Preschool Inclusion Program Works with Assistance of Liaison

children playing with large puzzle pieces
  • 25- Delaware County IU 25

    IU25 - Delaware County Intermediate Unit
    25- Delaware County IU 25
    245 Bethel Road
    Glen Mills, PA 19342

  • Success Story Contact

    Adell Kochubka
    Phone: 610-692-6642
    Email: akochubka@dciu.org
    School Website:
    http://www.dciu.org/92244215111519/site/default.asp

  • BSE/PaTTAN’s Role in Success:

    PaTTAN administers the grant that DCIU received from PDE.

The Delaware County Intermediate Unit has developed a program to ensure that three- to five-year-old children will be adequately prepared to enter kindergarten.

The Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) is committed to ensuring that three- to five-year-old children will be adequately prepared to enter kindergarten. Using a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), the DCIU set up four sites in Delaware County where early intervention staff works intensely with early childhood staff one-on-one to ensure inclusive classrooms that meet both students’ and teachers’ needs.The Preschool Liaison for Authentic Inclusion (PLAI) program, which was established with the three-fold purpose of increasing the percentage of children receiving special education services in community settings, increasing the numbers of partners for inclusion, and developing policies and strategies to support inclusion. The difference in this program is that DCIU decided to concentrate on individual and small group coaching on an ongoing basis. Thus support is provided at individual sites based on the needs of that school’s early childhood staff. Since positive behavior support was identified as the overwhelming priority by all EI PLAI partners, it is the main focus for the sites. The EI PLAI team members include two special education itinerant teachers, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist. The team serves fours sites, which includes a total of 22 teachers serving 350 children.

The ongoing and immediate support has made an impact on inclusive classrooms – building capacity within the county, and developing sustainable and effective partnerships with the itinerant special education teachers and early childhood staff. Since the special education teachers are on site, they can provide immediate and practical support. The biggest shift that the EI PLAI teams have seen is the ongoing development of successful inclusive classrooms. Teachers now have strategies that help them provide extra support to children with special needs, along with their typically developing peers.One teacher had this to say about the support she was receiving. “I met with Mrs. T today. Since Tyrone came back to school, he has not cried once! Mrs. T sees definite improvement in his ability to self-regulate his behavior using the strategy we taught him. When he needs to wait for a certain toy, he will go to the library and cross his arms in a huff, but in about 30 seconds, he will pick out a book to pass the time. Tyrone’s behavior is completely different now.” Congratulations to the Delaware County Intermediate Unit and their EI PLAI success story!