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Posted Feb. 3, 2016 at 8:45 AM
The Williamson County Early Childhood Cooperative has announced the beginning of their yearly screening process.
By SHEA LAZANSKY
Staff Writer: Marion Daily Republic
Williamson County Announces Annual Developmental Screening
ECC will begin taking phone calls to schedule screening appointments for March. The screenings for students includes a hearing and vision test for children that are already three years of age. The group also provides an opportunity for a dental screening through a collaboration with Dental Safari.
The screenings last three hours, and are free.
Parents looking to enroll their student in a Pre-K classroom, need to be aware of age restrictions.
Laura Bishop, a Pre-K teacher at Longfellow Elementary in Marion, said that students have to be at least three to qualify for Pre-K, and that the eldest students are typically five years old.
“If they’re kindergarten eligible, they cannot attend - they have to move on to kindergarten,” Bishop said. But that doesn’t lower the enrollment for students, as blended classrooms typically have 15 students, while a regular room could have 20.
According to Bishop, the difference between a regular Pre-K classroom, and a blended or co-taught room, is that some students in a blended or co-taught room may have IEPs (Individualized Education Plans), that make sure that students with special needs receive the best care and teaching possible. Bishop said that blended and co-taught rooms allow students with IEPs to come in and mainstream with other students, helping to improve their social skills.
Bishop praised Pre-K classrooms, saying that they allow students to get a head start.
“We try to target exactly where they are, developmentally, and we try to work on that daily with the kids,” Bishop said. “It just makes it an easier transition, when they have attended Pre-K, to go into kindergarten.
The Williamson County ECC serves 540 children in Williamson County between the ages of 3 and 5, with 14 classroom teachers and aides. In Marion, there are Pre-K classrooms at every elementary school, with two sessions a day for regular, co-taught, and blended classrooms.