Mercer County Elementary School provides preschool services for children age 3 with identified delays and age 4 with either identified delays or who meet income guidelines. A child who is a Mercer County resident may qualify for the program in one of four ways:
• Speech or Language Delays
• Delays in Personal Social Skills, Adaptive Skills, Gross and Fine Motor Skills, Receptive and Expressive Communication, and/or Cognitive Skills
• Other Health Impairments/Conditions
• Qualifications for Income Eligible (160% of the poverty guidelines)
Please know that determining eligibility is a multi-step process that takes time. Children may qualify income eligible or with an identified need.
All potential preschoolers participate in a screening as part of the enrollment process.
Children participating in the school screening will be assessed using the DIAL-4. Children are screened in the five areas of development including; • Social-Emotional
• Motor (fine and gross)
• Communication (Speech and Language.)
Interventions have been designed to coincide with items presented during the screening. Interventions are provided to families based on results of the screening and match the area and item of the potential delay. Potential students also attend four days a week for a minimum of 3 weeks and receive intervention from the teachers as well. The intervention is documented to show progress or lack thereof, and the data is analyzed to determine next steps. Intervention attendance does not guarantee acceptance into the Preschool Program.
Analysis of Progress:
The preschool team looks at the progress data and determines if the child should proceed to a referral, changes in intervention delivery, or if the child has made enough progress to eliminate concerns.
Evaluation and Determination:
If the preschool team completes a referral, the parent/guardian is invited to an Admissions and Release Committee (ARC) meeting to discuss an evaluation plan. Parent permission is required to proceed with an evaluation. A written report of the evaluation is completed prior to the placement ARC. Evaluation determines qualification for the preschool program on the basis of eligibility for services.
Each child coming into the preschool program is screened and, if needed, evaluated to determine their individual needs. Plans are made at the ARC meeting to provide for individual needs. Children qualifying speech, language, physical therapy and/or occupational therapy are provided those services as a part of the preschool program. Therapists are available in the school setting to address individual needs. The interventions and adaptations are shared with each child’s teacher so those practices may be used wherever they are needed throughout the school day in order to maximize each child’s participation within the school environment and classroom activities.
Children not identified with a need may still qualify for preschool based upon income. Please bring with you either the previous year’s W2 form or your last two pay stubs. Children qualify as income eligible if the income in the household is 160% of poverty rate in 2016-2017.