The school is 5 minutes or less from our house and is only a few years old. We met with a social worker from the district, an intern that was working with her, our case manager from Early Intervention, her intern, and our physical therapist. The social worker explained the different programs that are available and all pertinent information that goes along with this.
After Colin is evaluated, it will be decided that Colin will participate in one of these 3 programs:
1. 2 hour program: 1 special education teacher, 1 paraprofessional, typical children who put their names into a lottery and pay to go to the school, and about 6-7 kids who are classified. Originally I had it in my head that this was the program I wanted Colin in because I wanted him with typically developing children, but they are allowed to have up to 18 kids in this classroom and when I peeked in, it was way too many kids for what I want for Colin.
2. 3 hour program: (his most likely choice) 1 special education teacher, 2 paraprofessionals, and the max number of kids is 12. The children in this class are all classified, but it is a range of disabilities.
3. 5 hour program (full day): 1 special education teacher, 3 paraprofessionals, and the max number is much less but these children that are classified have more needs due to medical conditions or cognition delays.
We toured the school and when we walked into the class of the 3 hour program, the kids were working and she asked them to say hi and tell us what they were doing. It was really cute. I think people expect that this is going to be really hard for us, but we are used to having Colin in a school setting and I am really excited to challenge him in a setting that is geared towards him and his needs. Of course, it's hard to think of my little boy getting on a bus and going to school at 3 years old, but it's what we have to do so I think it's just an idea that we easily accept.
One thing that is difficult though is to sit in these meetings and listen to everyone talk about your child in such an official way. Chris and I were saying after that we just wish we could have had him there so it wasn't so official and so they could see how awesome he is :)