OUR APPROACH

ECC Information Session – February 17, 2022

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A Message from Principal Leanne Smith

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Learning at the Early Childhood Center

The Salem Early Childhood Center is designed to serve Salem Children ages three to four years of age and provides half day and full day integrated programs and substantially separate programs. In either program typically developing peers are educated alongside students with disabilities in an inclusion model. The daily schedule includes a rigorous range of activities structured to enhance academic learning. The curriculum includes thematic units incorporated into early literacy, science, social studies, math, life skills, and therapies. Social and play skills instruction is integrated throughout the curriculum.

Classrooms at the Salem Early Childhood Center are integrated and are designed to meet the needs of three and four- year-old students. Peer partners and children with learning disabilities learn side by side. Research suggests that an integrated model has important implications for both groups of children. All children learn acceptance and sensitivity as well as positive social interactions. Students learn to work and play together in a school community that reflects the real world.

Curriculum

Our curriculum is thematic based and ensures that our youngest students are ready for kindergarten. It combines skills-based experiences and purposeful play to ensure learning. Each day teachers plan lessons that incorporate early literacy, science, social studies, math, life skills, and therapies. At ECC learning is fun, hands on and interactive.

Independence

During these critical years of life students at the ECC learn basic skills toward becoming independent members of the community. They learn to take on and off their own coats, care for their belongings, appropriately ask for help when needed and take care of others when they can.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL):

SEL learning principles are integrated into all aspects of the school day. Children are provided with meaningful daily interactions to help them feel safe, nurtured, confident and curious. Our preschool classrooms cultivate an atmosphere of mutual respect. By providing positive behavioral interventions and support, staff at the ECC build positive relationships with children to ensure a welcoming environment and prevent challenging behaviors at school. Our mascot is Pete the Cat. We use Pete to teach the following core values; Be Kind, Be Safe, Be Ready to Learn.

HOW TO APPLY

Eligibility for Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten at ECC:

  • Parents and Guardians of students who turn 3 years old on or before August 31, 2022 are eligible to apply for their children to attend Preschool at the Salem ECC for the 2022-23 school year.
  • Parents and Guardians of students who turn 4 years old on or before August 31, 2022 are eligible to apply for their children to enter the Pre-Kindergarten Lottery through the PIC.