Special Education Services » Birth to Three

Birth to Three

Free Developmental Screening 

Screenings are by appointment only and will be conducted Spring 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year. Please call Oakdale School, 860-859-1800, to schedule an appointment for your child. Children who have reached their 3rd birthday and are not yet eligible for Kindergarten may be screened. According to the State of Connecticut, a child is eligible for Kindergarten at age 5 on or before January 1st.
Many future learning difficulties can be addressed if the challenges are recognized early. The goal of the screening program is to informally observe preschool-aged children residing in Montville in the areas of speech, language, social, motor, and cognitive development.
Please bring your photo identification when visiting Oakdale School.
Is your child a resident of the Town of Montville? Are you interested in having your child attend the Montville Integrated Preschool as a typical peer? Typical peers are selected by lottery from the pool of applicants who pass the developmental screening.  
We appreciate your participation in this program. We hope to have an opportunity to meet each child and family in Montville before they reach school age. We are committed to helping parents answer all questions they may have about their child's growth and development.
If you have significant concerns about your child's development and would like to speak to someone about testing, please call Ms. Jennifer Zagorski, 860-848-1228. If your child is younger than 2 years and 9 months, please contact Birth to Three Services, 1-800-505-7000.
Our Purpose - Child Find Developmental screenings are conducted to locate, identify, and refer as early as possible all young children who may have disabilities. Included in the screening: a brief assessment of a child's speech, language, fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, social/emotional and self-help skills. Identifying potential problems early and addressing these concerns can be a very effective way to ward off later educational problems.
Things to Consider - Your Child's Development Children develop at different rates. It is important to monitor your child's progress for typical development. Your pediatrician can help you recognize delays. Be sure to ask questions.
3 or 4 years old - Does your child: Jump, run, throw, climb using good balance; stand on one foot up to 3 seconds; use toys and other materials to pretend play; use speech that is at least 75% understandable to unfamiliar adults; understand words to tell where things are (in, on, under); enjoy playing with or near other children; ask a lot of "what" and "why" questions; answer simple "who" and "what" questions; maintain good eye contact when talking to you; talk in short sentences; remove some clothing (shoes, socks) with minimal assistance; follow simple directions.
4 or 5 years old - Does your child: Tumble, dance, or play other games that use their legs and arms at the same time; hop on one foot; draw a face; put on most clothing with minimal help; ask questions using what, where, who, and why; say most speech sounds (except s, z, th, l, and r); use words that show size/amount; enjoy playing games with children of the same age; maintain good eye contact when talking to you; use speech that is at least 90% understood by unfamiliar adults; follow simple two-step directions.
The Program The Montville Integrated Preschool provides a developmentally appropriate curriculum based on the standards. Qualifying Montville children, ages 3 to 5 years, receive special education and related services within the confines of an early childhood setting. The program includes children without disabilities who serve as role models, particularly in the areas of language and social skills. The Montville Integrated Preschool is currently located at Oakdale Elementary School. It is provided at no cost to families and transportation is provided for children with special needs only.
Mission Statement The Montville Integrated Preschool is committed to:
  • Providing a safe, nurturing environment in which children can learn
  • Creating opportunities for children to explore developmentally appropriate activities
  • Facilitating development and learning in all areas (pre-academic, language, social-emotional, fine and gross motor)
  • Encouraging family participation in their child's education
Preschool Curriculum The Montville Integrated Preschool curriculum focuses on increasing language, self-help skills, play, motor and social skills in a developmentally appropriate setting. The content engages and challenges children to move them forward in their literacy and language development. Goals are aligned with the Connecticut Standards for Preschool.
Child Find Federal regulations require that all handicapped children, birth to 21 years of age, be located, evaluated and identified. A school district's responsibility in Child Find for ages birth to two years six months is to refer children to the state's Birth to Three system. The Montville Integrated Preschool is committed to providing free and appropriate educational opportunities for students with disabilities. The program has three methods for locating and identifying children with special needs:
  • Group development screenings
  • Parent referral to Director of Special Services office
  • Birth to Three Referrals
Continuum of Services: Special Education For children who are identified as having a disability that requires specially designed instruction, the Planning and Placement Team develops an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The team determines the setting or placement that is most appropriate to deliver the specially designed instruction in the least restrictive environment. A continuum of services is used to guide the placement selection. The continuum is as follows:
Regular education consultation. Children attending private nursery schools in the area, who do not require direct services, may qualify for consultation to the nursery school staff. Montville preschool staff offers both formal and informal training to the center in an effort to facilitate the inclusion of children with disabilities. The Montville staff can model intervention strategies and offer feedback regarding implementation for specific strategies.
Itinerant speech and language services. This placement is appropriate for children who can receive an appropriate education through direct services from a speech and language pathologist. These students do not participate in the preschool program
Preschool program. This placement is for children who demonstrate, through testing or diagnosis, a significant educational need for specially designed instruction that must be implemented in a classroom setting. The amount, type, and intensity of programming are determined by educational need.
Peer Program The Montville Integrated Preschool includes non-disabled peers to serve as role models for children with developmental delays. Placement of peers is made according to preschool programming needs. Preference is given to those children who are four years old. No tuition is charged for participating peers; however, transportation is not provided.
In order for the child to be placed in the lottery as a peer, they must pass the screening and parents must complete required paperwork at the time of their child's screen.  
The lottery is held in late spring to select peers. Parents will be notified of their child's acceptance. Registration papers must be returned by the assigned due date.
Not all applicants are accepted. Children who are not selected in the lottery will remain in the pool of eligible applicants until they are no longer age-eligible for the program. Those who are age-eligible for kindergarten cannot be considered for the peer program. The program reserves the right to make placements and/or changes to the peer program based on programming needs. In the event that a peer is not a good fit for the program, parents will be notified of the need to make alternative preschool arrangements. Peers who are consistently absent, picked up late or arrive late risk losing their placement in the program.