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Early Childhood Preschool Programs Recognized for Best Practice 2005-2006

Each year the Kansas State Department of Education recognizes early childhood programs that incorporate innovative and progressive practices into their system. These practices go beyond the requirements of IDEAand are judged to be exemplary by a panel of professionals from across the state. Individual programs submit an application to be considered for this recognition, and this year one program was identified.

The Haysville Early Childhood Program of the Haysville Unified School District #261 is recognized in the area of family centered services. This program, through the use of a needs assessment, staff development, and planning, has modified their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process to be family centered and family guided. Through communication with families in identification of family routines, strengths and concerns regarding their child, an IEP is developed that focuses on the priorities of families. The result of this process has led to a stronger relationship between the program and families they serve.

Contact Person: Carla Heintz, Early Childhood Coordinator, 1745 W. Grand, Haysville, KS 67060, 316.554.2233.

The Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools, Unified School District #383 is recognized in the area of transition practices from preschool to kindergarten. This process has been in development for a number of years and has resulted in a seamless system for transition of children to kindergarten. Through involvement of families, cross observation of programs by staff from the preschool and kindergarten, and systematic follow-up children are successfully transitioned across educational experiences and settings.

Contact Person: Pam Russell, Director of Special Services, 2031 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, KS, 66502, 785.587.2000.

The Northeast Kansas Education Service Center Early Childhood Program is recognized for application of an evidence-based practice. This award focuses on the utilization of the LEAP Model as a basis for the development of social interaction and communication skills by preschool children. Through a needs assessment, planning and strong administrative support this peer mediated intervention strategy has lead to significant changes in programming for all of the children served by this program.

Contact Person: Sheila Smith, 1220 Walnut Street, Oskaloosa, KS, 66066, 785.863.3410.

Part C - Early Intervention Network Recognized for Application of Best Practice

For the seventh year, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has recognized an early intervention program (tiny-k network) for their services from applications from across the state.  These applications were to reflect interventions or services that are conducted in a manner that is considered best practice in the field of special education or early intervention for infants/toddlers with disabilities and their families. As in the past, networks had the opportunity to submit an application that focused on program components that support services in natural environments. These applications were reviewed by professionals from across the state and considered for recognition. Only one early intervention program in the state received the honor this year.

The tiny-k network associated with the Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative has been awarded this recognition based upon their two year transition to utilization of a coaching model for delivery of early intervention services to children and families they service. The model is based on extensive evidence of its effectiveness in promoting positive outcomes for very young children with disabilities and their families. A primary interventionist/coach works with a family to support development and attainment in reaching outcomes on the Family’s Individual Service Plan. Further, this program has worked with collaborating community programs to implement the model.

Contact person: Elizabeth McCoy, tiny-k Network, Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative, 1700 W 7th Avenue, Emporia, KS 66801, 620.341.2325

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