The Early Learning Center is a district wide comprehensive pre-school program for students that are between the ages of three and five years-old. The program is supported through school district funds, State of Illinois Pre-School for All grant, and Early Childhood Special Education dollars. The school’s belief is that, first and foremost, all of our students are pre-school students – with some being identified with special needs and requiring an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in compliance with federal/state special education rules and regulations.
All students who enter the program must qualify based on a screening, diagnostic testing, existing reports from previous school district, or those entering from the State of Illinois Early Intervention Services. For the Pre-K At-Risk/Pre-School for All Grant, students need to be identified as being at-risk based on program criteria following state guidelines. Students who require special education services need to be evaluated as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).
The program includes a variety of classroom settings and related services, with student to teacher ratios based on the needs of the student. These include larger pre-k classrooms, smaller special education classrooms, and blended classrooms where students with IEPs are educated in a standard pre-k classroom. Teaching and learning in the Early Learning Center takes place in a student centered, integrated learning environment. The curriculum supports the Illinois Early Learning Standards and the program is half-day (AM/PM), five days a week. All students must participate in one of the scheduled pre-school screenings in order to be considered for the program.