Preschool Peer Model Program

  • The Stafford Schools Preschool Peer Model Program is a vital part of our early childhood special education classroom instruction.  The Peer Model Program provides typically developing children an opportunity to interact with same-age peers who are receiving specialized instruction in a developmentally appropriate classroom.  This “inclusion” program provides a stimulating and challenging environment that offers all children a wide range of learning opportunities.

    Research-based practices tell us that, typically, developing peers are positive role models for students with disabilities.  Inclusive preschool environments promote belonging, friendships, understanding, and acceptance of others that are different.  Research also states that typically, developing children enrolled in an inclusive preschool setting develop meaningful relationships with their peers who have disabilities.
    Children selected to serve as peer role models must demonstrate developmentally appropriate speech, language, social skills, and behaviors.  Peer Models are able to communicate clearly, interact well with others, model cooperative interactions and follow directions.

    Families of children accepted as Peer Models must commit to having their child attend when the program is in session, provide transportation to and from preschool, and sign an agreement letter.  There is no enrollment or registration fee.  Children are selected by the Early Childhood Special Educator at the elementary school where the preschool programs are located. 

    If you are interested in having your child considered as a Peer Model, please complete an application and return it to school. You can submit one application per school year.  Applications are reviewed as they are received.  Applications for the following school year are available in February and can be found on the Stafford County Public Schools website. Applications can be submitted from September to May. Applications will not be accepted from June through August. 

    The Early Childhood Special Educator will contact you if your child is selected to participate in a classroom visit.  Prior to the end of the current school year, you will be notified if your child is selected to participate in our program as a Peer Model. 

    Selection criterion:

    • Children must be 3 by September 30th of the school year for the morning class; 4 by September 30th of the school year for the afternoon class
    • Children must be toilet trained
    • Children must be able to interact well with their same-age peers and demonstrate age-appropriate skills
    • Children must not have an active IEP or require specialized instruction.
    • Children who turn 5 prior to September 30 are eligible for Kindergarten and can enroll at their zoned elementary school.