Caring for Our Youngest Students
Nothing evokes a smile as readily as a newborn babe. Each day provides endless opportunities to observe, to explore, and to learn. Sitting, standing, walking, and talking are all important benchmarks involving many complex developmental skills. Educators have become increasingly aware of the importance of these early years. As such, a federal mandate was initiated for all public schools to support a Birth to Three Year Old Program for those identified with special needs. This federal money is earmarked for our youngest students and cannot be used for any other purpose. Our Birth to Three Program is part of the Developmental Preschool housed at Lake Spokane Elementary.
The Birth to Three Program team is comprised of Lisa Isakson (Teacher), Michelle Mace, School Psychologist, Leigh French (Speech and Language Pathologist), and Amanda Krueger (Physical Therapist). Together these professionals work with children on skills in the areas of cognitive, self-help, social, motor development, and speech/language. The team also works to assist families with in-home, follow-up therapies. Individual Family Service Plans are developed for each student to ensure that all the child’s needs are being met. Our goal is to provide individual, family-centered services for children with a developmental delay compared to peers their age and/or disability. We can also assess children if there are concerns to determine if there is a delay and help make recommendations appropriate for that child/family. For example, we assist children in reaching motor milestones such as sitting, crawling, walking, self care skills such as dressing and using utensils, and develop and enhance communication skills, cognition, and social skills.
Thus far, most students have been referred to the new Birth to Three Program by either Spokane or Stevens County Health Districts. A physician can also make a referral. Parents who have concerns about their child’s development can also contact Lisa Isakson (509) 340-4073, or Michelle Mace (509) 340-4214. With this program, the Nine Mile School District assists these young students with their discovery of learning. Lisa's email is email@example.com, and Michelle's email is firstname.lastname@example.org