About Jefferson Early Childhood Center
To learn more about the critical services Jefferson Early Childhood Center Provides for our community's youngest and most vulnerable learners, we invite you to view the video below.
Jefferson Early Childhood Center: Programs & Services that Respond to a Child's Needs
Programs & Services
Fast Facts about Jefferson ECC:
What are the different early childhood programs offered at CUSD 200?
- Built in 1958 as an elementary school
- Capacity: 289
- Enrollment at Jefferson: 289 (2011-12)
- Enrollment at additional sites due to space constraints: 59 (2011-12)
- 2/3 (66%) of students have some type of a special need or disability
- Early childhood education for 3 & 4 year olds in the District
We provide the following types of Early Childhood programs:
1) Instructional (special education)
2) Blended Classrooms (special education and typical peers)
3) Phonology (significant speech issues)
4) Speech (mild speech/language issues)
Why does CUSD 200 have an early childhood program?
Federal and State mandates require school districts to provide an appropriate public education for children with special education needs beginning on their third birthday.
What is the “least restrictive environment?”
Districts are also legally required to educate children with special needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The LRE is an age-appropriate environment with typically developing peers to the maximum extent appropriate. In addition, districts must also ensure a continuum of placements to meet a wide range of needs for children with disabilities.
Does the early childhood program make a difference for children?
Yes- Approximately 90% to 95% of children exiting early childhood education go on to attend kindergarten at their neighborhood school. Many of these students require a lower level of special education service support and some children no longer require special education services.
Are there classes for children without special education needs?
Yes. We offer a tuition-based program which is open to ALL residents of District 200. Families of typically developing peers pay tuition to attend the program making their education cost neutral to the District. Blended classes are primarily comprised of typically developing peers and include some children with special needs.
Does the Jefferson facility negatively impact student achievement?
Yes. Lack of space and inappropriate building design do not allow for the amount of specific, targeted instruction necessary to ensure all students at Jefferson are learning at their highest level. Accomodations made due to facility challenges ultimately take away from valuable instructional time.
What other services are provided at the early childhood level?
We provide free early childhood education screening for children between the ages of three through five who reside within our attendance area. Approximately 350 to 400 children are screened each year with approximately 200 evaluations conducted for those children identified as having potential learning difficulties.
Why the growth in the Early Childhood Program?
More children are being identified with special education needs and disabilities at an earlier age due to availability of screening. An increased number of parents are seeking help due to an increased awareness that the earlier interventions increase the likelihood of the child’s current and future success.
How is the Jefferson ECC Program different from other, private preschool programs in the area?
The program and curriculum at Jefferson is aligned with the Illinois State Standards and makes for a seamless transition to kindergarten. Every teacher at Jefferson is certified to teach in the State of Illinois, has an early childhood and English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement. Jefferson is the only school in the State of Illinois where all teachers have an ESL endorsement.
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