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Spring Hill Preschool Program: Building Together the Foundations for our Future
The Spring Hill Elementary Preschool Program primarily serves children with developmental delays, however, we also have spots for peers and State Preschool Program students. The Early Childhood Staff is committed to supporting the families of young children within our community. Research shows that the experiences and learning that occur prior to entering kindergarten greatly impact children's success in elementary school. All children develop at different rates. Although, children who are developing slower or in a different way than their peers, may be at risk for future learning problems. Eligibility for services, for our peer model program, and for our State Preschool Program are determined through screenings.
Screenings are held monthly for all children 3-5 years of age (and not kindergarten eligible) to determine appropriate placement. For more information, please call the Special Services Early Childhood office at 913-592-7104.
What will happen when we arrive? You will check in at the SHES office upon arrival and we will guide you to the preschool pod. There will be a brief introduction to staff members. At this time staff members will lead your child into the screening area. Your confidence at the time of separation is the best way to make this a smooth transition. However, you are also welcome to walk with your child to the screening area and help them get settled.
What will my child be doing while I wait? Our early childhood staff will engage your child in games and play activities while observing the following developmental areas: cognitive, speech and language, fine motor, gross motor, and social/emotional skills. A standardized screening tool is used for these observations. We also screen every child's vision and hearing.
When will I find out the result of the screening? After screenings are over the screening team reviews all of the information on each child to determine eligibility for the program. The results and recommendations are shared with parents/guardians during your scheduled consultation with the school psychologist.
What happens next? Depending on the information you provided and what we observe on screening day, our team will make a recommendation. These may include:
- Parents work with the student at home and come back in six months for a screening to check progress.
- Further evaluation. With your consent a more formal evaluation may be conducted in one or more developmental areas.
- A peer model spot or placement on a waiting list.
Below is a list and brief description of the Early Childhood Programs that we offer.
State Preschool Program (Formerly At Risk): Some children who are 4 before August 31st and meet certain eligibility criteria may qualify for the State Preschool Program. The purpose of this program is to provide a quality early learning environment for children who are 4 years old. Some of the eligibility criteria include: living in a single parent home, are limited in English proficiency, born to a teen parent, have parents who lack a high school diploma or GED, or were referred by SRS.
Peer Models: We also screen children to be peer models. The peer model program provides an opportunity for typically developing children to be integrated into our Early Childhood Special Education classrooms to serve as role models for our children with special needs.
Requirements for peer models include:
- Complete age appropriate screening process
- Demonstrate age-appropriate skills in the areas of play, social, behavior, speech, language, and motor.
- Be a Spring Hill School District resident
- Be three years old before September 1 of the school year
- Attend the program consistently
- Not be kindergarten-eligible
Peer models do pay a monthly fee depending on the number of days they attend preschool.
Early Childhood Special Education: Children that may have development delays in one or more of the following areas: Cognitive, Motor Skills, Speech, Social Skills, Language, and Behavior will receive priority. These children also need to have a screening and evaluation to determine eligibility.
FAQ about the Program
Are all children accepted into the program? No, we are not an open enrollment pre-school program. We primarily serve children with developmental delays. Within our classrooms we also have peer model spots for students who qualify.
What are my options if my child does not qualify for services or as a peer model? If your child does not qualify for services or as a peer model we encourage you to find an appropriate community preschool experience. Two local resources are the Spring Hill United Methodist Community Preschool and Daybrook Learning Center. The team might give recommendations for parents to work with their student at home. They may also recommend you bring your student back in six months for a screening to check progress or concerns at that time.
Is transportation available? Yes, for students in our special education program busing is provided for free. For students in our State and Peer Model Programs busing is available on a pay-to-ride basis. Bus fees may be waived based on distance (if the home address is 2.5 miles from Spring Hill Elementary) or if families meet qualifying free lunch income levels. Transportation is only available to pick up and drop off locations in district.