Preschool Information (English)

  • The Gurnee Elementary School District 56 Preschool Program provides early education classroom experiences to children who are aged three to five who live within the school district and meet eligibility requirements.  Your child will be screened to determine eligibility for the program.  Some of the classrooms are considered At Risk and include children who meet At Risk Eligibility criteria.  Some of these students in these classrooms also have special education needs that are met within the classroom setting.  The rest of our classrooms (Early Childhood) are only for children with significant special education needs.  All of our preschool classes meet five days per week, generally.  Parent Involvement is an important component of school success, and parents are required to attend certain activities and sometimes spend time in the classroom. 

    The At Risk Class (Early Learning) is designed to help those children who are at risk for future school success.  This class setting provides experiences that stimulate learning in all areas and helps improve individual weaknesses.  Eligibility for the program is based on a child’s performance on the preschool screening, along with the presence of one or more risk factors.  While there are a number of possible risk factors, more common risk factors include:  low income, single parent household, limited use of English, significant medical history (e.g., premature birth, history of ear infections), and parents/siblings with current or a history of school problems.  Some of these students may also have special education needs, as identified by an individual assessment, and which require an IEP (Individualized Education Plan).  These needs could be in the areas of speech/language, fine or gross motor, preacademic skills, self-help or behavior.  These services will primarily be provided in the classroom.  There is a maximum of 20 students in this setting, with one teacher and one aide.

    The Early Childhood Class provides more specialized services for students.  It is considered a self-contained special education setting for children with more significant learning needs.  All of these students have been evaluated individually and found eligible for an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) to meet their educational needs.  These needs again may be in the areas of speech/language, fine motor, gross motor, self-help, preacademic skills or behavior.  The services to meet these needs will primarily be provided in the classroom, although some of them may be provided outside of the classroom in a small group.  This class has a maximum of 10 students, with one teacher and one aide.

    A third type of service offered to preschool children is speech/language therapy.  If a child scores below average on the screening, only on the speech/language portion, the child’s skills are further examined through an evaluation.  If the child is then found eligible for speech and language therapy, the child is seen by a district speech/language pathologist one or two times per week for this therapy.