1000 Harrison St, La Porte, IN 46350
Phone: (219) 324-3287
Fax: (219) 326-7611
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Little Learners Preschool

  • This program is available for general education 3, 4, and 5-year olds residing in the Handley attendance area. This program also serves South LaPorte County Special Education Cooperative students that live within New Prairie, LaPorte, Tri-Township, South Central, or Westville districts who have been evaluated and determined to be eligible for preschool special education services (see eligibility requirements below).
  • Pre-K programming is five days a week and programming for 3 year olds is three days a week.
  • Times are: 8:00 am - 10:30 am and 12:00 pm -3:00 pm
  • Attendance for special education students will be determined by the individual needs of the students.
  • There will be no charge for the program for students who reside inside the LPCSC district.
  • Special Education students who are eligible may also receive services from Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Autism Consultants, Behavior Consultants.
  • If you have any questions about your child's services or possibility of being eligible contact the Preschool Office (219)-324-3287. We would be glad to answer any questions you may have.

Eligibility for Special Education Preschool

The following is the South LaPorte County Special Education Cooperative procedures for an initial referral, evaluation and identification for special education and related services for students age 3 through the school year the students turns 22. These procedures apply to students who:
Have a legal settlement within one of the districts served by SLPCSEC
Attend a nonpublic school within the geographic area served by SLPCSEC
Are homeless or highly mobile, living in or previously lived in the SLPCSEC geographic area, or
Are a ward of the state and living in the geographic area served by the SLPCSEC, and
Are suspected of being a student with a disability.

Request for an Initial Educational Evaluation

When a parent or student, 18 years of age or older want to initiate an educational evaluation they may:

  • Make their Request in Writing to any teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, principal, other administrator or Director for Special Education services. This request should include the student's name, birth date, address, phone number, grade and the reason the evaluation is being requested. The request should also be signed and dated by the parent or eligible student.
  • Make the Request Verbally to any teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, principal, other administrator or Director for Special Education services. The reason for the requested evaluation should be discussed and documented on the NOTIFICATION OF REQUEST FOR EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION form.

Evaluation Process

Multidisciplinary Team

An educational evaluation of a student shall determine whether the student is eligible for special education and related services. If eligible, the evaluation will also identify the special education and related services necessary to meet the educational needs of the student. The multidisciplinary team completing an evaluation of a student shall be composed of at least one teacher licensed in, or other specialist with knowledge in the area of suspected disability, and a school psychologist. All members of the multidisciplinary team need to complete a written report of their findings whether they are from an actual test administered or an observation conducted. In assessing any of the thirteen (13) categories outlined in Article 7, a few special procedures need to be addressed by the multidisciplinary team:

  1. For a student suspected of AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER, several observations need to occur in a variety of settings. A member of the Autism Team should conduct at least one of the observations. The multidisciplinary team should also complete the DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER form and present the conclusions at the conference.
  2. For a student suspected of being BLIND OR LOW VISION, observations need to be conducted in various environments. A professional licensed in this area needs to complete an assessment of functional vision and literacy. A written report from an optometrist or ophthalmologist needs to be obtained that addresses etiology and prognosis, secondary conditions, near/distance and corrected/uncorrected acuity for L,R and both eyes, measure of visual field and recommendations for use of any aids to assist with vision.
  3. For a student suspected of a COGNITIVE DISABILITY, a measure of adaptive behavior or functional skills should be obtained from MULTIPLE sources across various environments
  4. For a student suspected of being DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING, a teacher licensed in this area should observe the student in the classroom setting and review all data collected during the assessment process. A written report from an educational or clinical audiologist, otologist or otolaryngologist noting the etiology of the hearing loss and the student’s potential requirement for amplification needs to be obtained by the team.
  5. For a student with a suspected DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY, at least two (2) qualified professionals from different disciplines need to assess the student based upon identified needs. One member of the evaluation team needs to hold an appropriate license to teach early childhood special education. This category is only appropriate for students that are between 3-5 years of age and not able to enter kindergarten within the school year in which the evaluation takes place.
  6. For a student suspected of an EMOTIONAL DISABILITY, a narrative report should be submitted with each referral that documents attempts to work with the behaviors leading up to the request for evaluation. A functional behavior assessment should be completed by members of the multidisciplinary team which would include a review of all interventions attempted prior to the referral, if one has not already been completed. A Behavior Intervention Plan should be completed and presented as part of the evaluation.
  7. For a student with a suspected LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT, a speech-language pathologist and at least one (1) qualified professional from a different discipline must be part of the evaluation team.
  8. For a student suspected of an ORTHOPEDIC IMPAIRMENT, the OT/PT should be part of the evaluation team. The PT will require a physician’s written script in order to conduct an evaluation. Best practice should also include medical documentation of the orthopedic condition.
  9. For a suspected OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRMENT, best practice should also include medical documentation of the health condition that exists for the student dated within 1 year of diagnosis. This information can be obtained verbally, in written form or gathered from other reports from a licensed professional experienced in the field of concern.
  10. For a student suspected of a SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY, the assessment needs to focus on the specifically identified areas of weakness. When assessment measures yield insufficient or conflicting data, it is strongly recommended that a third measure of achievement be administered in order to support the evaluation team’s conclusions. The student’s general education teacher or if the student does not have a general education teacher, a general education teacher qualified to teach a student of that age level is part of the multidisciplinary team. The multidisciplinary team is prohibited from using the discrepancy model as part of their eligibility criteria if available, progress monitoring and a list of interventions attempted should be included. South La Porte County Special Education Cooperative adheres to the practice of the use of Cross Battery Assessments in determination of a Specific Learning Disability.
  11. For a student with a suspected SPEECH IMPAIRMENT, a speech-language pathologist may serve as the sole qualified professional on the multidisciplinary team.
  12. For a student suspected of a TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY, the multidisciplinary team should gather information describing the extent of the injury to the brain from a neurologist, physician or by obtaining the discharge summary.
  13. For a student with a suspected LOW VISION, BLIND or HARD OF HEARING IMPAIRMENTS or has suspected MULTIPLE DISABILITIES, the SLPCSEC may request that a representative of the state-operated school serve as a part of the multidisciplinary team only if the parent has provided written consent, in addition to the written consent to conduct the initial educational evaluation, for the representative’s participation in the evaluation process. This additional consent will be obtained by the case manager.