EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
The main focus of a home visit is to meet the need(s) of the child. The primary aim of each visit is to assist the child and his or her family with meeting milestones.
Community outings include playgroups and meet-ups for children in the ECE program and their families. These events are usually held in the afternoons and provide adults and children with the opportunity to meet in a public place outside of the school or home environment. These outings allow families to see how their young learner interacts with his or her peers. Community outings also allow parents and guardians to meet and interact as well.
The in-school workshops address a number of topics that are requested by families of ECE students. Previous topics have included: Sign Language, Parent/Guardian Rights, IEP workshops, and transitioning. Child care is provided during each workshop.
EARLY START TODDLERS
The Early Start Toddler program is designed for children 18 months to 3 years of age.
This program is offered 2 days a week from 8:30am to 11:30am. Families may request a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday schedule.
The Early Start Toddler program focuses on language development and peer interaction. Children in the toddler program receive early exposure to language and strengthen their social skills through play-based activities.
In addition to language acquisition and peer development, the Early Start Toddler program also assists students with the development and expansion of fundamental academic skills, such as reading and writing. This program offers a research based, developmentally appropriate, reading and writing center to help young learners master basic skills. At the reading center students may use free time to look at books. During this time students learn foundational skills such as how to hold a book properly and in which direction to turn the book’s pages. At the writing center students can engage in activities such as scribbling and “free” drawing.
The Creative Curriculum and project approach are heavily intertwined in the ISD Pre-school program. Student engagement with a chosen topic of interest shapes teacher lesson plans. ECE preschool teachers guide each child as a resource and fellow learner.
Our Preschool program offers a rich bilingual environment for children to experience both English and American Sign Language. Each interaction throughout the day, whether it is in the classroom setting, lunch or recess, is viewed as an opportunity to build language and social skills.
The Pre-Kindergarten program is designed for children 4 to 5 years of age. This program is offered full-time during regular Willard school hours, Monday through Friday.
The Pre-Kindergarten program prepares young learners for the more structured kindergarten classroom setting. Students in this program begin learning words and word formation for kindergarten readiness. These young learners also engage in play-based activities to encourage collaboration, problem solving and peer development.