Early Childhood Education
At Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES), we understand the critical role that early childhood education plays in student achievement, not only in the elementary grades but throughout their lives. Deaf and hard of hearing children in particular have an especially great need for a stimulating, language-rich environment. Our school is a bilingual education environment with American Sign Language and English. The goal is that students will graduate with proficiency in both languages. All students learn written English.
The Early Childhood Education program is based on the developmental needs of our students. The program is designed to assure children are prepared to enter first grade with the skills necessary to be successful academically and socially. They learn through play in a nurturing environment that follows the instructional domains of child development: social and emotional development, language development, cognitive development, motor development, and addressing special needs. We use an emerging curriculum approach driven by the interest of the students and what is appropriate for their age.
Each child receives instruction and support services tailored to his or her needs as outlined in his or her Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP, for children ages birth-3) or Individualized Education Program (IEP, for children above the age of 3). Students receive support from skilled professionals in the areas of audiology, speech-language, American Sign Language, occupational and physical therapy, and more. Cochlear implant support is available from specialists in the Cochlear Implant Education Center.
Early Childhood Education at KDES is comprised of the following programs and classes:
- Parent-Infant Program (birth to 2 years old). A two-year program that meets two days a week for a half a day each and offers parent support and parent meetings on site.
- Preschool Program (2-4 year olds). A two year long program where the students have the same teachers for both years. Students attend four days a week for a full day. On Fridays, ECE staff make monthly home visits
- Pre-Kindergarten, (4-5 years old). Students attend five full days a week.
- Kindergarten (5-6 years old). Students meet five full days a week.