Early Childhood Peer Model Program

  • Photo of students learning from firefighters about fire safety Peer Model students are typically developing children who are included within the USD 232 Early Childhood classrooms as models for children with disabilities.  All children benefit from multiple opportunities to interact with their peers and learn appropriate social behavior, and play skills from one another.  Instruction within classrooms will be differentiated to meet the needs of all children in the program.

    A Peer Model student must demonstrate age-appropriate skills in the areas of play, social, behavior, speech, language, adaptive and motor.  

    The following are requirements for peer model students:

    • Resident of USD 232, De Soto School District OR Child of current USD 232 employee
    • Three years old before August 31st of the current school year 
    • Toilet-trained (no more than one accident within a two-week period)
    • Independent self-help skills
    • Initiate play with other children
    • Follow directions with minimal prompting
    • Age appropriate speech sound production*
    • Age appropriate expressive and receptive language skills (e.g. uses a minimum of three-word phrases) 
    • Understand concepts such as big/little, on/off, wet/dry
    • Maintain consistent attendance
    • Not be kindergarten-eligible (age five before September 1st of current school year)

    *Students demonstrating articulation errors that are not considered developmentally appropriate or receiving appointment based special education services would not be eligible for peer model spots.  If you have concerns about your child's development, please see the screening page located within the early childhood website.

    If developmental concerns arise for a peer model student the USD 232 early childhood department will provide interventions in the area of concern and refer for a special education evaluation if necessary.  Students receiving special education services are not eligible for peer model spots due to delays in development.  If a potential delay is found and a special education evaluation is recommended, parents have the right to decline a special education evaluation.  However, should a peer model student be referred for an evaluation and parents choose to decline the evaluation, the child will no longer be eligible to hold a peer model spot due to potential developmental delays.  Peer model students will not be responsible for tuition payments during the special education evaluation period.  Should the child be found not eligible for special education services they would continue to be a peer model student and tuition payments would resume. 

    Peer model spots are limited.

    Enrollment information for the 2019-2020 school year will be available in mid-January 2019.  


    -- 2018-2019 Peer Model Enrollment --

    Currently all peer model spots are filled for the 2018-2019 school year.  The waiting list for the 4 year old program is also full.  As of July 1st 2018, a few spots remain on the wait list for the 3 year old program.  Those will be filled on a first come, first served basis.  Please call the Belmont Elementary office at (913)667-1810 with additional questions.