The Integrated Early Childhood Program in the Belchertown Public School district is a language-based, developmental preschool program for students ages 3-5 with and without special education needs. The program is designed for students to learn together in a play-oriented setting in which non-special education needs students act as role models for students who have been identified with special education needs. The integration of students has shown to improve the progress of students with special needs in various areas of development including language, social/emotional, and self-help skills. Programmatically, most therapies are integrated into the classroom setting to help maximize each child’s ability to generalize the skills they are acquiring within the classroom environment alongside their peers. Within the Integrated Early Childhood Program, both students with and without special education needs will practice building the important social and academic skills necessary for kindergarten.
Beginning in September of school year 2013-2014, the Early Childhood Program will run for 2 ½ hours daily Monday-Friday with morning (8:45-11:15) and afternoon (12-2:30) classes offered. With exceptions of opening and closing dates, the Program follows the Belchertown Public Schools calendar for school vacations, holidays, and professional development days. When the Belchertown Public Schools are closed for inclement weather, the Pre-Kindergarten program is also closed. The start date for the upcoming school year for the Early Childhood Program will be Wednesday, September 4, 2013. Tuition for the 2013-2014 school year for role model peers is $2,300 per year. Payments are due on the first of every month from July 1, 2013 – April 1, 2014.
To be eligible for the Integrated Early Childhood Program, students must be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1st of the new school year. Applications for the role model peer students for the 2013-2014 school year will be available starting March 11, 2013 and can be picked up at Student Support Services Office, 14 Maple Street, Belchertown, MA. All applications are due to the Student Support Services Office on or before April 2, 2013. Should the number of applications exceed the number of open spaces, a lottery system will be used. The lottery for role model peer students will be held on Friday, April 5, 2013. Eligible students not chosen for the program through the lottery system will be added to a waiting list. Parents will be notified by mail of acceptance or of waiting list status.
For more information about Early Childhood Education, please click the link below.