Exceptional Children PreK Services

  • Exceptional Children PreK Services for ages 3 years, 0 months through 5 years, 11 months

    What are special education services through the Preschool Exceptional Children Department?

    • Onslow County Schools provides special education and related services for children with disabilities according to the federal mandates of the Individual with Disabilities Act and the regulations of the North Carolina Public School Law, Article 9.

    How do I start the process to determine if my child has a disability through Preschool Exceptional Children Services?

    • Call 910-346-6222, Ext. 21024 to schedule a Developmental Screening through Preschool Exceptional Children Services at Thompson Early Childhood Center.
    • At the Developmental Screening, a team of professionals will screen developmental areas in relation to educational performance to determine if a referral for special education services is warranted.

    What is the purpose of the Developmental Screening?

    • To screen a child's development (within the areas of early learning concepts, language, motor, self-help skills, and social-emotional skills) and identify potential delays which would negatively impact educational performance within a learning environment
    • To clinically observe children with reported sensory, behavioral, and/or articulation concerns
    • To determine if developmental skills are progressing as expected within normal limits, or if a comprehensive assessment is necessary

    Who is administering the Developmental Screening?

    • A special education teacher, a Speech and Language Pathologist and either an Occupational Therapist or a Physical Therapist complete a variety of developmental tasks.
    • The parent/guardian completes a scale providing additional developmental information as well as information relative to the child's social, medical, and developmental history.

    What happens after the Developmental Screening?

    • After the Developmental Screening is completed and the child is returned to their parent/guardian, the team will review standardized scores (comparing the child's performance to the performance of children across the United States), as well as information gathered through clinical observations.
    • The team will determine if the child's skills are developing within age expectations.
    • If Developmental Screening results are developing within age expectations:
      • The parent/guardian will be contacted via telephone to discuss screening results.
      • A follow-up letter will be sent to the parent/guardian reviewing the discussion held over the telephone.
    • If the Developmental Screening team has concerns that would likely negatively impact educational performance:
      • The parent/guardian will be contacted via telephone to schedule a referral for special education services to discuss concerns.
      • A referral for special education services will be held with the parent/guardian.
      • At the referral for special education services meeting, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team will seek to gain permission from the parent/guardian to perform standardized testing with the child based upon the concerns noted.
      • North Carolina has 14 areas of eligibility that a child can receive special education services under. These include, but are not limited to, the areas of Developmental Delay, Autism and Speech and Language Impairment.
      • Should standardized test results determine a child is eligible to receive special education services, and the team is able to document a negative impact on educational performance as well as a requirement for special education services, the team will create an Individualized Education Program (IEP).


    What special education services could look like through Onslow County School District:

    • As the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team develops an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the team will create goals that they hope the child will accomplish over the course of the next calendar year.
    • Once the IEP goals are created, the IEP team will determine how much time is needed with special education personnel to obtain that goal.
    • Once the amount of time with special education personnel is determined, the IEP team will discuss the environment in which they believe the child will have the greatest success in meeting their goal.
    • Special education services are offered in a variety of ways and in a variety of environments. Children's unique needs are served in their least restrictive environment.
    • Service implementation could look like, but is not limited to: walk-in services, services provided through a playgroup setting, or services within a home, daycare, or preschool setting.

    I am interested in my child attending preschool. How can my child attend preschool five days a week through the Onslow County Schools Preschool Program?

    • Children who qualify and are found eligible for Head Start or Title I may attend preschool 5 full days a week. Application information as well as required documents for these programs can be viewed at https://www.onslow.k12.nc.us/Page/41541 or can be obtained in person at Thompson Early Childhood Center. Once the application is completed and required information is provided, the parent will have the application reviewed and will answer additional questions in person at Thompson Early Childhood Center. Please call 910-346-6222 for more information regarding how to apply for these programs.
    • Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. Head Start programs support the comprehensive development of children from birth to age 5.
    • Title I is a federally-funded program for 4-year-old children, who, based upon assessment information, are at-risk of failing to meet North Carolina's academic achievement standards as determined by various educationally-related materials.