The Olympia School District offers a variety of Early Childhood programs. Educational and family support services are available to children from infancy to kindergarten age, through several of our elementary schools and in cooperation with other community early learning providers.
Infant Toddler Program
Our Infant-Toddler program is located at LP Brown Elementary and provides services to children with developmental delays between birth and age 3, with an emphasis on supporting their families. Services and supports are available to all families of eligible students who reside within the district’s boundaries. A combination of home visits, Toddler Groups, therapy appointments, and parenting education programs are individually designed for each young child and family. We collaborate with South Sound Parent to Parent to provide Family Resources Coordination and offer physical and occupational therapy services through a contract with Providence St. Peter Hospital Therapy Services. Within 90 days of the child’s third birthday, he/she is evaluated to determine ongoing eligibility for special education support through the preschool program.
For additional information or to make a referral, please contact Cissy McCormick, Early Childhood Director. 360-596-7542 firstname.lastname@example.org
We have 8 inclusive preschool classes in 7 of our elementary schools (LP Brown, Boston Harbor, Hansen, Madison, McKenny, McLane and Roosevelt). Each of our preschools serves both students with developmental delays and those who are typically developing. All but two of our preschools offer half day (2 ½ hour) sessions Tuesdays through Fridays. There are morning and afternoon sessions of preschool. We have two full day preschool classrooms, designed to support students on the autism spectrum (ASD), who require a highly structured program and more intensive services. Typically developing peers join that class in the mornings and afternoons. Our preschools use the Tools of the Mind curriculum, which emphasizes intentional make-believe play and strategies to build children’s self-regulation skills. The ASD class uses the STAR program, an ABA (applied behavior analysis) approach using Discrete Trial Training, Pivotal Response Training, and Functional Routines.
Students With Developmental Delays (3-4 year olds)
Students with developmental concerns can be referred for evaluation by family or community members. Developmental evaluations address skills in cognition, communication, motor, social and adaptive skills, compared to students of the same age. Evaluations are conducted by a multi-disciplinary team. Eligibility is based on federal and state regulations. Students who qualify for specially designed instruction may receive support from special education preschool teachers, speech/language therapists, occupational/physical therapists, vision specialist based on individual needs. Students eligible for and in need of specially designed instruction will have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) describing the student’s goals, supports, and services.
Peer Models (all peers must be at least 3 years old before Sept. 1st)
- Partnership with Sound to Harbor Head Start/ECEAP(at McLane and LP Brown): Nine students at LB Brown and 18 students at McLane (mostly 4 year olds) participate as peers. Eligibility based on low family income, determined by Head Start/ECEAP staff.
- Olympia School District Preschool Tuition Program (at Boston Harbor, LP Brown, Hansen, Madison, McKenny, Roosevelt): Up to 9 students per session pay tuition to Olympia School District at the following rates: full-fee = $181.50 per month for 10 months (based on 33 weeks of preschool per year) and reduced-fee = $66.00 per month, if families qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
- Title 1 support students who are determined to be at-risk for developmental delays, based on screening results, can participate without paying tuition
Preschool Schedule Times
Early Release Times
During an early release day for K-8 students, there are no AM or PM preschool classes.
During an early release day for K-5 students, there are no AM or PM preschool classes.
Transition To Kindergarten
Students who will turn 5 prior to Sept. 1st are eligible for kindergarten. Most students transitioning from preschool programs to kindergarten will register and enroll in their neighborhood school. Neighborhood school is determined by the address at which the child sleeps/resides most nights of the week.
Kindergarten students with special education needs receive specially designed instruction and other services as part of their instruction day. Services are provided based on each child’s IEP (Individualized Education Program), which is developed by school team members and parents, together.
Early Entrance to Kindergarten
Some children whose birthdays fall after September 1st may have already acquired the skills to participate successfully in kindergarten. Olympia School District has developed policy and procedures for consideration of Early Entrance to Kindergarten. To be considered for Early Entrance (early_entrance_letter.pdf), a student’s birthday must fall between September 1 and October 31 of the current school year. Students with later birthdates will NOT be considered. All early entrance applicants must successfully complete the established screening process. Applications will not be considered after the first full week of school each fall.
Some kindergartners may require a more specialized program, as determined individually by each student’s IEP team. For students who require a more specialized program as kindergartners, parents will collaborate with school team members to determine the appropriate program.
Integrated Kindergarten (2 classes at McLane Elementary)
Some students who require a higher level of specially designed instruction and support may transition from preschool to Integrated Kindergarten. These placements are made based on individual student needs and IEP team decisions. Integrated Kindergarten teachers are dually certified in general and special education and are supported by para-educators. Class size is 18-20 students, several of whom are students with special education needs; the rest are typically developing students. Integrated Kindergarten is a full day program. The Tools of the Mind curriculum is used in Integrated Kindergarten.
For additional information regarding Early Childhood Programs or to make a referral, please contact Cissy McCormick, Early Childhood Director. 360-596-7542 email@example.com
Other Helpful Links:
Hanen “It Takes Two to Talk” program http://www.hanen.org/About-Hanen/Hanen-for-Parents.aspx
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI ) http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/Families/default.aspx
Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) http://www.del.wa.gov/
Link to Washington State Early Learning and Development Guidelines, http://www.k12.wa.us/EarlyLearning/benchmarks.aspx
Link to Washington Administrative Code http://www.k12.wa.us/RulesRegs.aspx