• ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education)


    ECSE serves children ages 3 through 5 years who have been identified as disabled and determined to be at-risk of not achieving academic and life skills without intervention.  Referrals for screening of students are made through the Department of Special Education. Intake information is obtained from the parent(s) and the information is given to the Evaluation Team. Screenings and comprehensive assessments are then scheduled at the Zotz Education Center.  Parents are encouraged to make the referral call two to three months prior to their child’s third birthday. Children are eligible if they are determined by a multi-disciplinary team to meet state criteria as a child with a disability.  There is no fee for services.


    Classes are offered Monday through Friday, half-day for three-year-olds (AM 7:30-11:10 or PM-11:30-3:10) and full-day services for those in their Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten year, or as deemed appropriate by the Admission, Review and Dismissal(ARD) Committee . GPISD ECSE classes use the Frog Street Pre-K curriculum for instruction within the ECSE classroom, and we focus on five major curriculum areas:  Cognition, Communication, Self-Help, Fine/Gross Motor, and Social/Emotional Development.  If children have an educational need for related services, they are delivered during the assigned session as part of the child’s daily program.  Eligible students may be served or included in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes as appropriate.  On a daily basis, students receiving ECSE services have opportunities to interact with their non-disabled peers in age-appropriate settings. These settings may consist of ancillary or elective courses identified by the ARD/IEP Committee. Additional opportunities include the breakfast and lunch programs, during non-academic school functions and school-wide events.


    Staffing is provided to accomplish small class groupings of children per session with a teacher and an instructional aide at each program. Itinerant support and therapists assist in servicing children as needed.  Services for children in ECSE include daily structured activities to develop language (expressive and receptive), cognitive, social/emotional, motor (fine and gross motor), and self-help skills.  Additional services may include transportation, assistive technology, counseling, or occupational, physical, or speech therapy, if recommended by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee. (Some children who only need speech services may be recommended for speech services without the entire ECSE program.  For example, a child might receive services two times a week for thirty minutes each session at their campus they are zoned to according to their home address.)


    A variety of performance assessment techniques are used to evaluate and report student progress, including teacher observation, anecdotal records, student verbal and non-verbal interactions with teachers and other students, skills checklists, and student work samples. Parents receive periodic reports of their child’s progress on the Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and objectives.

    For more information about ECSE, please contact:
    Stephani Garza