Early Education FAQEarly Education FAQ(es)

What is At Risk programming?

“At Risk programming” refers to programming for those students who do not have a disability, but should be in a high-quality pre-school program in order to prevent future academic, social-emotional, or behavioral concerns from developing. At Risk programming is sometimes referred to as Pre-School for All. Children qualify for this type of programming by participating in a developmental screening, and by meeting specific criteria.


Do only District 59 children attend the program?

Yes. Only children who live within the District 59 school boundaries are eligible to attend any of the pre-school programming.


Can any child within the district boundaries attend the program?

Any child who lives within the District 59 school boundaries may be eligible for our programming. However, simply being a resident of the district does not result in automatically being eligible for the program. Children ages 3 to 5 who live in the district boundaries may attend the program either through a lottery process (typically developing/ parent-paid program), qualifying through a developmental screening (at-risk programming), or by qualifying for special education services.


If my child is not eligible to attend preschool programming through the school district, what other options do I have for preschool programming?

Some families access preschool programming by enrolling their children in local park district preschool programs, or in area faith-based preschool programs. Preschool is not mandatory, except for those children who require special education services.


Do you provide before or after care for preschool students?

No. Before and after care is not provided for our preschool age students. We do have many children who attend our half-day program, and then attend a daycare setting, paid for by the family, for the remainder of their day.


What types of early childhood programs are available in District 59?

Our early childhood programs are available for all children ages three to five who reside in District 59. The programs are designed to nurture the development of children in the areas of language, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social skills and pre-academics.

Our three early childhood programs are designed for children:

  • Whose parents are seeking a fee-based community early childhood program and children are typically developing,
  • Who have a disability and who qualify for an early childhood special education program, or
  • Who are eligible and meet the criteria for the District’s at-risk program (Pre-school for All)

What are the program hours?

Morning sessions are five days per week from 8:15 to 10:45 AM.

Afternoon sessions are held every day except Wednesday from 12:00 to 2:30 PM.

Openings for the parent paid tuition program are for the P.M. sessions only.


Is transportation provided?

Children who attend the at-risk program are eligible for transportation if the family lives 1.5 miles or more from the assigned school. For those children who have identified disabilities, the Individual Education Plan team determines whether they are eligible for transportation. Transportation is NOT provided for children who attend the parent paid program, and there is no option for parents to pay for busing.


What is the Pre-K Program that is offered at Ridge Family Center for Learning?

This program is hosted at Ridge but is open to all CCSD59 families with qualifying 4-year-old children. It is free to families whose children qualify to attend.


What is the difference between the program offerings at the ELC and the new preschool program at Ridge?

The ELC offers both a tuition-based program for children who are typically developing and a grant-based program (Preschool for All) funded by the state of Illinois. Children who are 3-5 years old, not eligible for kindergarten yet, and meet the program criteria may qualify under the grant. The ELC also offers special education programming for children who have special needs. All of these students are integrated into classrooms together to meet the needs of the grant.

The Ridge preschool program offers a free-tuition preschool program for typically developing children. There is an application process based on family income and access to public benefits and other state aid. This program is more aligned to a community preschool but is free for families that qualify.


If my children don’t qualify to attend at the ELC, can they attend the Ridge preschool program?

Children who do not qualify to attend the Early Learning Center’s (ELC) at-risk or special education programs may still qualify to attend the new preschool program, which follows Ridge’s balanced calendar.


When is the Ridge Pre-K program offered?

CCSD59 offers a half day program with morning and afternoon sessions.
The program already has 62 families enrolled, with a maximum enrollment currently set at 80 students. Teachers in the program are trained in the same curriculum many community schools utilize and focus on intentional and appropriate activities to support development for 4-year-olds preparing for kindergarten.


How do I know if I should be concerned about my child’s development?

Please remember that all children develop at different rates, and that there is a wide range of “typical development” at this age. Below is a link that will provide guidelines for you to consider regarding your child’s development. If you are not sure whether you should be concerned, please talk to your child’s pediatrician, or call the Early Childhood Coordinator.

Please click here to see information on children’s developmental milestones. 


What should I do if I have concerns about my child’s development?

Parents should contact Marlyn Orozco, Family Facilitator, at the Early Learning Center.  She can be reached at (847) 593-4306.  She will gather information to help our teams determine whether a screening is appropriate.


What is the purpose of a screening?

The purpose of a screening is to identify children who have disabilities and/or are at risk for academic and/or social-emotional difficulties in the future.


What can I expect during my child’s screening?

