A Guide for School Districts & Community Preschool Programs

The Supporting Children with Disabilities: A Guide to Working Together for School Districts and Community Preschool Programs (Guide) was developed by the Race 2K project to provide a context and framework to help School District and community program staff discuss and, if appropriate, formalize a working relationship to support children with disabilities in community preschool placements.

SupportingChildrenThe NH Department of Education has strong focus on ensuring that preschool children with disabilities are educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE). This means that preschool children with disabilities are educated in an early childhood program and removed to other settings only when the nature and severity of the disability is such that, even with supplemental aids and services, their needs cannot be met in the early childhood setting. For some districts, this means expanding district operated program models to include early childhood classrooms. For other districts, there is a need to collaborate with community early childhood programs (child care, private preschool programs or Head Start) to provide the early childhood environment for children with Individual Education Programs (IEPs). While seemingly a simple solution, the practice of placing children in community programs raises many questions for school district personnel and staff from community programs alike. There are three sections to this Guide: Program Profile, Program Rubric; and Formalization, which includes a Sample Memorandum of Agreement.  This Guide is also not solely intended for use with community programs. It can also be used as a tool for a school district to reflect on the capacity and characteristics of their own programs and/or classrooms.