Contextual Description and Background Information
The school is a public pre-school, which is housed in a pubic elementary school. The school is in Wickliffe, Ohio, which is near Cleveland, Ohio. The classroom is a non-categorical pre-school, which means it contains a mixture of children with various special needs. These special needs include deafness, autism, Downs Syndrome, and speech and language problems. Two groups of children are enrolled in the pre-school. There is a morning class, which contains mostly three and four year olds. There is also an afternoon class, which contains mostly four, five and six year olds. The school day is from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The students come to school Mondays through Thursdays. Fridays are used as a planning and preparation day by the teacher and aide. The classroom contains one full-time certified teacher (Mrs. Wheaton), one full-time aide (Mrs. McCraith), one part-time aide, who is only there in the morning (Mrs. Jennins). There are other adults present in the room through out the week. These adults include a Physical Therapist, an Occupational Therapist, and the Speech-Language Pathologist.
The Mrs. Wheaton received her Bachelors degree from Bowling Green State University in Deaf Education. She received her Masters degree from Cleveland State University in Early Childhood Special Education. She has taught in this classroom for the past 14 years. The classroom began as a pre-school classroom for deaf and hard of hearing students only. Then a federal law was passed which made it mandatory for special education pre-schools to be considered non-categorical. Mrs. McCraith has been working in the classroom for ten years. She has taken several sign language classes, and numerous other early childhood education classes.