NCRC has a decades-long commitment to the inclusion of all children.

NCRC welcomes children with mild to moderate special needs. Our goal is to collaborate with our families to make a positive difference in every child’s educational experience.

An inclusive school community broadens each child's perspective and brings added gifts to the program.


The Child Development Team supports every child, family, and teacher regarding: Social-Emotional Development, Sensory Regulation, Self-Help skills, Motors Skills, and Speech & Language Development throughout their early educational experience.

School counselor, Judith Wides

Judith spends time in every classroom and works with parents and teachers on issues involving social-emotional development such as transitioning to school.

occupational therapist, Marian Brice

Marian supports our students on the development of fine and gross motor skills, visual-perceptual development, self-help skills, and sensory regulation.

speech & language pathologist, Becky Márquez

Becky focuses on the development of speech and language skills, including social communication, early literacy, and oral placement skills.

Our Team (from left): Marian Brice, Judith Wides, and Becky Márquez

The Child Development Team

  • monitors and supports each student's growth and development through ongoing school observations, small group activities, and developmental screening tools
  • helps to create and implement all-school curricula
  • meets with each teaching team frequently throughout the year to collaborate and to discuss ways to support both the strengths and challenges of each individual student
  • makes referrals for evaluations and therapy when appropriate or deemed necessary
  • works collaboratively with outside specialists, but does not provide individual therapy
  • is available to talk with all parents to help guide their child through the amazing journey of childhood

The Child Development Team is an integral part of NCRC's program for children with need for additional support, including providing weekly enrichment groups for children in the Early Beginnings and Play Pals programs. In addition, they assist in the ILP (Individual Learning Plan) process.

Each child is unique and we take great care to meet each child where she or he is."


Chatty Cheetas (all classes)

Practice speaking and listening skills through games and other interactive activities to support and monitor a child’s speech and language development.

Self-Regulation (all classes)

Learning self-regulation is an important life skill for children to fully engage in the classroom setting, to be safe and to have meaningful social interactions. These skills help build self-esteem and positive self-image and will serve a child for a lifetime.

    • Activities that promote children learning to regulate their sensory systems
    • Practice of skills that enhance social-emotional well being
    • Guidance to help a child focus

    NCRC has adapted the Engine Run® Program to help children learn self-regulation skills. We teach children about their "heart engines" that allow them to move and go. And then, we show them that just like any other engine, their engines can go at different speeds, all depending on how you control it. We use this terminology - engines, slow, fast, medium - throughout the year in the classrooms.

Finger Fun Club (Beehive, Sunshine, Rainbow)

Developmentally tiered activities to promote the development of the mature tripod grasp that is necessary for efficient buttoning, cutting with scissors and the use of a drawing/writing tool

Finger Fun skills & exercises [>>>]

Sounds in Motion (Explorer/Treetop)

Music and movement based “sound games” to support early phonemic awareness and to help develop the ability of the ear and brain to work together

Pre-Handwriting (Explorer/Treetop)

Activities that support visual-spatial motor planning and fine motor coordination, such as creating letters in 3-dimensional media to learn upper case letter formation



Early Beginnings Program

Our Early Beginnings Program serves four children enrolled in the Bunny class, three half-days each week for additional enrichment and support.

About the program:
      • Children attend one extra afternoon class offered on Thursdays from 12:30-3:00 p.m.
      • Parent participation is required from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. each Thursday with the option for parents to stay until 3:00 p.m. when children are dismissed.
This session begins with a family circle where children and parents:
      • Sing songs
      • Learn sign language
      • Get to know the other families
      • Engage in developmentally appropriate activities
Following Family Circle session:
      • The parent group meets with the School Counselor to discuss child development.
      • The children and their teachers participate in a speech and language enrichment group with the Speech Pathologist and sensory motor-enrichment group with the Occupational Therapist.

Several times throughout the year:

      • The Bunny teaching team visits each child's home on a Tuesday afternoon.
      • These home visits are designed to help children generalize skills they are working on at school in the home environment.
      • These visits are not therapy sessions but offer parents the opportunity for extra support in promoting their child's development.

      Once a child transitions from the Bunny Early Beginnings Program, they will typically be invited to attend the weekly Play Pals program on Tuesdays.

Play Pals

The Play Pals program is a weekly, multi-sensory/enrichment group designed and implemented by the SOS Team. It is supported by a generous endowment and is free for all participants throughout their years at NCRC.

The group is multi-aged with a maximum of six children who benefit from additional support with social interactions, motor skills, speech and language development, or self-regulation. Some of the children attending the group have a an ILP (Individual Learning Plan) or Action Plan.

Often one classroom teacher participates in the group to gain additional strategies to support their students. There are targeted goals for each unit that are adapted for each child’s individual needs. The children bring home an activity sheet that highlights the activities of the sessions. They are intended to be used at home to facilitated discussion between parents and children about the day’s events. Furthermore, a monthly newsletter with photos is sent home for children to share with their families.

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