Reverse Inclusion Early Childhood Program
Located at Garfield Education Center


  • The Watertown School District offers a reverse inclusion early childhood program for children ages 3 through 5. This program involves an inclusion concept where students with identified disabilities attend a pre-school classroom where an equal amount of students without an identified disability, who are typically developing, attend as well. We currently have 3 full time reverse inclusion certified Early Childhood Special Education instructors leading a 3-4 age classroom in the morning and a 4-5 age classroom in the afternoon. The cost for general education students to attend our pre-school program is $45 per month during the school year. A child is eligible to attend the reverse inclusion program once they turn 3 years of age. There is no cost for students who are eligible for special education services and identified through a comprehensive evaluation process and determined eligible by the team.

    Teaching strategies include cooperative activities for peer support, modeling, and peer interaction; differentiated instruction; and embedded learning opportunities. The goals are improvement of overall social development, development of friendships with children with a variety of learning disabilities enhancing self-respect, peer modeling for students with disabilities which increase skill achievement and communication skills, learning to appreciate individual needs of students with learning needs, and having a challenging learning environment.

    Our reverse inclusion early childhood program also has occupational therapists, speech therapists, and a physical therapist who work directly with our students in the classroom through inclusion. Students identified in needing more intensive support with fine and gross motor skills also have access to direct services to address these deficits. All students who are special education eligible have an individualized education plan created by a team that uses strong skill based strengths and needs to drive programming that will lend itself to specialized, intense instruction towards progress and mastery of goals.

    The Watertown School District's reverse inclusion early childhood program is located at Garfield Education Center. Please call Kara Schleusner if you have any questions at 605-882-6398.

  • Pre-School Screening

    Screenings will be conducted by the Watertown School District for preschool children ages 3-5. The purpose of the screening is to identify children who may be in need of special education services.

    If you have any concerns with your child’s development please call Garfield Education Center at 605-882-6398 and ask for Kara Schleusner to set up an appointment. The screenings consist of communication skills, motor skills, concepts, social, behavior and hearing.

    The child must be a resident of the Watertown School District.