Research suggests that combining students with disabilities with age appropriate typically developing peers has important implications for both groups of children. All students learn acceptance and sensitivity as well as positive social interactions and play behavior. Students learn to work and play together in a school community that reflects the real world.
The Salem Early Childhood Center is designed to serve Salem Children ages three to five 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. Currently for this school year we have 102 students enrolled with the capacity for 136. Enrollment is based on 15 students in each classroom with a ratio of 8 peer models to 7 Students on Individualized Education Plans.