Exceptional Student Services

The Exceptional Student Services Program (ESS) provides support services to families and their children enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Center who have delays in speech, language, movement, thinking and reasoning, social-emotional, or self-help skills. Exceptional Student Services Department serves all of the Community Schools in Salt River. The department works collaboratively with parents, teachers, administrators and students to ensure that we identify students with special needs and that are gifted. Instruction and services are specifically designed to address the educational and related developmental needs of children with disabilities. This includes Early Intervention Services for infants and toddlers, preschool for students starting at age three, services for school age children in grades K-12, and transition services for eligible students up to age 22.
Preschool & Kindergarten Readiness:

6 Months

12 Months 

  • Copies sounds
  • Begins to sit without support
  • Likes to play with others, especially parents
  • Responds to own name
  • Strings vowels together when babbling (ah, eh, oh) 
  • Uses simple gestures such as shaking head for “no” or waving “bye bye”
  • Copies gestures
  • Responds to simple spoken requests
  • Says “mama” and “dada”
  • Pulls to stand

18 Months (1 ½ Years)

2 Years

  • Plays simple pretend, such as feeding a doll
  • Points to show others something interesting
  • Knows what common items are for, such as telephone, brush, spoon
  • Says several single words
  • Walks alone
  • Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
  • Gets excited when with other children
  • Follows simple directions
  • Kicks a ball
  • Points to things or pictures when they are named

3 Years

4 Years

  • Copies adults and friends (like running when other children run)
  • Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences
  • Climbs well
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
  • Shows affection for friends without prompting
  • Hops and stands on one foot for up to 2 seconds
  • Would rather play with other children than alone
  • Tells stories
  • Draws a person with 2 to 4 body parts
  • Shares toys and activities with others

ESS Team:

ESS Staff Position Contact Direct Desk Phone
Coordinator  Sue Kirlin 480-362-2203
Behavior Intervention Counselor Marcel Rivera  480-362-2218

Resource Links:


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