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Madison Metropolitan School District

Early Learning Peer Program

The Madison Schools offer the Creative Curriculum and the GOLD Assessment to children age 3 at area schools-Lapham, Anana and Muir. The program is designed for children with disabilities and their peers. They are led by a Special Education Teacher and supported by a Special Education Assistant, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist and other support staff.

Early learning peers must be 3 years of age on or before September 1st of the school year to participate. They should mostly be independent in their daily living, dressing, feeding and bathrooming skills. They must speak English and be able to use their verbal communication skills to effectively communicate their wants and needs. All parents must complete an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ3), an informal speech sound profile, a signed peer agreement, and must be interviewed by the classroom teacher prior to acceptance.

It is anticipated that early learning peers will naturally provide appropriate responses to different learning situations. These responses serve as wonderful learning experiences for our early learning participants experiencing delays in their development. In turn, early learning peers have the opportunity to participate in many fun and exciting learning activities provided by our experienced staff. Early learning peers gain empathy, leadership skills and school readiness skills.

The Early Learning Session is a free program. Parents are required to provide transportation to/from the program. Questions or concerns can be discussed with the Early Learning Session teacher or Early Childhood Program Support teacher.

Peer Model Student Pushing Student in Wheelchair

What are the expectations of Early Learning Peers?

  • Be at least three years old on or before September 1st and not have turned four years old prior to September 1st of the current school year
  • Live within the Madison Metropolitan School District boundaries
  • Be toilet trained
  • Demonstrate typical self-help and social skills (e.g. drinks from an open cup, willing to initiate play with other children, able to follow directions with minimal prompting)
  • Speak in sentences appropriate to the child’s age-level in English.

When and where are Early Learning Peer programs?

  • Anana (West), Muir (Memorial), and Lapham (East) Elementary schools will have Early Learning Sessions for the 2021-2022 school year

  • Classes run 4 half-days/week, Tuesday through Friday. Peer Models are expected to attend 4 half-days/week (AM or PM session) and demonstrate good attendance. Children with disabilities may attend 2-4 half-days/week.

  • Below are the anticipated sessions for the 2021-2022 school year:
    • Anana: Morning and Afternoon
    • Muir: Morning
    • Lapham: Morning and Afternoon

 Think you know someone who might make a good Early Learning Peer?

Click the link below to complete the online application form:

Peer Model Student Reading with other Student

Early Learning Peer Program Application Form
Call the Pre-K Information Line at 608-663-8471 for more information.

*NOTE: Early Learning Sessions may be discontinued during a school year due to limited number of students with Special Education Needs. MMSD is not required to offer programming for all 3 year old children. We cannot guarantee that a site will remain open throughout the school year.