Early Childhood Special Education

Mission Statement

The Early Childhood Special Education staff, in cooperation with families and community, shall strive to enhance the social/emotional, physical, cognitive and communication development of young children. Our goal is to offer an appropriate education through which young children can actively develop skills in a positive, nurturing, culturally diverse environment. We are committed to building excellence through home, school and community involvement and cooperation.

Early Childhood Special Education - Ages 3-5 (Not Kindergarten Eligible)

The Early Childhood Special Education program in Platte County R-3 offers a range of services characterized by a transdisciplinary, play-based approach. Children with special needs begin their services on their third birthday. We provide services in a variety of settings based on the child's special education needs. The decisions for services and placement are made by the Individual Education Program (IEP) team, which includes school staff and the parents/guardians.

Our continuum of services includes therapies on an appointment basis, service provision in a community setting, and two or four half-day classes in an Early Childhood Special Education classroom with typically developing peers. We also have Early Childhood Special Education classes designed for young children with significant delays whose needs cannot be met in our other classrooms.

About Early Childhood Special Education

Early intervention is critical for children who have developmental delays. The Platte County R-3 School District provides Early Childhood programs for children ages 3, 4, and 5 (if not eligible for kindergarten) who meet the eligibility requirements for Special Education. The school staff and parents work together to determine how to best meet a child's needs.

Platte County R-3 District service delivery models for children 3-5 (not kindergarten eligible) include:

  • Appointment services for speech, occupational, or physical therapy
  • Community based services (limited to district boundaries)
  • Early Childhood Special Education classrooms (1/2 day -4 days a week)

Eligibility for services is determined through screening and evaluation for Special Education eligibility. If you have a concern about your child's development, contact Special Services Department - 816-858-7001.

If you are moving into Platte County R-3 School District and have a preschool child with an active IEP, contact  the Special Services Department at 816-858-7001.

Early Childhood Special Education Screenings

The Platte County R-3 School District offers developmental screenings for children ages birth to 5 in the areas of cognition, speech/language, motor, social, vision, and hearing.

If you have a concern about your child's development:

  • Child Find clinics are held monthly during the school year to screen children and determine if further evaluation is needed.
  • Children are screened on an appointment basis.
  • For children aged 3 - 5 (not eligible for kindergarten), contact: Special Services Dept. 816-858-7001.

If you want to schedule an appointment for screening, please contact: Special Services Dept. 816-858-7001.

Early Childhood Special Education Staff



Meghan Marsh
Great Beginnings at
Barry Elementary

Chris Pfaff
Christina Pfaff
Great Beginnings at
District Education Center
Sherri Johnson
Sherri Johnson
Great Beginnings at
District Education Center/Barry Elementary
Kim McGinness
Kim McGinness
Great Beginnings PreSchool at
District Education Center