Early Childhood Screening

Vermillion School District

Vermillion, SD

What is an Early Childhood Screening?

An Early Childhood Screening is available for children ages 3-5 who are not enrolled in Kindergarten. Children must live in the Vermillion School District to be screened by the district. The purpose of the screening is to briefly assess the child's development to look for areas of concern. We screen for cognitive, motor, personal-social, adaptive and language development.

Parents will be asked to complete forms and simple interviews so we can get a better picture of a child's overall development, expectations and habits at home, and their routines. This information is all helpful before we can make recommendations for further evaluations if needed.

Following a screening, the team will discuss the results with the parent(s). At that time, the team will do one of the following:

  • Recommend no further screening or evaluation if the child's scores indicate they are typically developing.
  • Recommend re-screening in 3 or 6 months if the child's scores were borderline or their behavior didn't allow accurate results.
  • Recommend a Special Education evaluation if the child's scores indicated area(s) of concern. During an evaluation, the child's development is thoroughly evaluated in multiple sessions within 25 school days. Following the testing deadline, the team will have a meeting within 30 calendar days to determine if the child has a disability.


Who should complete a screening?

Any child who meets the following criteria:

    • Is age 3-5 and not enrolled in or age-eligible for kindergarten for that school year (5 by September 1st of that school year)
    • Is living in the Vermillion School District

We typically screen children whose parents, caregivers, and/or doctors have concerns for their development. However, we welcome all children ages 3-5 in our community to come in for a screening.

Call Austin School at (605)677-7010 to schedule your child's screening.


When are screenings held? Who completes them?

Screenings are held on the first Friday of each month in the afternoons. We also offer screenings on the third Friday of some months. Please see the schedule tab for more information. There are a limited number of spots available each month so we can spend adequate time with each family. Screenings are held at Austin School with the parent present. Screenings take about an hour to complete.

The screenings are completed by Early Childhood Staff members and often includes: the Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Early Childhood Education Assistant, and Speech/Language Pathologist. Our School Nurse, Occupational Therapist, and/or Physical Therapist may also be involved if available.


What do I, the parent, need to do to prepare for the screening?

Parents should fill out the following form beforehand and bring it to the screening (print and complete or pick up a blank form in the Austin School office a few days before):

  • Health & Developmental Overview (download under the "forms" tab)


We also encourage parents to prepare their child for the screening process using the following facts:

    • The testing will be at Austin School in a little blue room.
    • The testing will be with two teachers at a time.
    • Mom and/or dad will stay in the room, but will not be able to help or prompt you.
    • The teachers will ask a lot of questions and it's important that you do your best!

**Parents can bring one simple snack (crackers, dry cereal, pretzels) and a bottle of water or juice for their child if they feel it will be a benefit rather than a distraction. We ask that you do NOT bring toys or a large snack/drink with you as this tends to distract from the screening protocol.**


Who can I contact with questions?

Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

Sarah Hansen, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Sarah.Hansen@k12.sd.us

(605)677-7010 between 3:00 and 3:45pm