Early Childhood Reverse Inclusion Pre-K Program

Program Description

Early childhood reverse inclusion pre-k programs are special education programs taught by early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers. These classrooms consist of same age children with and without disabilities. The programs are designed to provide special education services to preschool students identified as having a disability under IDEA. Students without disabilities must follow an application and screening process in order to participate. Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) has established multiple reverse inclusion pre-k programs at a number of our elementary schools. These programs provide students with the opportunity to interact and learn from their peers and to accept and understand differences in others.

In addition, all early childhood reverse inclusion pre-k (RIPK) programs:

  • Staffed by highly qualified early childhood special education teachers.
  • Create a challenging learning environment.
  • Foster a learning environment that encourages acceptance and appreciation of different abilities.
  • Promote an increase in self-confidence.
  • Encourage relationships among peers of differing abilities.

RIPK Program Description

All of our early childhood reverse inclusion classes begin in September and follow the school schedule at each individual building. RIPK classes are full day and will be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  Please note that no classes will take place on Wednesdays. Parents are responsible for providing lunch or establishing a lunch account.

Selection criteria for peers without a disability:

  • Children must be residents of Hanover County.
  • Children must be four-years-old by September 30 of the year of enrollment.
  • Children must be toilet trained.
  • Children must enjoy the company of other children and demonstrate the ability to act as role models for peers with disabilities.
  • Children will be screened to assess their physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional, and adaptive skills and must demonstrate no significant deficits in these areas.* 

*If you or your child’s pediatrician have concerns about your child’s development, please contact your neighborhood school. 

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted until May 10, 2019. To apply, please complete the online application. If you are unable to complete the application online, please contact Kelly Jones at the Parent Resource Center at 804-365-4596 or via email.

All applications received during the application period will be given equal consideration, and will not be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Completing an application does not guarantee enrollment. Enrollment selections are based on the capacity of the child to act as a role model for peers with disabilities, the child’s developmental readiness, and over all ’fit’ for each specific classroom. Not all families who apply will automatically be enrolled into the program due to space availability. The location of reverse inclusion pre-k programs is subject to change based on k-5 enrollment, so specific locations are not guaranteed. 

Following the submission of your child’s application, an HCPS employee will contact you to invite your child to a screening. The screenings, which will take approximately 30 minutes, will be at Hanover County School Board office (200 Berkley Street, Ashland VA 23005) on May 15 from 9:00 to 11 a.m., on May 23 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and on May 30 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Your child must be invited for a screening. 

Notification letters or emails will be sent to parents at the conclusion of the application and screening process. Notification status could include: acceptance into the program, being placed on a waiting list, or notification that the child did not meet the specified program criteria. Typically, families are informed of their child’s acceptance into the program in early June, which is later than the deadline for many community preschools. Given the limited enrollment numbers in the HCPS RIPK programs, we encourage you to consider reserving a place for your child at the community preschool of your choice. This will ensure daycare/preschool access for your family elsewhere in the event that your child is not selected for participation in this program.

Program locations may vary from year to year. A number of factors, including but not limited to, the home-school location of early childhood students with disabilities accessing ECSE services and school age enrollment in each HCPS elementary school, determines program location.

Parent Responsibilities

When a child is selected to participate in the RIPK program, parents of accepted students agree to:

  • Register their child at the elementary school where he/she will be attending the RIPK program.
  • Pay a materials fee of $125.00 per semester.
  • Supply items on the preschool supply list.
  • Provide transportation to and from the program location.
  • To ensure your child is not released from the program, fees must be paid no later than the end of the first month of each semester. 

HCPS reserves the right to dismiss any general education student accepted in the program who is unable to act as an effective role model in the classroom.

All of our early childhood reverse inclusion classes begin in September and follow the school schedule at each individual building. RIPK classes are full day and will be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Please note that no classes will take place on Wednesdays. Parents are responsible for providing lunch or establishing a lunch account.

Questions?

Additional questions? Contact Kelly Jones at our Parent Resource Center at 804-365-4596 or via email.

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