Teacher in classroom with small children.
Universal Transitional Kindergarten — or UTK — instruction gives young learners an important foundational year before heading into kindergarten. Photo courtesy of San Diego Unified School District.

The San Diego Unified School District will start rolling out its Universal Transitional Kindergarten (UTK) program Wednesday, opening a “Pre-Enrollment Priority Window” to allow families to apply for a spot in the program.

Open to all children living in the district who will be age 4 by September, UTK is the newest grade level for students before getting to kindergarten. UTK is set to be offered at 118 district campuses in the 2023-24 school year, with “no more than 24 students in classrooms, which are staffed by two educators who help support social-emotional function, peer interaction, and create opportunities for discovery, exploration, and problem-solving,” according to San Diego Unified.

Seats are limited at each campus, and priority will be given to resident children who live within the district boundaries. If seats fill up at one school, however, a space might be offered at another campus.

Pre-enrolling enters a student’s information into the system. Families will receive word about their child’s enrollment status by April 3.

Pre-enrollment forms will be available on the district’s website starting Feb. 1, along with more information about eligibility, priority enrollment and requirements. Pre-enrollment continues through Feb. 28.