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Riverview Assembles New Preschool Assessment Team

Pictured (L-R): Shelly Kvamme, Biji Das, Dr. Rachel Wallin, and Asher Moody Not pictured: Sharissa Frederick

“A high priority for the Student Services department is to create systems which help align our work,” shares Riverview’s Student Services Director, Dr. Sara Woolverton. “The preschool assessment process was the first system we prioritized, as it is so important to bring students in, build their skills, and launch them toward success in kindergarten and future years.”

For the 2023-2024 school year, Dr. Woolverton refined the preschool assessment process in Riverview, developing an assessment team who meet weekly, review referrals, and determine which students need to be evaluated and tested.

“We have an obligation to help find students who may have developmental delays and introduce a process for evaluation that gets them into programs and services earlier so that they can develop the skills they need to be successful in school.”

In establishing this process, an assessment team, led by district psychologist Asher Moody, and including preschool teacher Sharissa Frederick, occupational therapist Dr. Rachel Wallin, physical therapist Shelly Kvamme, and speech language pathologist Biji Das, not only evaluate and assess students but also talk directly with parents and network with early childhood providers to help encourage referrals and opportunities to join the preschool program. An audiologist and vision specialist can be brought in to assist the team as needed.

In addition to formation of the Assessment Team, the Student Services department has made the application and referral process significantly easier. Families can complete the application online or access the form through a QR code on their phone or device. Parents/guardians then complete an “Ages and Stages” questionnaire, available in English and Spanish, which initiates the assessment process. The questionnaire provides the team with more robust information, leading to better efficiency in evaluating prospective students for the program.

So far this year, 12 students have already been evaluated by the new preschool assessment team, with as many as five to seven students currently in the assessment phase. Dr. Woolverton indicates she is proud of the work of the Preschool Assessment Team.

“Early intervention is key,” she adds. “We now have a process that efficiently helps us bring students in, test them, and identify the services which are needed. If the preschoolers qualify to receive special education, an individualized education plan (IEP) can be developed to provide for services in our preschool classrooms or from a therapist in our schools. A cohesive, efficient, streamlined process helps everyone - from our parents/guardians, families, and staff - to the students we serve each day.”


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