So, we're in the process of getting Lily into preschool. We have two options provided by our district. We are leaning towards one, but I'm interested in what potential pitfalls I'm overlooking. So, I'm going to start by talking about Lily, and then describing the two schools. Any input you could give would be welcomed...
So, Lily is a former 26 week preemie. She has a host of medical problems (trach, g-tube, reactive airway disease, PVL). Her trach will be removed in 3 weeks. She also has CP. She can move independently in her wheelchair, but she cannot cruise, stand, or crawl. Her fine motor skills are at the level of a 9 month old. She can say about 20 words past her trach, and can sign about 10. Her expressive language is expected to improve drastically once the trach is out. Her receptive language is typical for her age. And, as far as we know, her cognitive and social/emotional skills are also typical for her age. She is always trying to imitate other children. Because of her trach, she has always had 1on1 care, even at therapy. She is currently attending an integrated therapy program with 5 other children. That program has a total of 5 adults in the classroom at all time. We plan to continue sending her to this program, even when she starts preschool.
School one is 2 minutes from us. It is a very old school; all classrooms exit to the outside (instead of to a hallway). The building houses the three preschool classrooms, and all the Kindergarten classrooms. The three preschool classrooms are split by age. There is a 3's class, a 3/4 class, and a 4/5 class. The rooms are small, but the ratio of children is 8 typical children to 8 children who are on IEP. There is one teacher and one assistant in each class. The therapists would meet with Lily at a designated time, but they have also been known to stop in and help out if there is a special event happening. The playground is grass and loose mulch. There is one accessible swing. When Lily goes to physical therapy, she would have to go outside, and cross the campus to the motor room. The bathrooms aren't currently accessible. I have not been able to meet with the 3's teacher, so I don't know what a typical class session looks like. However, I was given the impression that children's center time may be disrupted by required table work. There is currently one child in a wheelchair in the 4/5s class.
School two is 20 minutes from us. The building is newer and utilizes some modern day technology, such as smart boards. The ratio is 16 typical children to 8 children on IEPs. The children range in age from 3 to 5. There are 2 teachers and 2 assistants. In addition, Junior and Senior high school students from the career center assist within the classroom. The room is large and contains many centers. The playground is partially paved. The motor room is attached to the classroom and utilized by the entire class during center time. The routine for the day includes signing in, class motor time, circle time, centers and playground. There is a system in place to ensure each child visits each center at least once a day. No therapists are on site. Instead, therapists would come at designated time each week (no dropping in). However, the teacher assured me that whatever interventions Lily needed would be implemented throughout the week by the teachers and assistants. This school has not had a child in a wheelchair in 9 years.
So, we're leaning towards school two. But, is there anything you think might be a potential issue. Any reason we should reconsider school one? Thanks so much!