Preschool for All Program in District 129
The Early Learning Academy is a District 129 West Aurora Preschool for All (PFA) Illinois state funded program. This a grant funded program provided by the Illinois State Board of Education. We serve students ages 3-5 in both a 1/2 day and full day day model. As part of the grant funding requirements, families and children must demonstrate locally relevant risk factors to qualify for programming. This information is collected from families at the Preschool Screening. Our program is designed to serve 400 children in a 1/2 day preschool setting and 200 children in a full day setting. All children who attend one of our classrooms must qualify based on the requirements of our grant funding. Children who are eligible for special education services may be served in a variety of classrooms located in buildings throughout the school district.
Our mission is to provide every child with a quality early childhood experience by offering opportunities to meet the whole child's development through play. We prepare students and families for future school and life success. We value and celebrate the diverse cultures, languages, and experiences that make our school and community complete. We create supportive partnerships with families based on open communication and mutual respect.
Vision Statement: We embrace the curiosity, diversity, and the joy of learning for our students and their families.
Aim 1: We seek to create a welcoming environment focused on family engagement and empowerment.
Aim 2: We Stablish safe and trusting relationships and environments with students and their families.
Aim 3: We develop a foundation for the love of learning across home, school, and community.
Screening Process for Preschool Aged Children
As our responsibility for Child Find, and to meet the needs of the three grant programs in West Aurora, screenings will take place four times throughout the school year and over the summer. Screenings for children ages 3-5 are made by appointment with the Early Learning Academy office (630)301-5016. Screenings for children 0-3, will be completed during the screening process when families show up with younger children. Prior to participating in screenings, all families must complete the district registration process. This registration link can found by clicking below:
Following your Child's registration, you will receive information either in the mail or electronically to provide some family information to the screening team. This information will be utilized during the screening process and will be discussed with you in a parent interview. The information gathered supports the various needs of the child and their families. At this time any concerns or information can be shared in confidentiality. We ask that you complete these questionnaires prior to your child's screening to allow us time to focus on the family interview. Any family wanting their child to participate in a West Aurora Preschool program, must complete a screening first to determine if the child is eligible for one of our programs. At the time of the screening, we will also notify families if we are placing children in the program or if the child will be on put wait list for a spot in the program. Please note that we do have limited program availability and waiting lists do exist for our programs throughout the school year.
Screening Tools used at Early Learning Academy:
The West Aurora Early Childhood program will utilize the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) for all preschool screenings. The tool will be utilized based on the chronological age of the child, which will be determined from their birth certificate. Each child will have a formal ASQ completed. This tool will determine the areas of strength and possible areas of further assessment required. The ASQ provides reliable and accurate developmental information for your preschool child. We will be able to better understand your child's areas of strength and work to provide support if needed in other developmental domains. The ASQ will questions about:
- Motor Development: Gross Motor (large muscle skills) & fine Motor (small muscle skills)
- Cognitive Development: Problem solving, persistence, early learning pre-academics
- Social-Emotional Development: Relationships, interactions with others, managing emotions, and taking turns
- Language Development: Receptive Language (understanding of words) & Expressive Language (ability to produce words/sounds)
The questions will be asked with the parent/guardian and the child. Parents/guardians will respond with Yes this happens all the time, Sometimes, or Not yet. Once the screening is completed, results will be shared and discussed in each of the areas of development. Further information about the reliability, importance, and structure of the ASQ can be found at https://agesandstages.com/about-asq/
If you would like to see a sample of the ASQ, you can click the link below to review the screening tool:
If you have any questions or developmental concerns for your child and want to discuss these more, please feel free to call the Early Learning Academy office at any time 630-301-5016. We can discuss these and determine the next steps for your child and family.
Pre-IPT: The Pre-IPT is a language dominance assessment given in English or Spanish depending upon the needs of the child. The test covers four basic areas of oral language proficiency: Vocabulary, Comprehension, Syntax, and Verbal Expression. As the administration of the test progresses, children advance through as many of five levels as they can before reaching the ceiling of their proficiency.
Parent Interview: Parents and one of our Parent Educators will sit and have a conversation about their child. At this time any concerns or information can be shared in confidentiality.
Hearing and Vision Screening: This is a quick assessment to test the child’s hearing and vision. It is administered by a registered nurse. Further referrals may be made based on screening results or parental concerns.
Referral for Evaluation: Based on the results of the preschool screening, parent/guardian interview, and information collected, a child may be referred to our Assessment Clinic for further evaluation in various developmental areas. This team will communicate with the family the of the screening and review the information collected. These evaluations would take place at a separate date and time and will be scheduled directly with the parent/guardian.
What should parents bring to a screening?
- Please bring your child to the screening. We will not be able to proceed without your child present
- The birth certificate must have been uploaded during the registration or brought with to the screening. No child will be screened without their birth certificate on file.
- Photo identification for the parent/guardian. Families will not be allowed to participate in the screening process without a photo identification.
For questions, call 630-301-5016.