About POP

Preschool Outreach Program

The Preschool Outreach Program (POP) services children ages 3 through 5 who have been identified as needing special education services. The program is located in the lower level wing of Timothy Edwards Middle School. The structure of the program (hours, days, and staffing) remains flexible and may change annually based on the individual needs of the identified children. Role model peers from the community are included to provide age appropriate modeling of play, language, and social skills.The program has an interdisciplinary language-based approach and incorporates the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS). Staff members include certified teachers, paraprofessionals, speech and language pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, social worker, psychologist, board certified behavior analyst (BCBA), and a nurse. Parent participation and involvement are important components of the program.

Intensive POP (IPOP)

IPOP is a specialized preschool experience for students requiring a systematic teaching approach. This program is based upon empirically validated, research-based approaches to teaching and behavior intervention such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped Children (TEACCH), and Pictures Exchange Communications System (PECS). Skills are broken down, repeated often, and performance is reinforced to maximize the acquisition of skills for students who have challenges learning in the typical POP classroom.Referrals to IPOP are made through the PPT process and the specific services a student receives are determined by the team. Skills-based assessments are conducted as a tool to monitor progress during the year. Levels of support and the time required in IPOP are monitored and adjusted as appropriate through the PPT process. The amount of time a student is included in a typical POP classroom is also determined on an individual basis by the PPT. Children enrolled in the IPOP program have access to speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy if deemed eligible through evaluation and the PPT process. In addition, a BCBA provides support to the program on a regular basis.

Special Education Eligibility

³ South Windsor resident

³ Three (3) years of age or older

³ Demonstrate one or more of the following areas of significant educational need as determined by a developmental assessment:

  • Cognitive
  • Perceptual/Motor
  • Social
  • Communication Skills

Special Education Referrals

Referrals for children who may require special education services can be made by parents, family members, and community professionals who are familiar with the child. Referrals should be made to the social worker at your home elementary school (e.g., Eli Terry, Orchard Hill, Philip R. Smith or Pleasant Valley). The elementary school team will conduct a screening of the child, which may include a home visit or an observation at a day care placement. If the screening results indicate possible need for service, a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting will be arranged to decide what evaluations need to be administered. Upon completion of the evaluations, another PPT will be held to determine what services are required and to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP).