Preschool Special Needs Program

The Preschool Special Needs Program is a federally-mandated service. An amendment to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) makes a range of educational opportunities available to children with moderate to severe disabilities who are aged three to five years old. The program is operated by the Cherokee County School District. Children are served at one of several school sites in the county, through home-based, and/or community-based programs.

Any Cherokee County child age three to five who is experiencing significant difficulties or delays in development, whether physical, mental, or emotional, can be referred for service. Areas of concern can include difficulties in developing speech and language skills, thinking skills, adaptive skills, motor skills or even social skills. A play based assessment will be conducted to determine if your child qualifies for the Preschool Special Needs Program.

What services are available?

  • Assessment: A developmental evaluation of your child’s language skills, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive ability, social/emotional skills and adaptive skills is conducted. Parents are involved in the evaluation process. The preschool assessment will identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Services and programs will be determined at a team meeting in which you will be a participant.
  • Home-Based Services: A certified preschool special educator or paraprofessional works with your child in the home setting.
  • Community-Based Service: A certified special educator or paraprofessional may travel to childcare centers, Head Start centers, or other community settings to provide services to the child, consult with the staff, and/or modify curriculum or materials.
  • Classroom-Based Services: The child’s program is provided in a special education preschool class. Classes are located at selected locations in Cherokee County.
  • Transition Services: Program staff work to ensure a smooth transition from Babies Can’t Wait to the CCSD Preschool Special Needs Program and from the Preschool Special Needs Program into kindergarten.

Who are the staff members?

Our staff consists of psychologists, preschool assessment team members, special education preschool teachers, speech pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Each child’s assessment will determine which services are appropriate for his developmental needs, and the corresponding professionals will be working with him or her. Consultation from other disciplines is also available.

What is the cost for eligible preschool aged students to participate?

All services provided through the Preschool Special Needs Program are offered at no charge. Funding is provided through federal, state, and local sources.

How do I know that my child might need to be assessed?

If you answer yes to more than one of these questions below, your child could benefit from an assessment.

  • Is my child’s learning delayed, or does he seem to learn more slowly than other children?
  • Does my child have trouble walking or using his arms?
  • Does my child have trouble seeing?
  • Does my child not talk or talk very little?
  • Is my child difficult to understand when he speaks?
  • Does my child often not respond when you talk to him, or do I have to repeat things frequently?
  • Does my child get upset easily, cry a lot, have temper tantrums, have sleeping problems, or have other behaviors that concern me?

How do I request an evaluation and/or services for my child?

Please complete the Preschool Special Needs Referral Packet (below) and fax it to 770-720-4791.

If you would like a referral packet mailed to your home address, please contact the Preschool Special Needs Office at 770.721.8562. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Preschool Special Needs Referral Packet (PDF)

Preschool Special Needs Referral Packet – Spanish (PDF)

Preschool Brochure (PDF)