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At District 67 Preschool, Students Learn From One Another

Community of Learners Preschool

District 67’s youngest learners — those with special needs as well as typically developing students — get a head start on transitioning to kindergarten at the Community of Learners Preschool.

Located at Sheridan Elementary, the program for children ages 3 to 5 currently has 39 students attending, said JoAnn Ford-Halvorsen, District director of student services.

“District 67 is extremely committed to creating inclusive classrooms … and this program offers an opportunity for all students to learn from each other,” Ms. Ford-Halvorsen said.

Community of Learners Preschool

Inclusive classrooms benefit both students with special needs as well as typically developing students, she said. Additionally, research shows that students with disabilities do best when they are in inclusive environments and learn with their typically developing peers, she added.

“Because we serve a diverse population, all students have access to teachers who are qualified to teach students with and without disabilities, in addition to specialized support staff such as speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and mental health staff (school psychologist and social worker),” Ms. Ford-Halvorsen said. “These staff members also support our families in understanding the unique needs of their children and how to support them at home.”

Each month the preschool offers free developmental screenings to families who live within the D67 boundaries. Families can sign up on the preschool website.