Big Walnut offers an outstanding preschool program that serves children with disabilities and also provides an educational opportunity for typically developing children to serve as social and academic peer models.
The Big Walnut Preschool Peer Model Program promotes development in communication skills, motor skills, independence, and a positive self-concept. All classrooms incorporate literacy-enriched, developmentally appropriate learning environments and incorporate the Early Learning Content Standards, endorsed by the Ohio Department of Education.
Classrooms have a maximum of 16 students, with a ratio of no more than 8:8 (8 students with disabilities to 8 peer models.) Our integrated classrooms are staffed by one teacher and one assistant. Some classrooms are staffed with additional assistants dependent upon the needs of the students in each of the classrooms. For the 2020/21 school year, the district is changing our preschool ratios. We will have no more than 12 students per classroom.
Each class receives support services from a team of related service specialists (occupational therapist, speech language therapist, physical therapist and adapted physical education teacher). The related service staff brings their skill and training into the classroom environment, benefiting both peer models and students with special needs.