• Independence Center for Early Learners serves at-risk and special needs students aged 3 to 5 years within School District U-46. Students are identified either by the early intervention system or through a developmental screening. Placement options are designed to meet the needs of individual students. A wide variety of therapies based on a child's individual educational plan (IEP) supplement classroom activities. A Dual Language program is available for students whose first language is Spanish. ESL classes are available for students who have a language other than English spoken at home. 

    U-46 early childhood programs offer a continuum of educational services to meet the individual needs of children, following the special education mandate of least restrictive environment. Early learning, developmentally appropriate experiences support children's social, academic and physical development helping to prepare them for a successful kindergarten experience. 

    The High Scope Curriculum is used to guide instruction in the U-46 programs.

    Not all preschool experiences take place in the classroom. Placement is determined by each child's needs.

    U-46 Services for Preschool Age Children

    • Home-bound instruction: educational services provided in the home for children too ill to come to school
    • Home School Speech: therapy delivered at the child's home school for children who do not need classroom programming.
    • 5-day special education classes: these classes meet Monday through Friday and have 8 to 10 students with special education disabilities whose needs warrant a smaller class size, more individualized instruction and a need for systems to be developed for speech, activities of daily living and /or behavior.
    • 5-day, state-funded preschool: designed for students who need enriched experiences in order to succeed in kindergarten.

    Click here to visit the district's Early Learners Preschool page