B.L.O.C.K.S. Preschool coordinates referrals, assessment and identification of children from age 3 to 5 years of age who may be in need of special education services. For eligible children, the continuum of options includes Therapy Services, Inclusion Classrooms, and Substantially Separate Classrooms. Special Education services for preschool age children are a combination of the recommended practices of Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education with the emphasis on high quality curriculum with systematic individual interventions to meet the child's IEP goals and objectives.
Substantially Separate Classrooms
Substantially separate classrooms serve students who require a highly modified preschool curriculum in separate classrooms rather than in general education programs. Each classroom is comprised of 6-10 students with special education needs. In each classroom there is a certified special education teacher and one teacher assistant. Additional classroom aides and/or assistants are assigned as required for individual students. Specialists' services include but are not limited to speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, vision and orientation & mobility. Dependent upon the set educational goal(s), services may be provided through in-class and/or pullout model.
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Specialized language-based classrooms for children on the Autism Spectrum, who may benefit from intensive staff to student ratio and support. The preschool curriculum utilizes approaches based on the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) techniques, including discrete trial training and task analysis, positive behavioral support and total communication techniques.
- Emotional Disabilities (ED): This classroom offers a highly structured self-contained program with a strong behavioral support component. These classes work on academic and social skills training.
- Developmental Delays (DD): These classrooms service preschoolers identified with developmental delays. The program focuses on developing cognitive, social/emotional communication, physical, and self-help skills.
- Multiple Disabilities (MD): This program provides services to students who have multiple severe disabilities. Some may have medical needs. This program is designed to address the development of communication, mobility, social, and independent daily living skills.
Inclusion classrooms serve students with special needs and are able to access the standard preschool curriculum with minor accommodations. The students are educated with typically developing same age peers. The inclusion classroom is generally composed of 7 special education students and 8 typically developing students. Each classroom is staffed with a certified special education teacher and an assistant teacher. Speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and behavioral support are provided to students when needed in and out of the classroom environment.
Students ages three to five and in need of therapy in one developmental area such as communication or motor development may be offered therapy only services. Parents accompany their child for the session(s) with a speech/language pathologist, occupational therapist, and/or physical therapist. Parents are also provided with consultation on how to best support their child at home.
Bilingual Special Education Services
Bilingual special education services are provided to students who are English Language Learners. Students have access to related services such as speech-language services. A bilingual speech/language therapist is available to provide native language support to students whose first language is Spanish or Portuguese.