Exceptional Children's Programs Preschool
The UCPS Exceptional Children’s Preschool Program reflects the vision and mission of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Exceptional Children’s Program and Office of Early Learning.
Vision: "Each child is honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life."
Mission: “The mission of the Exceptional Children Division is to ensure that students with disabilities develop intellectually, physically, emotionally, and vocationally through the provision of an appropriate individualized education program in the least restrictive environment.”
The UCPS Exceptional Children’s Program serves children age 3-5 years old who have been evaluated, found eligible for special education and require specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.
Build a Brain
In preparation for a new school year Preschool Exceptional Children’s teacher assistants met for a day of professional development. One of the activities of the day was to look at the ways early childhood experiences influence brain development. We learned that children grow their brains for their environment, and when they are faced with adverse experiences (malnutrition, neglect, chaotic childcare, etc.) the structure of their brain changes. We also learned that in order to counteract a negative experience a child needs to have three positive experiences. Brain development occurs within the context of relationships and teacher assistants participated in Child and Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE) training. We learned to mind our P’s (praise, paraphrase and point out) and Q’s (avoid questions, quash the need to lead, and avoid quit) in order to build relationships. By building relationships we build brains. We finished the day by using pipe cleaners, straws and fishing weights to construct a brain using the Brain Architecture Game. The game illustrates the power of early childhood experiences. Pictured are teacher assistants working in small groups to build the tallest, strongest structure (brain) possible given the circumstances of a child’s life experiences. Through the work of dedicated teacher assistants as well as teachers, the ECPK program nurtures children and builds brains.