Preschool programs in San Juan School District

by Paul Murdock,
Special Ed and Preschool Director, San Juan Schools
Preschool programs are located at every elementary school throughout the district and at the White Mesa Education Center. Our teachers happily welcome three- and four-year-old disabled and non-disabled children into their classrooms.
San Juan School District (SJSD) also contracts with the Navajo Nation Department of Dine Education and Rural Utah Childhood Development to provide special education services for Head Start Programs in our county.
SJSD also collaborates with Root for Kids, the Early Intervention contractor that serves children in San Juan County ages birth through two, to help identify children with disabilities turning three. These partnerships afford SJSD the opportunity to serve the children of our county.
San Juan School district is committed to providing high-quality early childhood education experiences for these students. Each classroom is tailored to meet the needs of the community served.
Additionally, the preschool teachers meet monthly in a Professional Learning Community (PLC). This collaboration serves as a place for continuous improvement, fostering a culture of shared knowledge, and innovation to enhance student outcomes.
PLC Meetings are a place where teachers share success stories, discuss challenges, and problem-solve. The teachers have developed camaraderie that allows for the open exchange of ideas that empower them by drawing upon the collective wisdom of peers.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates that Local Education Agencies (SJSD) provide special education programs to qualifying students with disabilities ages 3-22.
Special education programs are designed to be an integral part of the preschool setting. This inclusion of students with disabilities helps to foster a sense of belonging, empathy, and understanding for all children.
The services offered by SJSD for students with disabilities cover a spectrum of needs including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and behavioral interventions. These services are tailored to the individual needs of each child with the goal of growing his or her cognitive, social, and emotional development.
San Juan School District is teaming with the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Utah State University to improve our preschool programs.
Through grant funding, USU will help SJSD purchase a new preschool curriculum and provide professional development for the teachers and paraeducators. SJSD and USU are working to build stronger community partnerships to help enhance the learning opportunities for our preschool students.
Our partnerships with the families of the students we serve are the most important. Parents and family are a preschooler’s whole world. Student growth, development, and learning happen best when families and teachers work together. These alliances often involve a variety of regular communication working toward a shared responsibility for student learning.
If you have any questions about preschool programs, please reach out to your local elementary school or you can contact Paul Murdock, Director of Special Education Programs at 435-678-1222. If you are a parent of a child 0-2 years old, Root for Kids Early Intervention can be reached at 435-522-5938.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
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Monticello, UT 84535

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