• About Jefferson

    About 2/3 of Jefferson students have some type of a special need or disability and 1/3 of students are typically developing students who pay tuition to attend the school. Students may begin school at Jefferson after their third birthday and can attend until they reach kindergarten-age.
    What are the different early childhood programs offered in District 200?
    Instructional (special education), Blended Classrooms (special education and typical peers), Phonology (significant focus on speech acquisition) and Speech (mild speech/language issues) comprise the four types of programs offered in our district. Most classes take place at Jefferson.
    Why does District 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 Jefferson 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. There is research that shows about the overall importance and return on investment of early childhood education. 
    Are there early childhood classes for children without special education needs in District 200?
    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.
    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.
    How is Jefferson 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, and has an early childhood, special education, and English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsements. Jefferson is the only school in the State of Illinois where all teachers have an ESL endorsement.