Preschool / ECE
D181 Early Childhood Program
To provide a quality, developmentally appropriate preschool program for 3-5 year-olds of all ability levels within the D181 community.
An innovative preschool program that excels in preparing children for today and tomorrow.
It is the mission of the District 181 Early Childhood Program to identify and respond to all children’s unique learning needs within a safe and nurturing classroom community. Staff will foster a partnership with families to encourage all children to learn and grow to reach their potential.
About Our Program
The D181 early childhood program incorporates research-based practices by using a play-based model that includes active learning, exploration, and student initiated learning. To prepare students for kindergarten, an emphasis is also placed on self-regulation, independence, language development, and interpersonal skills.
We have two inclusive classrooms for 3-5 year old students with and without disabilities. Approximately half of the students in the blended program are enrolled as tuition-based students and the other half of the students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The students are taught by teachers who hold Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) certifications in early childhood education as well as special education certification. An integrated service approach is utilized and includes a licensed speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and a social worker working within the classroom environment on a weekly basis. A certified school psychologist and English Language Learner (ELL) teacher also works with the students and collaborates with the team. In addition to the certified teachers and related service providers, there are instructional assistants that support each classroom. All of the students’ diverse learning needs are met by having a low student-to-teacher ratio, which provides opportunities for individual and small group attention.
We provide speech and language services for children ages 3-5 with mild to moderate speech/language disorders. Based on the needs of the child, weekly appointments are set up and the caregiver brings the child to Oak School to receive the speech/language services. These services are referred to as Walk-in Speech Services.
Related service team members include a speech therapist, occupational therapist, and social worker. The related services team is available to support the classroom by collaborating with teachers to provide integrated services within the classroom through large group activities, small group activities, and/or individual sessions. The occupational therapist targets a student’s fine motor and visual motor development for functional classroom participation (i.e. handwriting development) well as their sensory processing skills. The speech language pathologist targets a student’s expressive and receptive language skills, vocabulary skills, speech sound skills for functional communication in the classroom setting. The social worker addresses a child’s social emotional needs through whole group instruction using a social/emotional curriculum.