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Horace MannEarly Learning Center

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About Us » Director's Message

Director's Message

Mrs. Berry

Welcome to the Horace Mann Early Learning Center and the Early Childhood Programs!  Horace Mann ELC is part of the Rock Island-Milan School District 41 and is the early childhood “hub” of programs and services. There are three programs within the early childhood programs here in the school district: Head Start, Preschool for All (PFA) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE).


Horace Mann ELC is home to 6 Head Start classrooms, 1 Preschool for All room and 3 Early Childhood Special Education classrooms. Our building houses approximately 150 preschool students and is also an office home to our preschool support staff of management, family service workers, program assistants and administrative assistants as well as therapists for occupational and physical therapy for our special education students.  Our Early Childhood Program classrooms also are located in 7 other district buildings: Rock Island Academy, Center for Math and Science, Earl Hanson, Thomas Jefferson, Longfellow, Thurgood Marshall and Ridgewood. 


Inclusion is the principle that supports the education of the children with disabilities alongside their non-disabled peers rather than separately. Child safety is the first priority. RIMSD Early Childhood Programs use universal strategies as well as more targeted approaches to provide every child with academic and behavioral support. A multi-tiered support system (MTSS) ensures that students are supported at every level. 


There are multiple options for classroom placement within the program. Children are assigned to classrooms according to needs identified upon intake. Child placement may be changed during the school year to meet individual needs. A child placed within a Head Start or Preschool for All classroom at any location may have special education teaching and paraprofessional staff as well as itinerant (speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, etc.) in the classroom. 


The mission of the ECE programs is to provide our district's diverse early childhood students with a quality education that prepares them for successful learning within our multicultural community. Our vision is to be the premier early childhood learning organization within our ever changing community. Our priorities are to build supportive relationships with children, families and early childhood stakeholders, to build a strong academic foundation for continued learning through ensuring equity and opportunities for all early childhood students and to enhance and improve operations. We believe that through our three programs of services we are able to carry out our mission, vision and priorities.


Thank you for visiting our site and for your interest in the Horace Mann Early Learning Center and our Early Childhood Programs. Please feel free to contact me if you would like any additional information.


-Nicole Berry, Director of Early Childhood Programs/ELC Principal