Once you have been contacted for an appointment, you will receive a packet of information in the mail. There will be several pieces of information you will need to provide prior to your child’s screening. This information will be reviewed with you prior to your appointment.

You will be asked to bring your child to the Early Learning Center for a vision and hearing screening appointment. By law, your child must pass both the vision and hearing screenings before the rest of the screening can take place. This appointment is very short (approximately 15 minutes), and it is the time when the required paperwork will be collected from you.

After the vision and hearing screenings, you will return to the Early Learning Center for a final appointment, when you will accompany your child to a classroom where he/she will participate in a developmental screening. The screening is given by an Early Childhood teacher and a speech pathologist. A social worker or teacher will interview you to review your child’s health and social emotional development. Following the screenings, you will be notified of the results prior to you leaving the building. This appointment will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.


When do screenings take place?

Screenings take place throughout the school year as openings are available.


Where do the screenings take place?

Screenings take place at the Early Learning Center, which is located at 1900 Lonnquist Boulevard in Mt. Prospect.


If I don’t have concerns about my child, what options do I have?

District 59 has a parent paid early childhood program option. There are limited parent paid openings each year, and as a result, a lottery is held to fill these openings. Openings are for the P.M. sessions only.


If I have concerns about my child, can I still participate in the parent paid lottery?

No. These spots are for typically developing children only. If you have concerns, you need to complete an application for screening form as explained above.


When is the lottery for the parent-paid program?

Parents can go to any District 59 school the first week of May during regular school hours.

At that time, parents will need to provide:

  • Proof of residency
  • The child’s official birth certificate or passport
  • A check or money order (no cash) for the first month’s deposit
  • Completed registration forms

More specific information about the lottery process is placed on the district website beginning in mid-February.


What are the fees for the four-day program?

The program tuition is set each year by the Board of Education. Tuition is paid on a monthly basis for a total of ten months.


When will I know if my child has a spot in the parent-paid program?

If the child’s name is randomly drawn, parents will be notified via phone by the end of the current school year. If the child’s name is not randomly drawn, parents will receive a letter in the mail along with the returned deposit (check or money order).


If I have additional questions, whom do I contact?

Please contact Melissa Ward, Early Childhood Coordinator at 847.593.4393, or ward.melissa@ccsd59.org.


 

What is At Risk programming?

“At Risk programming” refers to programming for those students who do not have a disability, but should be in a high-quality pre-school program in order to prevent future academic, social-emotional, or behavioral concerns from developing. At Risk programming is sometimes referred to as Pre-School for All. Children qualify for this type of programming by participating in a developmental screening, and by meeting specific criteria.


Do only District 59 children attend the program?

Yes. Only children who live within the District 59 school boundaries are eligible to attend any of the pre-school programming.


Can any child within the district boundaries attend the program?

Any child who lives within the District 59 school boundaries may be eligible for our programming. However, simply being a resident of the district does not result in automatically being eligible for the program. Children ages 3 to 5 who live in the district boundaries may attend the program either through a lottery process (typically developing/ parent-paid program), qualifying through a developmental screening (at-risk programming), or by qualifying for special education services.


If my child is not eligible to attend preschool programming through the school district, what other options do I have for preschool programming?

Some families access preschool programming by enrolling their children in local park district preschool programs, or in area faith-based preschool programs. Preschool is not mandatory, except for those children who require special education services.


Do you provide before or after care for preschool students?

No. Before and after care is not provided for our preschool age students. We do have many children who attend our half-day program, and then attend a daycare setting, paid for by the family, for the remainder of their day.


What types of early childhood programs are available in District 59?

Our early childhood programs are available for all children ages three to five who reside in District 59. The programs are designed to nurture the development of children in the areas of language, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social skills and pre-academics.

Our three early childhood programs are designed for children:

  • Whose parents are seeking a fee-based community early childhood program and children are typically developing,
  • Who have a disability and who qualify for an early childhood special education program, or
  • Who are eligible and meet the criteria for the District’s at-risk program (Pre-school for All)

What are the program hours?

Morning sessions are five days per week from 8:15 to 10:45 AM.

Afternoon sessions are held every day except Wednesday from 12:00 to 2:30 PM.

Openings for the parent paid tuition program are for the P.M. sessions only.


Is transportation provided?

Children who attend the at-risk program are eligible for transportation if the family lives 1.5 miles or more from the assigned school. For those children who have identified disabilities, the Individual Education Plan team determines whether they are eligible for transportation. Transportation is NOT provided for children who attend the parent paid program, and there is no option for parents to pay for busing.


