• Special Education Preschool for children ages 3 and not yet Kindergarten eligible

    Locations:  Cooley Early Child Development Center, Sossaman Early Child Development Center
    In preschool, there are a variety of placement options including but not limited to: Preschool Speech service (PAC), STARS Preschool (self-contained) and BEST Preschool (self-contained). The programs are described in more detail below. Services for preschool are determined through evaluation and the IEP team. Preschool Articulation Class (PAC) is a program for preschool students with articulation only needs. The students receive speech services at one of two community preschool sites (CECDC or SECDC) in small groups. Specialized transportation is provided within the region to the assigned regional district site.

    The STARS (Students Together are Reaching Success) and BEST (Building Essential Skills Together) programs are available in sessions offered morning and early afternoon 4 days per week for a total of 10 hours of weekly instruction. The STARS and BEST programs utilize a developmental curriculum with an emphasis on language development and language acquisition to support learning in pre-academic, behavior, cognition and physical/motor skills. Communication skill work also includes social skills for appropriate interactions with others. Therapies are also provided as a support to learning activities in the classroom, as determined by the student’s IEP.

    Curriculum is based on Arizona Early Childhood standards and Teaching Strategies GOLD assessments. Early speaking, reading, writing, and instructional activities are  intended to prepare children for later school-aged learning. Specialized transportation is provided within the region to the assigned regional district site.

    The STARS and BEST Preschool Programs follow the Higley Unified School District calendar. Classes are taught by Early Childhood Special Education teachers and additional support is provided by trained paraprofessionals. Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapies are provided within the class along with Hearing Impairment and Visual Impairment services when determined by each student's IEP. Small class ratios of adults to children and small group specialized instruction are provided in these self-contained classrooms. Students are placed in the STARS or BEST Preschool Programs based on their needs as determined by each student’s IEP.