There is substantial evidence suggesting that early childhood programs comprised of mixed ability groupings is best practice. At the Ridgefield Public Schools, we are committed to a pre-K program model that includes typically developing preschool-age children from the community.

Peer Model Selection

We will consider children for the limited spaces available for peer models based on the following criteria:

  • Application age of three (3) years or older
  • Independence with toileting skills
  • Participation in a screening to obtain a general, development profile.

We will place children who meet the above qualifications and exhibit strong social and language skills in an applicant pool from which we will make the final selections at random. We will notify parents by letter regarding their child’s selection.

We appreciate that young children develop at different rates. Should we have any concerns regarding your child’s development, we will contact you and explain our referral process for further evaluation, as needed.

Thank you for your interest in the RPS Preschool Peer Model Program. We are no longer accepting Peer Model applications for the 2023–2024 school year. Please check back in January 2024 for the 2024–2025 school year application.

    Child Find

    Child Find is a federal mandate that assures that all children who are in need or who are suspected to be in need of early intervention or special education services are located, identified, and referred to the Planning and Placement Team (PPT).

    The Ridgefield Public Schools pre-K team of professionals conducts a Child Find Developmental Screening throughout the year at Barlow Mountain Elementary School for all community children of preschool age (3 to almost 5 years old.) Please see our Child Find Announcement for additional information.

    If you are interested in more information about either of these programs, please reach out to Christina Salvestrini at


    Sparkler is an evidence-based, mobile family engagement platform available in English and Spanish which is working with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and 211 Child Development to help all Connecticut families of 0 to 5 year olds.

    Sparkler offers:

    • Tracking tools designed to monitor children’s social-emotional, cognitive, communication, and physical development, including the Ages & Stages Questionnaires®.
    • Content that helps parents/caregivers support their children’s learning and development. Sparkler has a library of 1500+ play-based learning activities developed by early childhood educators and is adding more all the time.
    • Messaging tools to give parents/caregivers advice and support.

    Please visit Connecticut's Play Sparkler page to learn more.

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