Peer Opportunities

  • Jefferson Preschool Program serves children with and without disabilities.  This allows children with disabilities to learn and play with peers of the same age who are developing typically.  Peers serve an important role in our program and are social and language models for children with disabilities.  Therefore, the following criteria are necessary to participate as a peer model.
    • Must turn 3 on or before September 10 prior to the first day of school.
    • Cannot be kindergarten age, turning 5 on or before September 10 of the current year.
    • Toilet trained.
    • Live within Missoula County Public School District boundaries (if you move during the school year, your child's enrollment will be terminated at the end of the month in which you moved).
    • Participate in an early childhood screening.


Preschool Day Experiences

  • The following is an example of our classroom experiences.  Each teacher will create a class routine that works best for the students and therefore, will vary from class to class.
    • Arrival and dismissal routines
    • Free play time (also called "centers")
    • Circle time
    • Projects and art
    • Outdoor play and gym time
    • Story time
    • Small group learning opportunities
    • Music and movement
    • Practice learning social skills
    • Snack
    • Development of independence skills
    • Work on fine and gross motor skills

Preschool Program Information

  • The Jefferson Preschool Program is an inclusive preschool program that provides an education for preschool-aged children with disabilities together with their peers in a joyful, safe, and nurturing environment.  Our mission is to provide a foundation for each child to become a lifelong learner, to prepare each child to become independent, to maximize high school readiness and promote family involvement.

    Who do we serve?

    The Jefferson Preschool Program serves eligible children with disabilities ages 3-5  (who are not yet Kindergarten age eligible) and a limited number of preschool children without disabilities who reside within the boundaries of Missoula County Public Schools. 

    What do we offer?

    • Low student to teacher ratio.
    • Highly trained, experienced and certified teachers and para-educators.
    • An opportunity to develop friendships and provide a positive model for children with disabilities.
    • Montana Behavior Initiative site which focuses on positive behavior, supports all students (all classrooms have the same expectations of students, teach those expectations and give detailed feedback in positive ways for all students.)
    • Pre-academic readiness skills such as pre-literacy and math are aligned with MCPS standards and aim to prepare them for Kindergarten.
    • Our preschool team includes a variety of professionals that share their knowledge and experience.
    • Supported development of social thinking and self-regulation skills to prepare them for kindergarten success.

    When is class?

    Morning Preschool:
    • Monday/Wednesday/Friday
    • 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

    Afternoon Preschool:

    • Monday/Wednesday/Friday
    • 12:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.

    Tuesday/Thursday Preschool:

    • 9:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

    Where is the preschool located?

    Jefferson School
    1700 South Ave. West
    Missoula, MT    

    How do I get enrollment information?

    Call Debbie Chilcote, the preschool secretary, at (406)728-2400, ext. 5020.  The preschool office is located in the Jefferson Center Building, located at 1700 South Ave. West. 


Child Find Screening

  • MCPS annually sponsors a "Child Find" screening.  The event is free and screens children birth to age 5 for developmental problems in speech and language, vision, hearing, coordination, social and intellectual development, and general progress.  

    The screening will be held on the following dates:
    • October 24, 2024, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    • October 25, 2024, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (noon) 
    Screenings are free to those children living with MCPS Elementary District boundaries.  Please note that this screening does not determine kindergarten readiness.  The screening takes about an hour.  To learn more or schedule a screening, call Debbie Chilcote at 728-2400, ext. 5020.