The Gesell Developmental Assessment, administered by a Hillsborough teacher, trained by the Gesell Institute, is given to any kindergartener who in April is displaying young behaviors as observed by the childs kindergarten teacher. Verification of a childs developmental age of 5 ½ or younger, as measured by the Gesell Developmental Assessment, and parental approval are required for a child to be eligible for participation in the TP program.
TP has been available as an option for Hillsborough children since 1989. The first group of TP students was graduated from high school in June of 2002. At that time, results of a longitudinal study were presented to the Board of Education and the public to demonstrate program effectiveness. The study found that 83% of the TP students went on to two or four-year colleges including Drexel, Emerson, Rutgers, Temple and the Universities of Delaware, Maryland and Massachusetts. 22% of the TP students were invited into the National Honor Society. Additionally, 11% of the TP students participated in the Gifted and Talented Program. In comparison, those student who were recommended for the TP Program but who did not participate had a 33% retention rate, a higher rate of Special Education Classification, lower attendance at 2 and 4 year colleges , and a lower rate of gifted students. Results indicated that the TP participants benefited from the Transitional Primary Program and performed as well as or better than the children who were deemed ready for first grade.