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Preschool-age boy playing with a wooden truck on a colorful rug

The Shaker Heights City School District offers high-quality early childhood programming and is the only program in the state of Ohio to incorporate the prestigious International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme philosophy with continuation in Grades K-12. 
To learn more about the Early Childhood Program, please review the sections below. You may also review the January 31 information session slides.

Class Schedule & Tuition

All programs are located at Onaway Elementary School, 3115 Woodbury Road.
Full-Day Program:  
  • Monday - Friday: 8:05 a.m. - 2:35 p.m.
  • Annual Tuition: $9,000
  • Tuition discounts will be offered to families that have been approved for free/reduced meals.
 Half-Day Program:
  • Monday - Thursday
  • Morning Session: 8:05 - 10:35 a.m.
  • Afternoon Session: 12:05 - 2:35 p.m.
  • Annual Tuition: $3,600
  • Tuition discounts will be offered to families who have been approved for free/reduced meals.

Classroom Model

In the District’s current program, all classes include both students who have been identified to have disabilities and those who have not been so identified and serve as peer models.

What is a Peer Model?

With a commitment to provide an inclusionary educational setting for our students with disabilities, the practice of including "peer models" in our preschool classrooms is used and recommended by the Ohio Department of Education. Peer models provide an excellent learning example for our students with disabilities, and also benefit from a rich developmentally appropriate preschool experience with exposure to children with differences.

Peer Model Screening Standards

The Shaker Heights Early Childhood Program is looking for Peer Models for the 2024-2025 school year for both full-day, half-day morning and half-day afternoon classes. Students are screened in the areas of speech/language, motor skills, social skills/behavior, pre-academic skills and daily living skills. Your child must:
  • Be three years of age by August 1, 2024
  • Live within the Shaker Heights City School District attendance zone
  • Have the ability to comply with adult requests in a timely manner
  • Be completely toilet trained (can nap without accident)
  • Transition easily
  • Be flexible with routines
  • Be able to separate from caregiver without distress 
  • Demonstrate age appropriate: 
    1. Play skills that demonstrate sharing and turn taking
    2. Language and communication skills
    3. Independence and the ability to take initiative
    4. Self help skills (dressing, toileting, caring for own belongings)

Sign Up for a Peer Model Screening

If you believe that your child meets the above criteria, the next step is to have your child screened by our Early Childhood Program staff. To apply to be screened, please complete this screening application.
Once your application is submitted, you will be contacted to confirm your request for a 1-2 hour in-house peer model screening, which will take place at Onaway Elementary School. This will provide the preschool team the opportunity to observe specific developmental skills that are essential to our program.
All information provided in the application is confidential and will only be used to help the preschool team get to know you and your child prior to the screening.
Please note, this is a request to be screened, not a guarantee of enrollment.
After the screening three possible outcomes can occur:

  • Accepted into preschool for the 2024-2025 school year
  • Waitlist when/if a space is available
  • Referral for further evaluation

Early Intervention Services

The Shaker Heights Early Childhood Program also provides options for students with disabilities: 

  • If you suspect that your child may be eligible for preschool special education services, please visit for more information or contact Noreen Smyth-Morrow at 216-295-4090.
  • If your child has an existing IEP, please contact Special Education Supervisor Erin Dzolic at 216-295-6186.


Dejunée M. Lawson
Preschool Coordinator

Erin Dzolic
PreK-6 Special Education Coordinator

Upcoming PreK Events


PreK Field Day

Tue May 28 2024