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Special Education Preschool

The PAUSD Special Education Preschool Program was established to meet the needs of children ages 3 to 5 years old who have Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs). The preschool program focuses on the whole child and strives to help children overcome challenges they may encounter in educational environments.

Children learn to think and problem-solve through play in language-rich environments that encourage independence and responsibility. Our programs provide the foundation for future academic success by encouraging children to become independent, self-confident, and inquisitive learners. Each child’s unique abilities are fostered in our preschool. We respect and respond positively to each child’s learning strengths and differences.

Collaborative efforts among home, school, service providers, and the community are essential to enhance the preschool experience. Together, everyone can prepare our children for the next learning environment based on their individual needs. Educational services are best delivered through a collaborative approach. A strong family/community component is crucial to the overall effectiveness of the educational program.

Questions can be directed to: Keri Bates, School Psychologist (650) 856-0833 x3854

Who is eligible for the program?

The PAUSD Special Education Preschool Program is designed for students ages 3 to 5 years old. Students may show developmental delays in communication, physical development, emotional health, or ability to learn and play within typical age-appropriate ranges.

How are children identified?

Children can be identified for special education preschool programming in a variety of ways, including parent contacts, pediatrician/family physician referrals, early childhood screenings, and teacher referrals.

How are children evaluated?

With parent participation and written consent, an evaluation team works together to conduct a multidisciplinary, child-friendly assessment. The team typically consists of the child’s parents, classroom teachers, district psychologist, an administrator, speech therapist, and an occupational therapist. The assessment determines the nature and extent of the disability and whether or not the child is eligible for special education and related services. If eligible, a team including parents and teachers develop an IEP for the child tailored to his/her special needs.

What is IDEA?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education At (IDEA) is the law that provisions service and support to children with disabilities throughout the United States. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to children. IDEA insures that children with disabilities receive a “free and appropriate education” (FAPE). This means that schools will provide children who are eligible with specialized instruction and/or supports to address school readiness and developmental delays.

IDEA Basic Steps

  • Child is identified as potentially requiring special education services.
  • Child is evaluated.
  • After evaluation, eligibility is determined.
  • An IEP meeting is scheduled. The IEP meeting must be held within 60 days of written receipt of the assessment plan.
  • The IEP is written.
  • The plan is carried out. Services are provided and the student is receiving special education support.
  • Ongoing measurements of progress and reporting to parents.
  • The IEP is a working document that is reviewed regularly (at least once annually) to ensure that the student’s educational needs are being met.
  • Re-evaluation occurs every three years to determine continued eligibility under IDEA criteria.