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Early Childhood Special Education

District 196 has a comprehensive program of Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services for children from birth through kindergarten entrance. Children, ages 3-5, disabilities or developmental delays are served in a variety of caring and inclusive educational settings. 

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Our services include:

  • Screening- All children who live in District 196 need to participate in early childhood screening before entering kindergarten. Learn more about screenings.
  • Evaluations- Comprehensive evaluations are provided for children starting from birth through the age of kindergarten entrance.
  • Early intervention- Early intervention services are provided for children ages birth through 2 who meet eligibility criteria. The services focus on working with families in their homes. Children in the program are either at risk for developmental delays, or have a delay or disability in one or more areas of development.

Help Me Grow

Help Me Grow is a resource for Minnesota families to understand developmental milestones and learn if there are concerns. This helps families take the lead in seeking additional support or referring their child for a comprehensive, confidential screening or evaluation at no cost. Accessing early intervention services as early as possible will ensure the best developmental outcomes for these children. Explore the Help Me Grow website.

More information

Early childhood special education programs are located throughout District 196. The main office is located at the Dakota Valley Learning Center, 4679 144th Street West, Apple Valley, MN 55124. For more information, call 952-388-1900 or email Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator Paula Kirschenheiter at Paula.Kirschenheiter@district196.org

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