Special Children’s School

Special Children’s School

4505 Shattalon Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Phone: (336) 924-9309
Fax: (336) 924-0388
Website: Special Children’s School
Hours: 8:45 am – 3:25 pm
Principal: Susan Frye

The Special Children’s School is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The school was started in 1973 and serves approximately 124 children from birth to 5 years of age with and without disabilities. Approximately 1/3 of children are “typical” (without disabilities).

Special Children’s School: Mission, Vision and Values

Special Children’s School Mission

Teaching and supporting young children with special needs in an inclusive learning environment.

Special Children’s School Vision

To be the premier developmental day school in the region through the dedicated efforts of the teachers, therapists, and support staff who are committed to families and children, especially those with special needs.

Special Children’s School Values

The Special Children’s School puts children first, supports families, provides a safe and compassionate environment, and celebrates achievement, teamwork, and the standards that come with excellence.

Special Children’s School: Who We Serve

Children are admitted without regard to race, creed, sex, religion or financial status.

Special Children’s School: Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I want my child to attend The Special Children’s School?

Educators, therapists and parents across the region have recognized and affirmed our mission, vision and values for over thirty years. National accreditation awards and a North Carolina Five Star Day Care rating only enhance that image.

But the most important reason is not external affirmations, but the comfort as well as the excitement you will feel when you visit. Each classroom, partnered with a team of therapists, will build the best environment in which your child can grow to their potential.

You will sense the celebrations and pride we share each day with even tiny victories for each child. It is a contagious experience we are delighted to share. But don’t take our word for it….come visit. If we are right for you, you will know it!

Who can attend?

  • Children under age 3 who are considered “at risk” for having developmental delays or have an established diagnosis such as Down Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy.
  • Children 3-5 years who have delays and are certified by the Public School System.
  • Children without disabilities, infants to 5 years of age.

Can I tour the Special Children’s School?

ABSOLUTELY! Parents and interested guests can schedule a tour by calling the school at 336-924-9309. For children with special needs, please speak with our Enrollment Coordinator, Heather Durling. Or for children without special needs, please ask for our Daycare/Developmental Day Coordinator, Karen Young.

When is the Special Children’s School open?

The Special Children’s School operates on a year round schedule, M – F, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. See the WS/FCS calendar for holidays and teacher workdays.

What are the classrooms like?

Most classrooms are inclusive which means you have children with and without disabilities working together. All classrooms have a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4, teacher:child ratio from 8:45-3:25. The class sizes vary from 6 to 16 children. Most therapies are done in the classroom, when possible.

What does it mean to have a 5-star rating?

A 5 star rating is part of North Carolina’s daycare licensing standards. The Special Children’s School is rated on the quality and education of the staff, the Special Children’s School’s history with the Division of Child Development, and a developmental observation made by an independent observer.

The Special Children’s School’s 5 Star Rating means that the environment will be more conducive to learning, that there will be a higher staff:child ratio and the teachers will be more highly educated.

How can parents be involved with the Special Children’s School?

We encourage parents to have input on their child’s goals and to volunteer when possible. We also have a very active parent group named Parents In Touch which keeps our parents involved.

Questions About Special Children’s School Services

What services does the Special Children’s School provide?

Learning experiences are provided in the areas of self-help, fine and gross motor skills, language and communication, cognitive and social skills in order to promote optimal growth and development.

Does the Special Children’s School provide extended childcare services?

The Special Children’s School is open from 7:30-6:00. The educational part of the day is 8:45-3:25 with before and after school day care available. When additional childcare is needed for children with special needs, we can see if space is available. For children without disabilities the hours and fees are determined at the time of enrollment.

What services do children with special needs receive?

Children with special needs receive the following services:

  • Child Service Coordination: Provides assistance to families of children to access needed services such as medical appointments, transportation, financial needs, etc.
  • High Risk Intervention: Provides intense education services to children enrolled in the program by a professional or a paraprofessional.
  • Therapies: Based on each child’s individual needs for physical, occupational and speech therapies, these are provided by qualified therapists at the school.
  • Transportation: If a family does not have a car or a way to get their child to school, we provide transportation for children under 3 years of age. When the child turns three, the public school system transports your child.
  • IFSP or IEP: All children have educational plans with developmental goals for the teachers and therapists to work on with the children.
  • Nutritional services: All children receive nutritious meals and snacks. If there are feeding concerns, a nutritional consultant is available.

The Special Children’S School History

It was 1973 when 11 churches in the Northwest sector of Winston-Salem joined together to sponsor the Northwest Ministry Special Interest Center. These Northwest Ministry churches were Bethania Baptist, Bethania Moravian, Brookstown Methodist, New Hope Methodist, Old Town Baptist, Old Town Presbyterian, Olivet Moravian, Pfafftown Baptist, Pfafftown Christian, Providence Lutheran, and Trinity Christian. St. Anne’s Episcopal joined the Northwest Ministry in 1983. One of the ministries of these churches was to serve children with moderate, severe, and profound disabilities. This ministry became Northwest Ministry Developmental Day Services – - today called The Special Children’s School.

The school grew to include 22 students in 1983. Children attending the school came from all socio-economic backgrounds ranging from 3 years to 12 years of age. The city’s first Early Intervention Program serving infants and toddlers was added in May of 1983.

After growing to 39 students in 1986, the school expanded to 50 students in 1990. This was a result of United Way funding that enabled the use of an annex in the Old Town Civic Center. This was used until 1994. During this time meals for the children were transported from the main building on Shattalon Drive.

As a result of a successful Capital Campaign in the early 1990′s, The Special Children’s School now serves 124 children between the ages of birth to 5 years of age. Our special needs children are surrounded by 40 typically developing children. As a result, children with and without disabilities are playing and learning side by side. They are cared for by a highly specialized staff of teachers, family support staff, nurses, and therapists in a 22,000 square foot building. Although the school serves twice as many children than six years ago, a waiting list remains.

In 2007 The Special Children’s School formed a partnership with the Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools in order to better serve both children with special needs and typically developing children. Up until this time the school was private but, is now considered a public school. The Special Children’s School is the only Developmental Day School in Forsyth County.

There are still more children to be served and to do this we need continued support from our friends in the community. The dreams of children are within your reach.

Directions to Special Children’s School

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2 Responses to Special Children’s School

  1. Diane Poueymirou says:

    My newborn was born with tetrology of fallot. I am concerned about putting her in an environment where she is suseptable to alot of sickness before she recieves her surgury to correct her condition and possibly shortly after. Is your school set up for a more sterile environment than other day cares? My cardiologist doesn’t recommend I have her in a day care with more than a few other children in the room. Please send me any information you can.
    Thank You,
    Diane Poueymirou

    • WSFCS says:

      Hi Diane, I’m sorry to hear about your child’s condition. Though we list information about the school, we do not represent the school. You’ll need to contact the school directly about that.

      Best of luck,
      John Bates

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