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Special Education Preschool

Three girls

District 63 provides a continuum of services for preschool-aged children (3-5) with special needs, including:

Center-based speech therapy: Designed for children who are developing typically except for mild to moderate articulation delays and/or mild expressive language delays, this therapy is delivered at the Early Learning Center (ELC), during one or two half-hour sessions per week.

Classroom-based intervention:  

  • Blended special needs pre-kindergarten: half-day (2½ hours), multi-age classroom comprising of students who qualify for the Illinois Preschool for All Program, community students, and students with IEPs. The special needs children receive their IEP-related services in and out of the classroom.
  • Structured teaching classroom: half-day (2½ hours) classroom servicing students with moderate-to-severe communication, social-emotional, and sensory needs. These students have a high need for adult support, individualized instruction, and alternative communication, language, and/or behavior systems. Related Services are integrated into the classroom.
  • Life skills/multiple needs classroom: a half-day (2½ hours) classroom for students with severe functional delays who have a high need for adult support, individualized instruction, alternative communication or language systems, and/or motor adaptations. These children may or may not have significant medical needs. Related services are integrated into the classroom.

Students are placed into classrooms based on the least restrictive environment and their need for adult support to meet their educational goals.

Related Services
While attending the First Steps Preschool Program, your child may also be eligible for therapy services related to his/her special needs, including:

  • Speech/language therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Social work or counseling
  • Assistive technology
  • Nursing
  • Vision services
  • Hearing services