Early Childhood Learning
Community Consolidated School District 21 has been awarded the Preschool for All Grant. This means that the school district will directly provide pre-kindergarten programming to district students through the grant, services that were previously provided through ECDEC (Early Childhood Developmental Enrichment Center). Therefore, the district has opened additional classrooms in four of our elementary schools – in addition to the classrooms we currently have at Hawthorne Early Childhood School. The opening of the classrooms in the elementary schools will allow for more students to attend pre-kindergarten programming in schools closer to their homes.
The CCSD21 pre-kindergarten program services students ages 3-5 years old. Students may attend either one of the eight classrooms at Hawthorne or eight classrooms across our elementary schools (two classrooms at Frost, one classroom at Tarkington, three classrooms at Twain, and two classrooms at Whitman).
The CCSD21 pre-kindergarten program recognizes the individual strengths of each child and encourages each child’s growth. We support the development of the whole child in a natural context by providing opportunities for learning which facilitate the child’s cognitive, social-emotional, communicative, and motor development. It is also our belief that parental involvement is critical to the child’s development.
The CCSD21 pre-kindergarten program is a diverse learning community of children, teachers, and parents working together to provide a safe and nurturing environment that fosters the development of the whole child. We encourage acquisition of foundational skills and learning through play, facilitating the child’s cognitive, social emotional, communicative, and motor development. Our educational setting empowers our students to become life-long learners and responsible members of the community.
We believe creating a supportive school atmosphere where everyone feels emotionally, physically, and intellectually safe will allow students to develop the academic and life skills necessary to make responsible choices, develop independence, and act respectfully and collaboratively.
We believe every child develops at his or her own pace. Teachers will provide differentiated and developmentally appropriate instruction that incorporates research-based practices, as well as real-world learning at each student’s instructional level.
We believe collaborating with parents and community resources will foster a culturally- and linguistically-sensitive approach that encourages families to learn from each others’ unique strengths and backgrounds, providing a support system for students that will extend and reinforce their education beyond the classroom.
Illinois Early Learning Standards
The pre-kindergarten classrooms follow the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS).
Curriculum and Assessment in the pre-kindergarten program
The prekindergarten program utilizes the HighScope Curriculum. The HighScope Preschool Curriculum is based on the principles of active learning and support of a child’s positive interactions with adults and peers. The curriculum is a comprehensive model that addresses all areas of development through eight content areas, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, Social Emotional Learning, and 58 key developmental indicators (KDIs) — the skills and behaviors at each stage of development that pave the way for school and adult success. Each KDI is connected to and reinforced by scaffolding strategies to support and gently extend children’s learning.
Students are assessed using the Child Observation Record (COR Advantage) which assess the 8 areas and 58 key developmental indicators. Teachers collect anecdotal records daily to assess student progress and inform their instruction. Additionally, portfolios of student work are created.
- Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
CCSD21 has begun the screening process to identify children eligible to participate in the pre-kindergarten program for children who are 3 to 5 years old.*
Pre-kindergarten screening assesses the following developmental areas:
*Children do not need to be toilet trained to attend district pre-kindergarten programs
To schedule a free screening, parents should complete this form and return it to any elementary building in the district or at the Gill Administration Center, 999 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling IL 60090.
If you have any questions, please contact the Early Childhood Program at 847-520-6282.