Summit Public Schools

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Pre-School Program

Description of Programs

A full continuum of special education programs is available to students three to five years of age who have been evaluated by the child study team and found eligible for special education and related services.

When a preschooler is found eligible and classified as "a preschool child with a disability," an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) that describes in detail the child's present level of functioning, goals and objectives, and special education program is developed by the IEP team (parents, case manager, general education teacher, and special education teacher) and implemented after parents have provided written consent. Programs are designed to appropriately meet each preschooler's learning needs in the least restrictive environment. When the IEP team determines that a student's needs cannot be met with supplementary aids and services in an early childhood program operated by an agency other than the board of education, program options in district are considered.

Summit operates preschool classes that are located at The Primary Centers at Wilson and Jefferson schools. Self-contained classes are taught by certified special education teachers and are comprised of up to 12 youngsters 3-5 years of age. Two of the self-contained classes are based on the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). The remaining classes are general education classes with a maximum of 16 students. Of the 16, up to 9 of them are 3-5 year old typical preschoolers. No more than 7 youngsters who are classified as "a preschool child with a disability" are included in the general education setting. Children gain admittance to the general education classes via a lottery.

In addition to teachers and instructional assistants, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and behavior analysts provide related services and/or consultation in accordance with the IEPs of classified students.

With the exception of the full-day self-contained class, preschool classes are in session 12.5 hours a week, five days a week (Monday through Friday). A full-day program (26.5 hours) is available Monday through Friday for students who qualify. Decisions relative to program placement are made by the IEP team to ensure that the unique learning needs of each student are met.