District 58 to offer free preschool and developmental screenings

DOWNERS GROVE – Downers Grove Grade School District 58 will offer several free preschool and developmental screenings designed to identify young children who might have developmental delays and who would benefit from special education before beginning kindergarten.

Screenings also can identify children who might be at risk in terms of future academic success because of environmental, cultural or socio-economic factors, a news release stated.

The district provides both traditional preschool screenings for children ages 3 to 5, as well as developmental screenings for children ages birth through 3. All children must reside within District 58 boundaries to be eligible for a screening.

District 58 highly encourages parents to make a screening appointment if they plan to enroll their child in the district’s Grove Children’s Preschool program, the release stated. Parents interested in applying for a tuition waiver via the program’s Preschool For All grant are required to have their child complete a preschool screening.

To request a screening, call the district office at 630-719-5800.

District 58 conducts its screening process in a two-stage format:

Stage 1: After parents call the district office to confirm residency and request a screening, the district will mail home a screening packet. The packet includes a family questionnaire and an Ages and Stages Assessment form. Complete the packet and mail it to Indian Trail School in the self-addressed, stamped envelope provided. A team member will contact the family to discuss their child’s results. If the results indicate further inquiry, children will be requested to participate in Stage 2 of the screening process. Note: Not all Stage 1 participants will progress to Stage 2.

Stage 2: During this stage, children will be assigned a specific time and date at Henry Puffer School, 2220 Haddow Ave., for an in-person screening. Stage 2 screenings will take place from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on the following Mondays: Sept. 27, Nov. 1, Feb. 7, March 7 and April 11.

Parents must bring the following to the preschool screening: their child’s original birth certificate, and a photo ID with current address and two qualifying forms to demonstrate residency.

Staff will assess a child’s development in the following areas: speech/language, cognitive/pre-academic, self-help/independent living, fine motor, gross motor, vision/hearing and social/emotional/behavior skills. The process takes up to 90 minutes, so families are asked to plan accordingly.

About Grove Children’s Preschool

Grove Children’s Preschool is a Gold-rated program. The Illinois State Board of Education awards Gold ratings to preschool programs that meet the developmental and individual needs of all children in a safe, inclusive and nurturing environment while promoting educational success through engaging and collaborative learning experiences, a news release stated.

Grove Children’s Preschool class sessions take place at Henry Puffer and Indian Trail schools in Downers Grove. Parents may enroll their students in a tuition-based, five-day-a-week program. The program waives preschool tuition costs for students who qualify for the Preschool For All grant funding. The grant supports preschoolers who complete a preschool screening that places them at risk for future academic difficulties because of potential developmental delays or environmental, cultural or socio-economic factors.

For information about Grove Children’s Preschool, go to www.dg58.org/preschool.