Early Childhood Special Education Program

The Early Childhood special education program for Teton School District 401 provides and oversees services for children ages 3 to 5 who experience developmental delays or other disabilities as recognized by the state of Idaho Department of Special Education. The Early Childhood program serves to:

  1. Collaborate with early intervention to transition children from infant/toddler services to school district special education services as mandated under IDEA.
  2. Assist in identifying developmental needs within the community in children ages 3 to 5.
  3. Assess the eligibility of children for special education and related services.
  4. Provide educational placements for preschool students based on the students’ least restrictive environment.
  5. Design and implement Individual Education Plans (IEP) for preschool students.

The services include:

  • Educational services
  • Developmental therapy services
  • Speech and language services
  • Physical therapy services
  • Occupational therapy services
  • Hearing and Vision services

In order to be eligible for any of these services, your child must qualify based on the State of Idaho and Federal special education guidelines. Screenings are held multiple times, in August, November, and January each school year. For more information about screenings please contact Nicole Elliott, Special Education Director at the Teton School District district office, (208) 228-5923 ext. 2036 or Megan Bybee, Principal at Rendezvous Upper Elementary (208) 228-5926.

Integrated Pre-Kindergarten Peer Recruitment:

Teton School District recruits typical peer models for its classes. The purpose of including peers who do not qualify for special education services is to provide appropriate models for students who qualify for the pre-k program. In order to be selected as a peer model for the inclusion program, a child must complete an academic and cognitive screening and be considered age appropriate in the following areas:

  • Developmental
  • Speech and Language
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Social/Emotional Development

Qualification for the inclusion program includes an academic and cognitive screening. If a students’ results are age appropriate in the screening, the student will be invited for 2 days of observation in the classroom setting. Following a successful observation period, students who meet age-appropriate requirements for typical peers will enroll in a 2-week probationary program to ensure that the fit is appropriate for the pre-k program and the student.

Parents may state a preference for a morning or afternoon placement, although placement is based on available spaces. Following the probationary enrollment students will continue full-time enrollment in the pre-k program or will be placed on a waiting list for an available space in the program.

Inclusion Program Fees

Typical peers will be included in 4 half-days per week in either a morning or afternoon program. Fees are reflective of the space given to the student, not for attendance. Fees are charged at a flat monthly rate prorated over the year to create an equal monthly rate independent of the number of school days. The monthly fee is $200 per month.

Payment plans are available and parents must sign a payment plan prior to their student enrolling in the program. The first month of enrollment must be paid prior to enrollment in the program. The 2-week probationary period is included in the initial monthly payment.

If at any point a payment is late, parents will receive a phone call for notification of a late payment. If a payment is 5 days late, the student will be dropped from the program and the space made available for another student.


The pre-k curriculum is developed by teachers to support the whole child which includes but is not limited to: language, cognition, social competence, and self-regulation. Our philosophy is to use developmentally appropriate activities for young children following best practice standards according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Skills are taught in an integrated environment that uses play as a facilitator of learning. Monthly child and teacher directed themes help stimulate imaginations and active learning comes alive in the classroom as students explore animals, trips to the moon, camping under the stars and much more.

Brain research and sensory integration strategies are incorporated into teaching practices. The use of rhythm, rhyme, and stress reduction techniques are incorporated throughout the day. Goals from the Idaho Early Learning E Guidelines (www.earlychildhood.dhw.idaho.gov) are aligned with Idaho Core Standards to provide educational outcome baselines.