Early Childhood Procedures
Sudbury Public Schools has at least annual outreach and continuous liaison with those groups listed below, from which students may be identified who may be in need of special education services.
- Medical professionals/clinic health care agencies
- Private nursery schools/daycare facilities
- Parent organizations
- Early intervention programs
- Agencies serving migrant and/or homeless persons
Note: See sample letter that follows.
Sudbury Public Schools conducts developmental screenings for three- and four-year-olds and all children of age to enter kindergarten. Such screenings are designed to review a child’s development and to assist in identification of those children who should be referred for an evaluation to determine potential eligibility for special education. These screenings are held three to four times during the school year and take place at the Peter Noyes Elementary School.
Requests for screening are to be directed to the Early Childhood Administrator, Stephanie Juriansz, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participation in the screening process for three- and four-year-olds is optional on the part of parents.
Early Intervention Transition Services
The school district encourages agencies serving the needs of young children to refer children for potential special education determinations of eligibility at or before 2 1/2 years of age to ensure continuity of services.
Upon referral, Sudbury begins the evaluation process for children who are 2 1/2 years of age and are receiving services through an early intervention program. An initial evaluation will be conducted to ensure that if such a child is found eligible for special education services, those services begin promptly at age 3. If special education eligibility is determined, Sudbury develops an Individual Education Program following a team meeting with sufficient time for parental/guardian review prior to the child turning 3.
Programs for Young Children Three and Four Years Old
The district ensures that programs are available for children three and four years of age. Such programs are developmentally appropriate and specially designed for children three and four years of age.
Refer to the section entitled Programs and Services for a detailed description of current preschool classes.
Early Childhood Developmental Screening
A “child find process” is developed by every public school in order to identify those children in need of special education evaluation and services. The Sudbury Public Schools uses pre-school screening as a first step in this process, when appropriate. Children participate in screening when requested by parents/guardians, pediatricians, or early intervention staff. Eligibility for the Sudbury Public School's preschool program as a student with special needs is determined through referral, evaluation and the special education team process utilizing the three-prong approach to eligibility (determination of a disability, determination of the child's lack of progress being related to the disability, the need for the child to receive special education and/or related services). In general, the Sudbury preschool program is recommended for students requiring specially designed instruction through a preschool classroom usually in addition to specific related services. For students with mild to moderate needs related services only may be recommended and these can be provided through a drop-in model.
Pre-school screening is a brief assessment procedure designed to identify children who, because of potential learning disabilities or handicapping conditions, should move to the special education referral process which is a more intensive level of diagnostic assessment. Screening serves as a first step in an evaluation and potential intervention process that is intended to identify children with a disability(ies) who require specially designed instruction and/or related services. Through briefly surveying a child’s abilities in language, cognition, motor skills and social development, the screening process is used to determine quickly and efficiently whether or not a child should undergo further assessment and evaluation. Note that screening is a voluntary process and parents retain the right to request a special education evaluation at any time. In addition, there are times when the district may propose a special education evaluation or use of early intervention reports and assessments to determine eligibility when it is anticipated that there is a high likelihood that a child will be eligible under special education regulations. Sudbury Public Schools works in close cooperation with Early Intervention to avoid duplicating assessments of children as well as to facilitate transition from Early Intervention to the public school system.
Note: Early Childhood, participation in the screening process is optional on the part of parents.