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Student Progression Plan

Early Childhood Programs

Program Overview

Early childhood programs are designed to provide developmentally appropriate, standards-based instruction for children under the age of five in preparation for kindergarten and are located at designated district school sites.

Specific program locations and enrollment requirements are available on the district website. The parent or guardian must provide documentation of eligibility to enroll./p>

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Head Start

Head Start is a federally funded, comprehensive child development program for at risk students. Eligibility is based on the child’s age and family income.

Children must be three or four years of age on or before September 1 of the enrollment school year, except in cases where the Head Start program's approved grant provides specific authority to serve younger children.

Family income must meet the criteria as published in the Federal Poverty Guidelines. In addition, children who are in foster care, homeless, or receiving public assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income are also considered eligible for Head Start. Upon entry into the program, each child receives required screenings to assess overall health and developmental strengths and/or needs to include indications of delays or disabilities. Through initial assessment and progress monitoring, the program is designed to provide personalized experiences that supports the intellectual and developmental needs of the whole child.

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Prekindergarten Exceptional Student Education

The Primary Early Exceptional Preschool Services program (PEEPS) provides specialized instruction and intervention for children with a developmental delay or disability who are age three to five years old. The program is designed to increase inclusive opportunities and developmentally appropriate learning experiences for the district’s youngest learners.

Interventions are embedded in the curriculum as appropriate for each child. The continuum of services may include the following options:

  • part-time, walk-in services;
  • itinerant in-home or private preschool services; and/or
  • full-time classroom on-site services.
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Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK)

The Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) was implemented to give all 4-year-olds access to a quality prekindergarten experience. The VPK program is offered at no cost to families, without income requirements or restrictions. Students must reside in Florida and be 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the enrollment year.

A child who will be five years of age after February 1 and before September 2 is eligible for VPK or kindergarten, if there was no prior enrollment in either program. This exception is intended as an option for children who would normally enroll in kindergarten as a younger 5-year-old, allowing additional time for kindergarten readiness.

Parents have the option of enrolling eligible children in a school-year program (540 instructional hours) or a summer program (300 instructional hours). Seats are limited, and early application is encouraged.

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