An inclusive school community broadens each child's perspective and brings added gifts to the program.
NCRC’s inclusive environment educates children of varying levels and abilities. By providing early intervention, individualized goals, and positive modeling, NCRC gives students with special needs the best opportunities for success. NCRC’s inclusion program creates the least restrictive environment, highlights strengths, and helps children reach their full potential. The methods and strategies that are employed for students with special needs also benefit typically developing children by supporting the learning style of each child. The inclusive classroom environment promotes that development of respect, empathy, compassion, and acceptance of all students.
NCRC’s Early Beginnings Program is an interdisciplinary play-based intervention program serving up to six children enrolled in an AM Early Learning classroom. It offers specialized instruction to children who have been identified as needing additional supports and adaptations as well as family and caregiver support.
About the program:
- Children participate in an interdisciplinary play-based group one morning a week from early October to early May. Directing teachers and the CDT work together to engage the children in small group instruction targeting all developmental domains—social-emotional, communication, self-help, fine/gross motor, and cognitive skills. Weekly parent participation is required for this program through a series of parent education opportunities including a weekly parent group meeting with the School Counselor. The focus of the parent meeting is to discuss child development, parenting strategies and resources in the community. During this period of Covid 19 precautions,the weekly parent meeting will occur in the evening over Zoom.
- Home Visits
In order to promote generalization of current curriculum targets in the home environment, Early Beginnings families are scheduled for home visits (this year in compliance with CDC guidelines the visits will be virtual) in approximately three to six week intervals. For each home visit, a representative from CDT teams up with one of the Early Learning teachers to engage both parent and child in games and activities that follow the classroom themes, enrich speech and language skills, and reinforce sensory motor skills and social play.
Although home visits are not considered therapy sessions, they do offer parents an opportunity for extra support in promoting their child’s development. Families are encouraged to share not only their triumphs, but also their challenges so that home visits can be tailored to meet immediate needs.
Once a child transitions from the Early Beginnings Program into NCRC’s preschool tier they will typically be invited to attend the weekly Play Pals program.
The Play Pals program is a weekly, multi-sensory/enrichment group designed and implemented by the Child Development Team. It is supported by a generous endowment and is free for all participants throughout their years at NCRC.
The group is for Early Beginnings alums as well as others 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 an ILP (Individual Learning Plan) or Action Plan. There are targeted goals for each unit that are adapted for each child’s individual needs. CDT sends group photos and a summary of skills addressed regularly. They are intended to be used at home to facilitate discussion between parents and children about the day’s events and skill carryover to home.
NCRC's Inclusion programs are run by the Child Development Team (CDT). The Child Development Team(CDT) supports every child, family, and teacher regarding: Social-Emotional Development, Sensory Regulation, Self-Help skills, Motor skills, and Speech & Language Development throughout their early educational experience.
The Child Development Team is an integral part of NCRC's program for children that require additional supports, including providing weekly enrichment groups for children in the Early Beginnings and Play Pals programs. They also assist in the ILP(Individual Learning Plan) process.