The Preschool Special Day Class (SDC) is a school-based program, serving children with special needs aged three to five years. The program is heterogeneous, and the students represent a variety of disabilities and backgrounds. The students attend Monday through Friday for four hours each day. SDC students integrate with other Jose Ortega Elementary School students at lunch and some assemblies.

The program is staffed by an early childhood special education teacher and supported by special education paraprofessionals. The core educational team works collaboratively with SFUSD designated instruction service (DIS) providers to ensure that interventions for each student are implemented and generalized throughout the school day. DIS providers may include a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, and physical therapist. The student-to-staff ratio is low and affords ample opportunity to provide an intensive educational program for each student.

The program uses a developmental-based curriculum that emphasizes language, communication, social interaction, pre-academics, and play. The curriculum is consistent with the Early Learning Foundations developed by the California Department of Education. In accordance with best practices for working with young children with disabilities, the program uses a wide range of methodologies including TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped CHildren) strategies, picture communication systems, individual/group learning times, and behavior management strategies.

Individualized learning opportunities are embedded into daily activities to address specific areas of need while encompassing the child's interests. Predictability and routine promote student participation and facilitate the development of independent play and work skills. Ongoing data collection informs decisions regarding each student's individualized education program. Parent-teacher conferences and written progress reports are provided to families at least twice per year.

If you are interested in the Pre-School Special Day Class program at Jose Ortega Elementary School, please call to schedule a school tour. Translation services are available upon request. Call (415) 469-4726 for more information.