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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — A different procedure is being used this year for early childhood screening in the Colfax school district.
In years past, families with children three years of age would bring them to school where staff could interact with them and assess whether there were any developmental concerns and then schedule additional testing if necessary, said Polly Rudi, director of special education and pupil services for the Colfax school district, at the Colfax Board of Education’s February 15 meeting.
This year, instead of the youngsters being brought to school, developmental screeners have been mailed home to families with three-year-olds who are on the school census, she said.
The physical distancing related to the COVID-19 pandemic makes it much more difficult to conduct in-person screening, Rudi noted.
Families are encouraged to complete the “ages and stages” screening information and mail it back to the school. The early childhood teachers and therapists then review each screener to determine if further testing may be indicated, she said.
So far, the ages and stages screener has proven to be quite useful and will allow school staff to better focus their time on the children for whom staff have development concerns, Rudi said.
For any families who did not receive a screener in the mail or who would like to talk to someone about the screener, they can call 715-962-3676 and ask to speak with Heather Niesen, the Colfax school district’s early childhood teacher, Rudi said.