Your school district is required to provide a free appropriate public education for all children with disabilities who are age 3 through 21. Parents of preschool children who need, or are thought to need, special education and related services have the same rights as other school-age children. Special education and related services must begin on the child’s third (3rd) birthday for children served in an early intervention program or for those children referred for an evaluation 60 school days before their third birthday and found eligible. If the child’s third birthday occurs during the summer, the IEP team will determine when the school district’s services to the child will begin.
Transition from Early Intervention
Transition is the process of planning activities for the change from early intervention to preschool education. If your child is receiving early intervention services and it is suspected that your child might have a disability and may be eligible for preschool special education, the following activities should occur:
- At least 90 days and up to six (6) months prior to your child’s third birthday, the early intervention service coordinator should schedule a meeting with you to discuss transition. The school district will be invited to this meeting. Your consent is required to share information with the school district.
- If you consent to share information with the school district, you and the other participants at the meeting (early intervention service providers and school district personnel) will review records and determine whether or not your child is suspected of having a disability.
- A child, aged 3-5, with a disability may be declared eligible for special education services under the category of “developmental delay.” When the child turns six, an IEP meeting must be held to determine eligibility under one of the IDEA special education categories.
The evaluation procedures described in Section 2 apply to preschool children suspected of having a disability which will adversely affect educational performance.
The Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) may be used for a preschool child who is transitioning from early intervention and is found eligible for special education. If an IFSP is used, it must meet all the content requirements of an IEP and must be developed during a meeting in which the required participants are in attendance. In using the IFSP, the local school district must provide a detailed explanation of the differences between an IFSP and an IEP and obtain informed, written consent from you for the use of the IFSP.
The IEP or IFSP must be developed and services must be in effect beginning on the child’s 3rd birthday. The type, amount and location of special education services provided must be based on the child’s needs. The law requires that preschoolers receive their services together with children without disabilities, to the maximum extent appropriate.
Our Early Learning Programs
Oak Lawn-Hometown offers a continuum of special education services to meet the unique educational needs of the three to five year old students with disabilities. The range of available services is designed in compliance with the federal and state guidelines supporting the least restrictive environment in which services can be provided. Least restrictive environment means providing services in settings similar to programs provided to typical preschool children.
Preschool children are found eligible to participate in district services through an identification and assessment process. The assessment of preschool children focuses on the expectations and growth of the preschool child, and the evaluation of developmental skills, which are the foundation for academic and social learning. The assessed skill areas relate to academic functioning and are divided into five developmental domains: cognitive skills, fine and gross motor skills, self-help skills, social skills, and speech and language skills.
Oak Lawn-Hometown School District is responsible for providing services to preschool children who have been identified and received support through a birth to three early intervention agency or program. A transition plan is established between the early intervention agency and the district in order to provide appropriate services without interruption when the child turns three.
The Tuition Preschool is designed to educate children ages 3 through 5. The program will provide a positive beginning for each child’s school experience. Children age four attend three – five days a week, providing an option of a morning, afternoon or full-day session. Children age three attend two days a week, providing an option of a morning or afternoon sessions. The classroom is staffed with one teacher and one instructional assistant. Children are placed in this program through the Preschool Registration process.
Blended Early Learning
The Blended Early Learning Program is designed to educate children of all developmental abilities in a least restrictive environment, providing opportunities for optimal learning. Children attend five (5) days a week, providing an option of morning or afternoon sessions. Each session is 2.5 hours long. Children are placed in this program through the Preschool Screening process, transitioning from Early Intervention (EI) services, or by teacher recommendation.
The Early Childhood Education Program is designed to educate children that require individualized instruction in one or more developmental area (i.e., motor, language, concepts, self-help). This takes place in an environment, which is least restrictive and provides opportunities for optimal learning. Children attend five (5) days a week for a 2 ½ hour morning session. The decision for placement of a student in the Early Childhood Program is determined through the Child Find and IEP process.
Multi-Needs Early Childhood
The Multi-Needs Early Childhood Education Program is designed to provide more intensive individualized instruction and support for children with a variety of developmental and/or health needs. A higher teacher to student ratio is facilitated and classroom environments are highly visual and structured. The curriculum is aligned to the common core standards, however, the materials and assessments are both highly modified to accommodate the unique learning styles of the students. Children attend five days a week for a 2 ½ hour A.M. or P.M. session. Placement in the Multi-Needs program is determined through referral from Early Intervention, Child Find and IEP process.
EARLY CHILDHOOD SCREENING
Oak Lawn/Hometown District 123 will be screening all children from 3 to 5 years of age. The children will be screened in the areas of motor skills, concepts, self-help skills, social skills, and speech language development. Early childhood professionals will present play-based activities that will assess developmental skills. A certified trained staff member will review the results with you.
ALL preschoolers who reside in the Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 boundaries are eligible to attend free of charge.
EARLY CHILDHOOD SCREENING DATES
- Wednesday, August 22
Thursday, August 23
Friday, September 21
Thursday, October 18
Wednesday, October 31
Friday, December 7
Friday, January 25
Friday, February 22
Thursday, March 7
Thursday, April 11
Monday, May 20
Please call Kim Blitek at (708) 423-8363 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Ms. Carrie Comer
Early Childhood Program Supervisor
Early Childhood Development
Mrs. Kim Blitek
Early Childhood Program Secretary
10425 South Kolmar Avenue
Oak Lawn, IL 60453