In April 2018, the Ohio Department of Education awarded the Delaware City Schools Preschool with its first ever 5~Star rating for Step Up to Quality. The preschool program has maintained the 5-Star rating since that point in time.
What is Step Up To Quality? SUTQ is a rating system that awards one to five stars to learning and development programs that go above and beyond minimum licensing standards. Star-rated programs lay the foundation for children’s learning and development and build skills that are important for success in school and in life. This 5 Star rating means that DCS preschool has the following characteristics:
- Highly trained teachers
- Develop children’s school readiness skills
- Committed to continuous improvement
- Value relationships with families and communities
For the 2023-2024 school year, the Delaware City Schools Preschool Program offers a continuum of services to our students and families. We offer a general education preschool classroom, special education preschool classrooms, and itinerant services. Parents and staff collaborate to offer services that best fit individual student needs. Our preschool program incorporates typically developing children as peer models. We are a licensed program that follows the Ohio Early Learning Standards outlined by the Ohio Department of Education.
Because schools are held accountable for child find, this program has been developed to support preschool students that have been identified with disabilities. Specifically, our program provides special needs students with the necessary special education services to meet their individual delays outlined in their IEP. What makes our program so effective is that special needs students are given the opportunity to learn alongside peer models. These peer models serve as role models by providing positive interactions, language models, and appropriate play schemes. Since DCS offers a continuum of services, students’ individual needs can be met in a variety of ways and in many different settings.
For the 2023-2024 school year, the Delaware City Schools Preschool Program will have 8 half-day classrooms. Our half-day program has both a morning and afternoon session that lasts for 2.5 hours a day. The program operates Monday through Thursday. All classrooms are taught by a lead teacher and supported by at least one educational assistant.
Benefits for special needs students:
- Improve communication skills
- Improve social-emotional development
- Improve behavior
- Improve play and turn taking with peers
Benefits for peer models:
- Develop meaningful peer relationships
- Develop leadership and confidence in individual abilities
- Receive high quality instruction and curriculum
- Develop empathy and acceptance for all children
A quality preschool program begins with the effective integration of children with disabilities/delays with their typically developing peers. This is exactly our program. We encourage the belief that effective integration enhances the development of children with disabilities or delays as well as the development of typically developing children.
Our preschool program also rests upon the understanding that every child is different with an individual pattern of growth and development. Thus, all children are capable of learning when provided with developmentally appropriate learning opportunities from adults and other children. Our program curriculum, materials, and staff are responsive to each child’s abilities and interests. Different levels of ability and development are expected, accepted, and addressed in appropriate learning activities.
Activities begin at the point of each child’s level of ability and proceed in a developmental sequence taking into consideration each child’s interests, strengths, and needs. Included in the activities are the developmental areas of physical, social emotional, language, self-help and school readiness skills.
DCS preschool acknowledges that our families play a key role in the development of children. Therefore, we hope to assist families in identifying and accomplishing their goals for their child and to provide information to families which will enhance their child’s development. We join hands with each child’s family to provide quality learning experiences for each child.
Continuum of Services Offered
The General Education Classroom is taught by a licensed preschool teacher and supported by one educational assistant. Teacher to student ratio for this room is 2:18 with the majority of the student serving as peer models. This classroom will have up to 8 students with identified disabilities and at least 10 peer models.
The Special Education Classrooms is taught by a licensed preschool intervention specialist and supported by one educational assistant. Teacher to student ratio for these rooms is 2:16. The goal is to have up to 8 students with identified disabilities and 8 peer models.
The Itinerant Services Model involves a student being taught by a licensed preschool intervention specialist in a location other than one of our center-based classrooms. These services may take place in a community setting or in the child's home.
Tuition for peer models
$175.00 per month or a total of $1,575.00 a year.
You can make your tuition payment one of two ways. Payments are accepted via the online parent portal or by check. Tuition is due on or before the 1st of each month.
Helpful tips when making your payment:
- Make checks payable to Delaware City Schools; put your child's name in the memo with "PreK tuition."
- Please do not send payment with your child to school.
For initial online payments, parents will need their student’s ID number. The ID number remains the same number throughout your child's school career. If you do not have your child’s ID number, you may email Jennifer Jackson or call Jennifer at 740-833-1126.
♦♦♦TransportationTransportation is made available for ALL preschool students. To arrange transportation for your student, please contact the transportation department at 740-833-1650. It is important to know that when making changes to your student's transportation, it does take a few days for the change to go into effect.♦♦♦
If you have any further questions about the preschool peer model program, please don't hesitate to contact Melinda Hastings or call at 740-833-1116.