Philosophy:The Early Childhood Special Education Program is based on the philosophy that each child is viewed as a unique individual with the right to grow and develop to his/her full potential in all aspects of life. Various conditions can cause limitations on "normal" development. Early interventions can maximize a child's potential and minimize the effects of the disabling condition. The value of parents as active participants in the education and training of their child and their need for support is also emphasized.
The Early Childhood Special Education Program seeks to identify disabilities and delays as well as strengths for children who are three to kindergarten age. Those identified strengths and weaknesses will determine programming for the individual child specifying goals and objectives to be reached.
The program also stresses the importance of collaboration between various professionals and inter-agency cooperation to provide the best programming for an individual child. The services provided by the Republic Early Childhood Special Education Program include assessment, classroom and itinerant teachers, speech therapists, occupational and physical therapists, teacher assistants, and a nurse.
Eligibility Criteria:The multidisciplinary team may determine a child is eligible for services when the following conditions are met:
The child's development is significantly below that of his/her peers.
Significantly below is defined as performance at/or below 1.5 standard deviations of the mean on standardized assessment instruments in any TWO developmental areas OR below 2.0 standard deviations in any ONE area of development except for the area of speech.
Areas of development that can be used for eligibility determination include:
1. Cognitive/General Intelligence
2. Adaptive Behavior
3. Communication (Speech and Language)
4. Physical/Motor (Gross and Fine)
If eligible, the child's Individualized Education Plan will determine the type of services and the amount of service(s) per week.
Service Delivery Options:Students can receive services in a variety of settings based upon the least restrictive environment as determined by the Individualized Educational Program (IEP).Settings include:Home
Itinerant Services Outside the Home
Early Childhood Setting
Early Childhood Special Education SettingThe Early Childhood Special Education Setting is based upon the non-categorical classroom concept. This grouping has been found to be the best practice in early childhood special education. We serve children with a wide variety of disabilities. Our classroom setting includes half-day sessions with both severely and profoundly disabled children mixed in with children who have moderate disabilities.Transportation is provided at no cost to students in this setting who require the service as part of their IEP. Speech and language, occupational, and physical therapies are also provided as specified by the IEP.