Early Childhood Education

Auburn-Washburn Early Childhood programs are offered to eligible children, ages three to five, who live within the Auburn-Washburn school district. Available programs include Peer Model, Parents as Teachers, At-Risk, and Early Childhood Special Education:


The Auburn-Washburn School District is pleased to announce openings in the District-Wide half-day State Pre-Kindergarten Program for the 2021-2022 school year.

This program is for residents of USD 437 and is designed to prepare children to succeed in kindergarten. There is no tuition charge, but parents are responsible for a $25 enrollment fee. Transportation is provided to an address within the Auburn-Washburn district boundaries.

Application and Case History forms are available online, at each Auburn-Washburn elementary school, or the Shuler Education Center at 5928 SW 53rd Street. Students must be 4 years old by August 31, 2021, live in the Auburn-Washburn School District, and meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Evaluated and has a developmental delay
  • Primary language is not English
  • Parent lacks high school diploma or GED
  • One parent age 19 or younger at child's birth
  • Single-parent family
  • Referral from KS Department for Children & Families for this child
  • Parents are migratory agricultural workers
  • Qualifies for free or reduced school lunch program
  • Family is homeless

Please return your completed Application and Case History forms to Jill Gratton at Shuler Education Center, 5928 SW 53rd Street or at grattjil@usd437.net. For more information, call 339-4039.

Peer Model

The Auburn-Washburn Peer Model Program provides an opportunity for typically developing children to integrate into Early Childhood special education classrooms in order to serve as positive role models. Peer models provide positive interactions, demonstrate play skills, and model appropriate language and behavior in the classroom for children with special needs.

Peer models may only include children who reside within the USD 437 attendance area, employee children, or employee grandchildren. Additionally, children must meet the following criteria:

  • Group one students must be at least 3 years old on or before August 31.
  • Group two students must be at least 4 years old on or before August 31.
  • Students must have strong language and social development.
  • Students must be fluent in speaking and understanding English.
  • Students must pass an eligibility screening.
  • Students must be toilet trained.

Classes are held up to five half-days per week and cost $175 per month, August through May.

The deadline to apply for peer models during the 2021-2022 school year has past. Applications for the 2022-2023 school year will be available in January 2022.

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers emphasizes the idea that parents are a child's first and most influential teachers. This free and voluntary program is available to parents of children ages newborn to three years who reside within the district.

J. McGinley
Parents as Teachers Supervisor
Phone: 408-8395

Early Childhood Special Education

Early Childhood Special Education is a district program designed to screen, evaluate, and provide services to preschool children with developmental delays or special needs. The program serves all eligible students living in Auburn-Washburn, and has many components and services to support preschool children and their families. Some of these components include:

  • Free monthly screenings to identify children ages three to five needing further evaluation in the following developmental skill areas:
    • Fine/gross motor
    • Speech/language
    • Cognition
    • Social/emotional
    • Self-help
    • General health
    • Vision/hearing
  • Comprehensive evaluations for children ages three to five identified during the screening process or referred through other sources. Early Childhood Special Education helps parents identify their child's needs and helps them obtain services available to meet those needs.
  • Special education classrooms which are developmentally appropriate for children three to five who are identified as having significant developmental delays or special needs. The curriculum of which incorporates the support services for which each student quailfies. Preschool Peer Models are an important component of these classrooms.
  • Community services for students who qualify for services, but require less significant need for special education support. Community services may be provided in a variety of settings, such as in the home, at day care, or in a preschool setting.
  • Family support and involvement in the screenings, evaluations, and education of students, which is considered to be a vital part of Early Childhood Special Education. Monthly parent support meetings, team meetings, home visits, opportunities for classroom observation, and classroom participation are a some of the ways in which parents are included in the program.


Please contact Auburn-Washburn Early Childhood at 408-8374 if you have any questions, concerns, or would like more information about Early Childhood programs.