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Early Childhood Programs Recognized for Best Practice 2008-2009

Part B - Early Childhood Special Education Preschool Programs

For the 15th year, the Kansas State Department of Education recognized early childhood special education programs for their services from application 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 early childhood special education. As in the past, the preschool programs had the opportunity to submit an application that focused on one area from a number of program components. These applications were reviewed by professionals from across the state and considered for recognition. Two programs in the state received the honor this year.

SEK Interlocal #637 – Crawford County Preschool ProgramPittsburg, Kansas
The preschool program in Crawford County, a program of SEK Interlocal # 637, is recognized in the area of Transition from Preschool to Kindergarten for Children with Autism. This program has undertaken and accomplished a change in the planning and execution of supporting children with autism as they move from one educational program to their next program. They have instituted specifically focused planning for children with autism that incorporates individually tailored planning including a graduated transition. Specific strengths of the program are the sharing of staff across the preschool and kindergarten, collaboration across programs, shared training for personnel, and parent involvement.

Contact Person: Debbie Potter, SEK Interlocal #637, 1700 N. Locust, Pittsburg, KS 66762, Phone: 620.235.3152

High Plains Special Education Cooperative, Ulysses, Kansas
The preschool services of High Plains Special Education Cooperative are recognized in the area of Integrated Service Delivery Model. This program has significantly changed its model of service delivery for young children with disabilities to one that strives to keep children in the learning setting they would normally be if they did not have a disability.  In addition, this program is implementing the evidence-based practice of primary coaching in their program for children ages three to five years of age.  This effort has focused on one member of the educational team supporting the family or other teacher while receiving supports for other team members. 

Contact Person: Shelly Harris, High Plains Education Cooperative, 621 E. Oklahoma Ulysses, KS 67880, Phone: 620.356.5577

Part C - Early Intervention Networks

For the 10th year, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has recognized an early intervention program (tiny-k network) for their services. Applications from across the state were to reflect interventions strategies or services that are conducted in a manner that is considered best practice in the field of special education/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 a program component that support services in environments that are typical for all children. These applications were reviewed by professionals from across the state and considered for recognition. Three early intervention programs in the state received the honor this year.

Bright Beginnings of Butler County, El Dorado, Kansas
Bright Beginnings of Butler County is recognized in the area of Service Coordination that Supports Natural Environments. This program has altered its model of service delivery for Infants/Toddlers with disabilities and their families to implement the primary coaching model.  The transitions to the model has greatly impacted the style and methods utilized by program staff for Service Coordination.  Significant effort has yielded a system that is responsive to the needs of families and is built on the priorities of families.  Systematic feedback from families has indicated the success of the service model. 

Contact Person: Susan Harsh, Bright Beginnings of Butler County, 409 North Main, El Dorado, KS 67042-2039 Phone: 316.320.1342

Harvey County Infant/Toddler Program, Newton, Kansas
Harvey County Infant/Toddler Program received recognition for collaboration with community partners in the transition of children from the local hospital to services by the Infant/Toddler Program.  This program has increased referrals and the identification of children in need of early intervention service through collaboration with community partners, and in some instances, the sharing of staff to meet the needs of families.  This community has demonstrated that multiple agencies can work together to ensure positive outcomes for children.  Additionally, jointly developed materials support the community in their communication and individualized planning for children and families.  Contact Person: Marcia Friesen, Harvey County Infant/Toddler Program, 816 Oak Street, Newton, Kansas 67114, Phone: 316.284.6510, ext. 1005

tiny-k Early Intervention Program of Douglas County, Lawrence, Kansas
For over a year, the Douglas County tiny-k Early Intervention Program has conducted a unique staff development program that relies on their internal staff to conduct focused training on identified staff needs. The program has not required additional funds to support, as many of the identified needs can be address by team members.  This program has set aside staff meeting time to consistently conduct training that supports consistent application of evidence based practices and has become a part of the routine work experience.  When training is accessed outside of the program, each staff member has the responsibility to bring back information and share it with the team. 

Contact Person: Dena Bracciano, tiny-k early intervention of Douglas County, 2619 W. 6th, #B, Lawrence, Kansas 66049, Phone 785.843.3059


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