catholic's TK program is a state accredited program which meets and exceeds state guidelines and developmentally appropriate standards.

What is the class size?

Gehlen Catholic's TK class is composed of up to 20 students. If numbers exceed 16, a teacher associate may join students and teacher. The number of sections will be based upon demand.


How is TK different from Kindergarten?

Gehlen Catholic's TK is a kindergarten curriculum program provided in an appropriate, developmentally-paced format. It strives to help children grow in the skills that are needed for full day kindergarten. Students will spend the majority of their time involved in hands-on activities rather than in paper and pencil-type work.

TK students are at different levels socially, emotionally and academically from kindergarten students. Consequently, the approach to their learning is somewhat different, being much more activity-based and hands-on at the TK-level. The attention span and self-control of children in TK are developing as their abilities/skills increase throughout the year.

What is the typical TK day like?


Arrival Lunch

Opening: Attendance, Prayer & Pledge Recess

Morning Mtg.: Calendar & Weather Activity Read Aloud

Read Aloud Specials (Music, PE, library, arts &

Literacy crafts, etc)

Recess & Snack 

Math Free Choice/Play

Literacy Centers Daily Review/Smile Circle

Religion/Guidance Dismissal

Is tuition assistance available?

Tuition assistance is available for families who qualify. All families of potential TK students will be asked to complete the application to the Msgr. Lafferty School Tuition Organization (MLTF) known as TADS (similar to FAFSA for college tuition assistance). Once completed, tuition assistance will be allocated according to need. In addition, families may apply for the USDA's Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. (See also Parents/Financial Assistance.) In previous years, qualifying children of families attending TK, were awarded additional scholarships thanks to the generosity of the Community Foundation for Greater Plymouth County and the United Way grants. Tuition assistance beyond MLTF will only be available in the future if tuition assistance grants are secured.


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2023 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.