ECSE Information

  • ECSE Program Information

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    West Fargo Public Schools provides early childhood special education (ECSE) services to preschool children ages 3-5 years of age with a diagnosed disability who live within the West Fargo Public Schools boundaries. This program is offered at no cost to children who meet federal and North Dakota state guidelines. Children are identified through free preschool screening or through the referral process from parents, doctors, or outside agencies. Services are specially designed to address the special education needs of young children with disabilities. The children qualifying for the early childhood special education programming demonstrate delays in their speech, language, learning/pre-academic, motor skills or social/emotional development. These services may include screening, evaluation, consultations, parent education, classroom based instruction, speech/language therapy, and physical or occupational therapy. Students qualifying for ECSE preschool may be eligible for special education transportation to and from daycares located within the West Fargo Public Schools boundaries. West Fargo Early childhood special education programming is located at the Early Childhood Center. There are two sessions daily Monday - Thursday. Scheduling is arranged to meet the student’s unique learning needs as determined by the individualized education program.

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  • Screening

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    2023-2024 School Year Preschool Screenings

    Friday September 22nd

    Friday October 27th

    Friday December 1st

    Friday January 12th

    Friday February 9th

    Friday March 15th


    Free preschool screenings are provided to children 3-5 years of age. Children are screened in the areas of speech, language, pre-academic, motor, social-emotional skills, and hearing.

    Screenings are done periodically during the school year. If you have concerns about your child’s development in speech, language, learning, motor, and/or social/emotional skills, please contact the Early Childhood Center at 701-356-2020 to schedule an appointment.

    If concerns are noted in one or more areas of development during a screening, then the team will recommend a formal evaluation. Your child will then be referred and a team member will reach out to set up a student profile meeting and begin the evaluation process. Please see  eligibility for more information.


    Areas of Concern are:

    1.  Speech-Is your child having trouble pronouncing (saying) all the different sounds we hear and say everyday when we talk? This is also called articulation.


    2. Language- Is your child having trouble making sentences, understanding meanings of words, knowing how to talk to other people, and following directions?

    Receptive language- Being able to understand what someone is saying.


    Expressive Language- Being able to tell someone what you are thinking, either by using words, gestures, symbols, or some other communication system or device.


    3.  Social/Emotional- Does your child interact appropriately with family and peers?  Is your child able to handle emotional situations in a normal or acceptable manner?


    4.  Self-Help-Activities such as dressing, eating, toileting, grooming and home routines.


    5.  Academic Readiness - Is your child learning new information through interactions with their environment?  This could include: 

    ·   Pre-academic skills such as knowledge of colors, numbers, and letters

    ·   Memory skills

    ·   Concepts (such as in, on, under, or many) for following directions

    ·   Being able to generalize from one learning experience to another

    ·   Reasoning (what to do in different situations, or the use of the information that he/she has)

    ·   Understanding symbols (words have meaning, letters, numbers, etc.)


    6.  Gross Motor- Development and use of the large muscle groups in any activity involving movement such as running, jumping, ball skills and balance.


    7.  Fine Motor-The development and use of small muscles such as the muscles of the hands and fingers for activities such as cutting, coloring, writing, building with blocks, and stringing beads.


    8.  Behavior-Does your child show signs of being afraid, extremely shy, angry, crying a lot, hostility towards others, especially authority figures; overly active or passive, not wanting to participate in activities, extreme dependence on others, not showing interest in his/her environment, and showing little or no feeling toward others?

    See our resources on developmental milestones for more information on child development.

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Notes from the School

  • January Newsletter

    Posted by Michelle Johnson on 1/18/2024
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