The Preschool Programs for Children With Disabilities (PPCD) in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD is designed to serve children ages 3 through 5 years who have been identified as disabled and determined to be at-risk of not achieving academic and life skills without intervention.
Referrals for screening of students are made through the Department of Special Education located at the Instructional Support Center, 10300 Jones Road, Houston, Texas, 77065; Martha Copeland, phone (281) 897-6400, fax (281) 897-6403. Intake information is obtained from the parent(s) and the information is given to the respective educational diagnostician located at the cluster campus determined to be the closest to the child’s attendance area. Screenings and comprehensive assessments are then scheduled at the PPCD cluster campus. Parents are encouraged to make the referral call two to three months prior to their child’s third birthday.
Children are eligible if they are determined by a multi-disciplinary team to meet state criteria as a child with a disability. The disabilities are: orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, auditory impairment, visual impairment, deaf-blind, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, learning disability, speech impairment, autism, multiple disabilities, noncategorical early childhood, and traumatic brain injury. There is no fee for services.
Classes are offered Monday through Friday for half-day (AM or PM-3 hours) and full-day sessions, depending on individual needs. If children have an educational need for related services, they are delivered during the assigned session as part of the child’s daily program.
Services for children in PPCD include daily structured activities to develop language (expressive and receptive), cognitive, social/emotional, motor (fine and gross motor), and self-help skills. Additional services may include transportation, assistive technology, counseling, or occupational, physical, or speech therapy, if recommended by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee.
Some children who only need speech services may be recommended for speech services without the entire PPCD program. For example, a child might come to the school two times a week for thirty minutes each session. These services are provided at the child’s home campus.
Staffing is provided to accomplish small class groupings of approximately 10-12 children per session with a teacher, instructional aide, and a speech and language pathologist at each campus. Itinerant teachers and therapists assist in servicing children, as needed.
The PPCD Curriculum contains five major areas—Cognition (thinking and perception skills), Communication (language development), Self-help, Fine/Gross Motor, and Social/Emotional (development of self-awareness and responsibility). The curriculum is designed to meet the wide variety of needs in young children.
A variety of performance assessment techniques are used to evaluate and report student progress, including teacher observation, anecdotal records, student verbal and non-verbal interaction with teachers and other students, skills checklists, and student work samples. Parents receive periodic reports (at least every six weeks) of their child’s progress on the Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals and objectives. Weekly newsletters, informal communication notebooks, and parent conferences are widely used by teachers and therapists to maintain open lines of communication with parents.