Community Services for Children’s Head Start program has collaborated with Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 for 15 years. During this time, Head Start and IU 20 have been a collaborative community partner assisting children ages three to five years old who have special needs. Together, we provide programming for children who are eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) alongside typically developing children.
Through our collaboration, Head Start children and children with verified disabilities are learning and developing together. Our collaboration ensures three staff members are available in each of the nine classrooms to support the higher number of children with special needs. Special education teachers from IU20 help to advance children’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and work with the Head Start teachers by offering teaching and adaptive strategies, providing trainings to address identified concerns, and recommending materials to foster children’s development. The Head Start and IU 20 teachers meet weekly to develop individualized plans for children and coordinate to meet with families for parent teacher conferences and home visits. Sandra Genzel, Vice-President of Pre-School Services adds, “We are proud of this partnership and the way it highlights our mission ensuring every child succeeds.”