Special Start

trainSpecial Start is the Cambridge Public Schools’ preschool program for students with and without disabilities 3 to 5 years of age. Here at Cambridgeport, Rose and Kedar are the teachers for the integrated classrooms and Sam is the teacher for the substantially separate classroom.

Our Integrated Preschool Classrooms are inclusive classrooms that enroll both students with IEPs and peer students without IEPs. Each classroom has students with a wide range of disabilities. The classrooms implement high-quality instruction in a language-based, hands-on, multi-sensory curriculum that is aligned to the Massachusetts Early Childhood program standards and frameworks. Peers attend the classrooms four hours a day, five days a week for the school year. Students with IEPs stay for an additional one hour per day, and some students stay for an extended year (11th month), based on their need.

Substantially Separate Preschool Classrooms are classrooms for students with moderate to severe disabilities who require intensive instruction in a small group or individual format. These classrooms use many direct teaching strategies such as discrete trial and task analysis. These classrooms also foster inclusion for students as they are able, by joining another class of same-aged students located in the same building. Students attend substantially separate classrooms for six hours per day, five days per week, 11 months per year.

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