What is the Pre-K Program that is offered at Ridge Family Center for Learning?

This program is hosted at Ridge but is open to all CCSD59 families with qualifying 4-year-old children. It is free to families whose children qualify to attend.


What is the difference between the program offerings at the ELC and the new preschool program at Ridge?

The ELC offers both a tuition-based program for children who are typically developing and a grant-based program (Preschool for All) funded by the state of Illinois. Children who are 3-5 years old, not eligible for kindergarten yet, and meet the program criteria may qualify under the grant. The ELC also offers special education programming for children who have special needs. All of these students are integrated into classrooms together to meet the needs of the grant.

The Ridge preschool program offers a free-tuition preschool program for typically developing children. There is an application process based on family income and access to public benefits and other state aid. This program is more aligned to a community preschool but is free for families that qualify.


If my children don’t qualify to attend at the ELC, can they attend the Ridge preschool program?

Children who do not qualify to attend the Early Learning Center’s (ELC) at-risk or special education programs may still qualify to attend the new preschool program, which follows Ridge’s balanced calendar.


When is the Ridge Pre-K program offered?

CCSD59 offers a half day program with morning and afternoon sessions.
The program already has 62 families enrolled, with a maximum enrollment currently set at 80 students. Teachers in the program are trained in the same curriculum many community schools utilize and focus on intentional and appropriate activities to support development for 4-year-olds preparing for kindergarten.


How do I know if I should be concerned about my child’s development?

Please remember that all children develop at different rates, and that there is a wide range of “typical development” at this age. Below is a link that will provide guidelines for you to consider regarding your child’s development. If you are not sure whether you should be concerned, please talk to your child’s pediatrician, or call the Early Childhood Coordinator.

Please click here to see information on children’s developmental milestones. 


What should I do if I have concerns about my child’s development?

Parents should contact Marlyn Orozco, Family Facilitator, at the Early Learning Center.  She can be reached at (847) 593-4306.  She will gather information to help our teams determine whether a screening is appropriate.


What is the purpose of a screening?

The purpose of a screening is to identify children who have disabilities and/or are at risk for academic and/or social-emotional difficulties in the future.


What can I expect during my child’s screening?

Once you have been contacted for an appointment, you will receive a packet of information in the mail. There will be several pieces of information you will need to provide prior to your child’s screening. This information will be reviewed with you prior to your appointment.

You will be asked to bring your child to the Early Learning Center for a vision and hearing screening appointment. By law, your child must pass both the vision and hearing screenings before the rest of the screening can take place. This appointment is very short (approximately 15 minutes), and it is the time when the required paperwork will be collected from you.

After the vision and hearing screenings, you will return to the Early Learning Center for a final appointment, when you will accompany your child to a classroom where he/she will participate in a developmental screening. The screening is given by an Early Childhood teacher and a speech pathologist. A social worker or teacher will interview you to review your child’s health and social emotional development. Following the screenings, you will be notified of the results prior to you leaving the building. This appointment will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.


When do screenings take place?

Screenings take place throughout the school year as openings are available.


Where do the screenings take place?

Screenings take place at the Early Learning Center, which is located at 1900 Lonnquist Boulevard in Mt. Prospect.


If I don’t have concerns about my child, what options do I have?

District 59 has a parent paid early childhood program option. There are limited parent paid openings each year, and as a result, a lottery is held to fill these openings. Openings are for the P.M. sessions only.


If I have concerns about my child, can I still participate in the parent paid lottery?

No. These spots are for typically developing children only. If you have concerns, you need to complete an application for screening form as explained above.


When is the lottery for the parent-paid program?

Parents can go to any District 59 school the first week of May during regular school hours.

At that time, parents will need to provide:

  • Proof of residency
  • The child’s official birth certificate or passport
  • A check or money order (no cash) for the first month’s deposit
  • Completed registration forms

More specific information about the lottery process is placed on the district website beginning in mid-February.


What are the fees for the four-day program?

The program tuition is set each year by the Board of Education. Tuition is paid on a monthly basis for a total of ten months.


When will I know if my child has a spot in the parent-paid program?

If the child’s name is randomly drawn, parents will be notified via phone by the end of the current school year. If the child’s name is not randomly drawn, parents will receive a letter in the mail along with the returned deposit (check or money order).


If I have additional questions, whom do I contact?

Please contact Melissa Ward, Early Childhood Coordinator at 847.593.4393, or ward.melissa@ccsd59.org.


 

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