Welcome to Prekindergarten...the Right Beginning
...the official website of the Prekindergarten Program for Children with Disabilities in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL. We serve children, ages 3 to 5 years old, with disabilities (see side bar) and their families (see side bar) in 200 classrooms in 101 schools around the district. Our contact information can be found at the bottom of each page of this site.
Pre-K Special Education Overview
Our Prekindergarten children participate in a variety of educational activities during the school day, which runs from 8:20 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. for the full day program or 8:25 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. or 11:20 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. for the half-day program , Monday through Friday.
Prekindergarten children are active learners. They discover their world by direct experiences. Within our classrooms, the children are provided with opportunities to:
- manipulate materials
- choose activities
- acquire skills with tools and equipment
- solve problems
- use small and large muscles
- take care of ones own needs within a carefully planned daily routine.
Daily Routine - Items marked with an * are not part of the daily routine in the half-day programs.
*Breakfast - Children improve eating and self-help skills, taste different foods, and work on table manners. They may eat in the classroom or cafeteria.
Greeting Time - Children greet each other, sing songs, recite nursery rhymes and finger plays, and engage in activities to unite, to connect, and to disengage stress.
Phonological Awareness - Children develop word and rhyme awareness, compound words, syllable awareness and alliteration.
Planning Time - Children choose areas and materials they will use during work time. They make decisions about the activities they will do each day.
Work Time - Children work in various areas in the classroom such as house, blocks, toy, art, music, writing, sand and water, and books. They work on skills as specified in their Individual Educational Plan (IEP). The teacher will encourage the children, set up problem solving situations, and observe how the children interact with others.
Clean Up Time - Children are expected to return materials and equipment to their places. The children learn where items belong and why certain items are stored together.
Recall Time - Children reflect on, share, and discuss or act-out their work time experiences.
Small Group Time - Children work on an activity presented by the teacher for a set period of time to make choices and solve problems in the areas of Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Cognition, and Language.
Socialization/Self-Help - Children learn to interact with other classmates and adults. They may play in the classroom and/or take part in music, art, games, cooking, and/or supervised field trips. Potty training and dressing activities are included.
*Lunch - The goals of lunch are the same as those for breakfast.
Large Group Time - Children meet together with the adults for playing games, singing songs, doing finger plays, learning dances, playing musical instruments, exercises or retelling a special event. Children can share ideas and participate in fun activities as members of a large group.
Shared Reading Time - Children engage in reading readiness, listening, speaking and writing activities that focus on book concepts, concepts of print, print awareness, letter recognition and story innovations.
*Rest Time - Children rest, nap, look at books or mobiles, or play quietly with a toy.
Outside Time - Developmental playgrounds, located at each site, provide children with opportunities for movement, exploration, improved locomotion, balance and creative play. Water and sand play allow additional opportunities to explore the environment.
Literacy - As part of all parts of the daily routine, children take part in everyday conversation, use language in their play and share their discoveries. They participate in experiences with the written word, listen to stories, use print materials, learn about letters and journals, begin to write and form letters and words.
Computers - Children use computers and developmentally appropriate early childhood software. In addition, the P.R.I.M.E. Time motorcoach and the Pre-K Tech Team are available to support teachers and students with assistive technology materials and strategies.
Speech/Language - Children are eligible for speech and/or language therapy after an evaluation by a certified speech/language pathologist indicates a need based on state and local criteria. Children work in a small group with the speech/language pathologist to increase speech and/or language skills. The speech/language pathologist may suggest activities to be used in the classroom or home.
Parent Conference/Classroom Visit - Classroom visits and conferences between the teacher, therapist and parent are encouraged. If you would like to make an appointment to meet at your child's school, please telephone between the hours of 2:00 - 3:20 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Transportation - Transportation for Pre-K SPED students is available if noted on a child's IEP. Students weighing less than 40 lbs. must be transported in a car seat provided by M-DCPS.
Physical Therapy - Children are in need of physical therapy when their physician and school therapist indicate a need for treatment to support special education services. Through special exercises, physical therapists work on improving muscles to enhance total motor development. Activities include wheelchair mobility, improving walking skills, balancing and strengthening exercises, and activities for improving posture. The therapist will provide a home program to reinforce skills targeted in school if requested.
Occupational Therapy - Children are in need of occupational therapy when the school therapist indicates a need for treatment to support special education services. Special exercises improve feeding and dressing skills, muscle strength and coordination, and work/play skills. The therapist will provide a home program to reinforce skills targeted in school if requested.
Orientation and Mobility - Visually impaired children are eligible for orientation and mobility services upon an evaluation and assessment by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Specialist in Orientation and Mobility Services. Individual independent travel training is provided for each child, as appropriate. The basic goal of this instructional program is safe mobility within the child's environment.
Speech/Language Therapy - Children in need of speech/language therapy as a related service must first be identified as a student with a disability and be receiving Special Education Services. Goals and benchmarks, as well as the type, frequency, duration and appropriate service delivery model are determined by the IEP Team which must include a Speech/Language Pathologist. The basic goal of this related service is to support the implementation of the communication goals in the classroom.
Our certified teachers work with prekindergarten children with the following disabilities:
- autism spectrum disorder
- deaf/hard of hearing
- developmental delay
- dual sensory impairment
- emotional / behavioral disability
- intellectual disability
-other health impairment
-specific learning disability
-speech/ language impairment
-traumatic brain injury
- visual impairment
Family education is provided by the Instructional Supervisor of Prekindergarten Parent Education. Families who understand their child's disability, are aware of community resources available to help them, and understand their child's educational program will be better prepared to incorporate this information into daily living.
Family education classes are available to parents, family members and friends of special education students in different schools around the county on a variety of topics such as:
- language and literacy activities for the home
- your child's educational needs
- make and take games for your child
- positive discipline
- stress management
- community resources
- and transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten
Check our family education and training calendars on our For Families page for English and our Para Familias page for Spanish.