What is an Early Childhood Resource Center?
The Early Childhood Resource Centers (ECRC) are the newest service to assist preschool students in Suffolk. These centers will offer FREE screening for developmental delays in vision, hearing, speech, language, motor skills, cognitive skills, and social interactions for children ages 2-4.
Where are the resource centers located?
The ECRC has two locations in Suffolk. For families living in northern Suffolk, the site is located at Florence Bowser Elementary School. For families in southern and central Suffolk, the center is housed at Elephant’s Fork Elementary.
Who will conduct the screening and testing?
Full-time staff of Suffolk Public schools at the ECRC consists of a school psychologist, a school social worker and an Early Childhood Resource Center lead teacher. A nurse, speech/language therapist, occupational therapist and physical therapist are available as needed. This outreach replaces the quarterly Child Check programs which traveled to different schools to offer screenings for children birth to age four.
Who is helped at the Early Childhood Resource Center?
Each year, more than 150 preschoolers are referred to child study teams because of concerns about delays in skills development. The Early Childhood Resource Centers will address all these areas of concern in a single location.
The ECRC staff will schedule and conduct all child study meetings for preschoolers in the school division. If evaluations are recommended, every effort is made to conduct testing entirely on site. Centralizing the evaluation process will streamline the experience for the parent and well as the child.
However, the ECRC is a not just a resource for those going through child study or evaluation. The centers will help parents connect with community agencies such as Head Start, the Children’s Center and the Western Tidewater Community Services Board.
Who can I contact for more information?
Kathy Payne ……………….. 925-6767
Early Childhood Resource Centers Lead teacher
Meet the Staff ….
Michele B. Mason is a School Social Worker with an MSW in Social Work from Howard University and a BSW in Social Work from Norfolk State University. She has 12 years experience as a Social Worker. Michele is a member of the Virginia Association of Visiting Teachers and School Social Workers and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She enjoys baking and traveling.
Kathy Payne is an Early Childhood Special Education Lead Teacher with an MA in Early Childhood Education from the College of William and Mary and a BS in Special Education from James Madison University. She has 32 years teaching experience with Early Childhood Special Education and Elementary Special Education. Kathy enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family.
Stephanie Potter is a Nationally Board Certified School Psychologist with an Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology from the College of William & Mary. Stephanie also has earned a BS and a MS in School Psychology from William & Mary. She is a member of the National Association of School Psychologists and has 16 years experience in public schools with preschool, elementary, middle and high school students. Stephanie enjoys coaching the Girls on the Run program at Creekside Elementary School.
Paula Scott is a Speech-Language Pathologist with a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). She has earned both a BS and a MS in Communication Disorders from Old Dominion University. Paula has also earned a CCC from the American Speech Language Hearing Association of Virginia. She has 27 years experience in the community and public schools. Her hobbies include cooking and beading.