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), Preschool Language service (PALS), STARS 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) individually or in small groups based upon their IEP. Specialized transportation is provided within the region to the assigned regional district site.
Preschool Articulation and Language Skills (PALS) is a program for preschool students with speech and language development needs. The students receive services from preschool special educators and speech therapists at one of two community preschool sites (CECDC or SECDC) in a group that introduces early academic activities and uses specialized curriculum for early speaking, reading and writing. Specialized transportation is provided within the region to the assigned regional district site.
STARS (Students Together are Reaching Success) Preschool classes follow the Higley Unified School District calendar. Classes are taught by Early Childhood Special Education teachers. Trained para-professionals assist students. Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapies are provided within the class along with Hearing Impairment and Visual Impairment services when needed. Small class ratios of adults to children and small group specialized instruction are provided in these self-contained classrooms.
The STARS program is available in sessions offered morning and early afternoon 3 days per week for 6 hours weekly instruction. STARS has 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. 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 age learning. Specialized transportation is provided within the region to the assigned regional district site.