Our mission is to educate all learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever-changing global community.

Early Childhood Special Education

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools (PLSAS) strive to educate ALL learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever-changing global community and this starts prior to kindergarten with our youngest learners. The program designed to meet the needs of students who need additional developmental and educational assistance is Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE).

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) includes:

Assessment for children ages birth through 5 can include cognitive, speech/language, motor, self-help, and social/emotional development. The assessment plan is designed based on the needs of each child.

Early Intervention
Early intervention services for children birth to three years old are provided within the child's natural environments. These "Routines Based Interventions" are based on the child's daily life and are guided by your family's values and priorities. Our Birth to 3 ECSE team provides coaching to parents and caregivers to help promote a child's development. Families are coached in strategies to help improve developmental areas such as cognition and communication, as well as social, motor and self-help skills. Staff work with caregivers to provide training that allows those caregivers to develop their child's abilities.

Preschool Special Education
Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools strives to help young children interact successfully with their environment and with peers and adults at home, in the community and at school. This goal is achieved by ECSE staff working as partners with parents and teachers. PLSAS provides a continuum of special education and related services to meet each student's unique special education needs and goals determined by the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) in the least restrictive learning environment appropriate for the individual student. 

Do you have concerns about your child's development?​

As you watch your child grow, you may become concerned about your child’s development. While all young children grow and change at their own rate, sometimes you may have concerns that your child is developing differently than other children the same age as your child. If you have concerns about your child's development, we would love to hear from you!  Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools has teams to support families and children from birth to kindergarten. Please contact us if you have concerns about any areas of development.

Detailed information about child development is available on the Help Me Grow website

Minnesota's Follow Along Program can help you track your child's development and let you know if your child is playing, talking, growing, moving, and behaving like other children the same age.

Helpful links to provide information about typical communication development & early warning signs of speech, language and hearing disorders:

How do I make a referral?

Referral Procedure
If you have concerns about your child's development, please see options below to make a referral. If you are new to the community and have a child with an active IEP or a diagnosed disability, please contact Lori Parker, Early Childhood Special Education Coordinator at lparker@priorlake-savage.k12.mn.us or 952-226-0986.

Help Me Grow If you have concerns about your child’s development you can also talk to your health care provider, call 1-866-693-GROW (4769) or use the online referral system to refer your child to Help Me Grow for more assistance.  Electronic referrals are confidential and are automatically sent to the school district. 

For children ages 3 years 2 months to 5 years of age, Early Childhood Screening should occur before making a referral. If problems are identified at the screening, a referral for assessment will be made by the screener. Screening appointments can be made by emailing Deb Tribby at dtribby@priorlake-savage.k12.mn.us or by calling 952-226-0975.

Other Methods for Referral
Phone: 952-226-0980
Email: mowen@priorlake-savage.k12.mn.us

When making a referral, please include your child's name, date of birth, and a description of your concern. Once a referral is made to the local early intervention program, the family will be contacted to arrange for a screening or evaluation to determine if your child is eligible for infant and toddler intervention or preschool special education services.