Every classroom in our school hosts a variety of children with special needs, like all public schools do. Those children who qualify for Special Education have an Individualized Education Plan, after being evaluated and deemed eligible at Child Find in Student Services. The school district provides services to eligible children, for no fee, at our preschool when a child reaches their 3rd birthday. Sometimes children from outside of our attendance area (Frederick, Firestone, and Dacono) are placed at Spark! Discovery Preschool, but most children at Spark! Discovery Preschool are from our area. You may notice that we have busses which pull up to our school at drop off and pick up; this is because transportation, if a family/child are eligible, is a part of special education services.
Speech/Language Services: The majority of children with special needs at our school have needs in the area of speech or language. For this reason, we host 1 full time and 2 part time Speech/Language Pathologists (SLP). These SLPs host individual, small group, and whole group instruction in our preschool classes in an inclusive fashion. This a benefit to all preschoolers, as all preschoolers are language learners.
Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT) Services: Some children have needs in the area of gross and fine motor movement. We host a half time OT and a part time PT, who are a part of our special education team of instructors.
Special Education Teachers: Approximately half of our preschool teachers have their Master’s degree in Special Education, with an Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or some other associated area of study such as Psychology. This means that approximately half of the preschool class is comprised of typically developing children and approximately half of the preschool class has special needs. The classroom teacher is then able to meet the needs of all children, with the support of additional specialized staff such as speech/language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapy (OT), and physical therapy (PT). The typical class size in this environment is either 14 or 16 children and the class is supported by the teacher and a paraprofessional.
Significant Support Needs (SSN) Classroom: Starting in the fall of 2014, for children with more significant special needs, we have a smaller, more individualized class where we offer special education services as well. This class consists of a Special Education preschool teacher, a paraprofessional, and up to six children. There may be additional support staff in place for individual children in order to best serve the needs of the individual child. Children in this class receive more specialized instruction, in a smaller setting, and are often included in other preschool classes throughout the day, with one-on-one support from an adult.
Special Education Facilitator: There are many services, meetings, interventions, and individual plans to support. We host a half-time Building Team Leader for special education. This person is responsible for supporting our school’s special education team in the special education process in ensuring positive outcomes for students and best practice implementation for teaching staff.
Referral Process: If families would like to make a referral to a specialist, please discuss this with the School Special Education Facilitator. We host a Child Find satellite office at Spark! Discovery Preschool, to handle questions or concerns about child development, behavior, or mental health. If you have questions about your child’s health, you should call our health clerk. She will answer your questions or forward you to a SVVSD nurse.
Child Find at Spark! Discovery Preschool: For children ages birth to five (who are not attending a district preschool already), developmental screenings and evaluations are provided by a District Child Find Assessment Team at Spark! Discovery Preschool (555 8th St., Frederick). This Child Find Assessment Team may be comprised of School Psychologists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, a School Nurse, and Early Childhood Special Education Teachers. Autism and Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Specialists consult as needed.
Birth through Three (Part C):Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP): The Spark! Discovery Preschool Child Find Assessment Team works collaboratively with Envision in Weld County and others to determine eligibility and assist in the development of Individualized Family Service Plans, IFSP’s, for children birth to 3 year olds. Home-based services are provided for children who are eligible. Part C Gives rights to eligible infants and toddlers and their families from birth until the child’s third birthday; services are developed by a team and written into an IFSP. Services are delivered in a natural environment for the child and family. Please call the Child Find Office at (720-652-7906) to begin the process.
Preschoolers with Special Needs (Three through Five – Part B): The Spark! Discovery Preschool Child Find Assessment Team completes screenings and evaluations. If the child is determined eligible for Special Education following an evaluation at Child Find, an Individualized Education Plan is developed. The eligible student is placed in a district preschool where Special Education services are provided in an integrated preschool setting. Please call the Child Find office at Spark! Discovery Preschool at 720-652-7906.
The District is required to provide Special Education to eligible children when a child reaches their 3rd birthday. The District must provide a Free Appropriate Public Education that meets the individualized needs of the child and sometimes this means attending an appropriate preschool outside of the attendance area. The District has a limited number of preschool programs therefore, the attendance/residency area program may be full when the child is identified for special education. In this case, another program would be recommended. To attend preschool, a child must be 3 years of age. There are 2, 3 or 4 half-day programs available. No charge to parents for eligible programs and services.
Individual Learning Plans
Senate Bill 08-212, Colorado’s Achievement Plan for Kids (CAP4K), passed in 2008. CAP4K included specific provisions for school readiness including a required assessment for all Preschool students and development of a school readiness plan beginning fall of 2013.
In response to these regulations, we utilize the state school readiness assessment, Teaching Strategies GOLD, to measure your child’s growth and development. This is an authentic, ongoing assessment used to determine your child’s growth in the following developmental and academic content areas: Cognitive, Language, Social/Emotional, Physical, Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies, and The Arts. Information collected through the assessments provides teachers with targeted instruction opportunities for individual students and small groups of students, thereby strengthening the learning environment for students.
With a strong, early start preschoolers in SVVSD will be more likely to continually succeed in school. School Readiness supports teachers’ ability to create responsive learning environments that ensure academic and developmental growth for students. This includes promoting awareness of developmentally appropriate practices that support hands-on learning experiences and challenges students’ thinking.
This assessment information will inform your child’s school readiness plan and will be shared with you throughout the school year. Your child’s teacher will provide each parent with a copy of your child’s School Readiness Plan, which also meets the requirements for the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP). Review the plan and include any additional strengths and goals to support your child’s learning. It is required that you sign and return one copy for our records.
Other Plans for Academic or Behavioral Assistance
A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a systemic, continuous improvement framework in which data-based problem-solving and decision making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students. A Multi-Tiered System of Supports helps our school to organize resources through alignment of academic standards and behavioral expectations, implemented with fidelity and sustained over time, in order to accelerate the performance of every student to achieve and/or exceed proficiency.