Early Childhood Special Education

  • Early Childhood Special Education is a program available to children birth to pre-kindergarten who have been identified as having a need for special educational services. We work in a partnership with the family and strive to help reach the child’s fullest potential.

    Early Childhood: Birth to 7-years-old

    The Early Childhood Program promotes the growth and development of infants and toddlers who have a developmental disability or delay in one or more areas. Developmental disabilities or delays can affect a child’s speech, physical ability, or social skills.

    Children referred to the Early Childhood Program receive a comprehensive developmental evaluation to determine if they are eligible. One of the goals of early intervention is to provide support to families so their children can develop to their fullest potential. Services are provided in places where children usually play or take part in daily activities.

    Children must be under age 3 and have a developmental disability or delay in one or more areas. Screens are completed for all resident children aged 3-5 years old in the areas of Development, Speech, Vision, and Hearing. There is no cost to families to receive early childhood services. Children do not have to be eligible for MN Medical Assistance (Medicaid) to receive services.

  • For General Information

    Please contact:

    ISD 728 Early Childhood Special Education
    Handke Center, 1170 Main Street, Elk River, MN 55330
    763-241-3520

    Referral Process for Part C

    • Referral date: Date of referral was made to the central point of intake
    • MDE Help Me Grow
    • Date of Prior Written Notice for screening (if applicable)
    • ANY screening must be completed within 45 calendar days from the date the lead agency or EIS provider receives the referral of the child
    • See Statute 34 CFR 303.310(a)

    Screening Results

    If screening results indicate a suspected disability, then the evaluation, assessment, and initial IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) meeting must all be completed within 45 calendar days from the initial referral date.

    If screening results do not indicate that the referred child is suspected of having a delay, a Prior Written Notice must be completed to inform the parents that the district proposes that no assessment be completed.

    Date evaluation/assessment and initial IFSP meeting are due:

    • The initial evaluation and initial assessment of the child and family must be completed within 45 CALENDAR days from date the lead agency or EIS provider receives the referral of the child.
    • The initial IFSP meeting must be completed within 45 calendar days from the date the lead agency or EIS provider receives the referral of the child.
    • 34 CFR 303.310 (a)

    Limited exceptions when the time line would not apply:

    • Parental consent is not obtained despite documented repeated attempts to gain consent
    • 34 CFR 303.310 (c)(1)
    • There are documented exceptional family circumstances which make the child or family unavailable for evaluation, assessments, or initial IFSP meeting
    • 34 CFR 303.310 (c)(1)
    • The screening (if applicable), the initial evaluation, the initial assessment (of the child and family) and initial IFSP meeting MUST be completed as soon as possible after the parent consent is obtained or the exceptional family circumstances no longer exist
    • 34 CFR 303.310 (c)(2)

Contact Us!

  • Amanda Creed-SchnackCoordinator
    763-241-3400 x1258


    Information about programs for children birth to 3 years old, please contact: 

    Theresa Evans
    763-241-3400 x5060


    Information about programs for children 3 years old to pre-kindergarten, please contact:

    Gretchen Poppe
    763-241-3400 x5572