North Chicago Community Unit School District #187 offers a free preschool screening for any child age 3-5 (not eligible for kindergarten) who lives in North Chicago or Great Lakes. This is a developmental screening to let parents or guardians know how their child is developing. The screening consists of the child and a teacher “playing games” which assess fine and gross motor, basic concepts and language and speech. Parents will also complete paperwork to provide input about how they see their child. The results of the screening will be shared with the parents on the screening day. The screening team will make a recommendation about any services for which the child may be eligible. If the child is developing in a typical manner with no areas of concern from the screening team or from the parental input, that child requires no follow up before kindergarten. If there are areas of concern, the youngster may be offered a space in our Preschool Enrichment Program. Screening and services are provided in English and Spanish but we have screened and enrolled children who speak other languages as well.
How do I register my child? The first step is to make sure that all children are screened. Contact the Registrar’s Office at 847-578-7400, Ext. 7249 and get on the list for screening. Children cannot be put on the list until they are 3 years old and the child must live in North Chicago or Great Lakes.
Why does my child have to be screened? The district offers programs for preschoolers who may have some delays in their development. The screening is how we identify children who may need our services.
Do I have to come to the screening? Yes, we need you and your child. We need your written consent to screen your child and we need your information about your child. It will help us understand and know your child.
What is the screening like? The staff works to make the experience playful and comfortable for your child. Your child will play games that focus on speech and language, fine and grow motor, and basic concepts.
When will I learn how my child did on the screening? We will tell you at the screening appointment how your child is developing and what programs may best fit your child’s needs.
What if I don’t agree with the screening recommendations? As the child’s parent, you have every right to decide that you do not agree. However, we do not rescreen children. We continue to be available by phone to answer any questions that you may have.
PRESCHOOL ENRICHMENT PROGRAM (PEP)
This is a free preschool program. It is a half-day, classroom-based program. The morning session is from 8:15-10:45 and the afternoon session is from 11:45-2:15. Each child must be screened before enrolling in PEP. Each classroom has a maximum of 20 children with a teacher and a paraprofessional. Some of the children may have special needs and therapists will also be in the classroom. The PEP philosophy is that children learn best through active, self-initiated play. The program focuses on social development and language development. A majority of the child’s day is spent doing an activity that the child has planned to do. The adults in the classroom are trained to observe the children’s play, to know what the next developmental step is for that child and to be ready to help the child reach his potential. PEP follows the same calendar as the rest of the school district. We do not have a summer school program. We do have classrooms that are staffed by persons for whom Spanish is their native language.
- When will I learn if my child is eligible? We will tell you at the screening appointment how your child is developing and what programs may best fit your child’s needs.
- What are the eligibility requirements? If your child is doing everything that we expect for his/her age, we will share that good new with you. However the only children who come to school are children who have some delays. Your child must be 3, 4 or 5 years old, and not eligible for kindergarten. Your child must live in North Chicago or Great Lakes.
- How does my child get to school? Parents are responsible for transporting their child to and from the school. Children who qualify for special education services may use the bus to get to and from school.
- Does my child have to be toilet trained to come to school? No, our staff will work with you and your child to ensure that they are clean and comfortable at school. Parents will need to provide diapers, or pull-ups and wipes.
- Do the preschoolers wear uniforms? No, our children are on the floor, on the playground, painting and learning to be responsible for themselves. Clothes that are wash and wear and easy to get on and off for the bathroom are most important.
- Will there be homework? No, not the kind that parents expect. There may be some projects and activities that we ask you to do with your child but we do not believe that this age child learns best with worksheets or homework. Learning should be fun for all but especially for preschoolers.
- What services are available for my child if they need it? The district has staff that is licensed and trained specifically to work with young children. If your child needs the services, as determined by a full evaluation, speech and language therapists, occupational and physical therapists and social workers and psychologists are available.
- How will I know how my child is doing once enrolled in school? There are two parent/teacher conferences where you will be given information about your child’s strengths and successes. Staff is available for appointments throughout the year.
- What will my child need for the 1st day of school for the Pre-K program? New students will need a name tag for identification purposes if they are not able to tell us.