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Early Childhood Special Education

Early Childhood Special Education

Consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all school districts have an obligation to identify and serve children with disabilities, aged 3 and older. The Bozeman Public Schools offers a full continuum of educational services for children with disabilities, aged 3-5, as part of an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program. This continuum may include speech, occupational and/or physical therapy, outreach and consultation support with families and community preschool providers, center-based classroom supports, and inclusive services within a Running Start Kindergarten classroom. ECSE services are available to all eligible children within the district, at no cost to families. Center-based classrooms are located at Whittier and Hyalite Elementary Schools.

Eligibility for ECSE services is determined through an evaluation process to determine whether a child meets state and federal criteria as a child with a disability and shows a need for specially designed instruction. A child must be found eligible under one or more of the follow areas:

  • Developmental Delay
  • Autism
  • Deafness
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Visual Impairment
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Cognitive Disability
  • Speech/Language impairment
  • Other Health Impairment

Developmental screenings for children with suspected disabilities may be scheduled at any time in the school year. Screening information, along with developmental history and other parent-provided information are then used to determine the need for a comprehensive eligibility evaluation.

For more information on Early Childhood Special Education screening and services, please contact our Elementary Special Education Coordinator at 406-581-5382.