The Early Childhood Program of the Blue Valley School District serves children ages 3-5 who are eligible for special education services. In addition, there is an application-only program (Peer Program) for children without delays. The Peer Program provides an opportunity for typically developing children to be integrated into our Early Childhood Special Education classrooms to serve as role models for our children with special needs. Peer Model students provide positive peer interactions, demonstrate play skills, and model appropriate language and behavior for children with special needs while in the classroom setting.
There are 26 total early childhood classrooms in the Blue Valley School District. Fifteen of those are at Hilltop Learning Center. Most of the classrooms are referred to as "Reverse Mainstream Classrooms" meaning that about half of the students in the classroom have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and about half of the children are typically developing peers who enroll from the community.
When the kids are together in the classroom, we function as one community. We do not identify which students are receiving special education and which students are peers. This can make it confusing – even to families who participate in our program – to know how our program works.
We generally serve three groups of children in each classroom, as detailed below:
All students receive a high-quality early childhood program that is developmentally appropriate – meaning appropriate to age and to each individual child.
Blue Valley has early childhood classrooms at Hilltop Learning Center as well as four satellite sites located around the district. While our program office and itinerant supports are at Hilltop, our classrooms in elementary schools function just as the Hilltop classrooms do, and allow us to provide services closer to home for some families.