The Etowah County School system offers standards-based preschool educational curriculum, special education and related services to young children, ages three through five, who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This program serves both children with disabilities and typically developing preschool-age children.

How does a child become eligible? Children are referred for evaluation through Child Find services (256-442-1050). Following completion of referral and assessments, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team, of which parents are essential members, meets to review and discuss findings in order to make a determination of eligibility under one of the thirteen established disability categories.

What happens next? Once a child is determined to have a disability, the IEP Team works together to develop the IEP, a written document identifying the special education and related services necessary to support the child's developmental and educational program. Services will begin on the child's third birthday if the child is referred and eligible from an Early Intervention program. Otherwise, services may begin at any age between 3 and 5 years old.

What are Preschool services? Services identified on an IEP might include special instruction, speech and language therapy, physical and occupational therapy, assistive technology devices and services, counseling services, social services and other services identified by the IEP Team as necessary for the child to benefit from participating in an educational program.

Audrey Rhoades, Director of SPE Preschool

Audrey Rhoades Director of Etowah County SPE Preschool

Contact by e-mail: , by phone at 256-442-1050 or by fax: 256-442-1077. Located at Etowah County Board of Education, 401 Broad Street, Gadsden, Alabama 35901.

Special Education Preschool

Alicia Dowling

  • BA Degree Speech Language PathologyThe University of Alabama

Renee Lancaster

  • BS - Speech and Hearing Science

  • MS - School Counseling and School Administration

  • EdS - School Counseling