Special Education

The Dillon Center is a “special education friendly” environment!

The Dillon Center is an inclusive school that embraces the reality that all children come to preschool at different points in their development, and parents should feel comfortable sharing that their child may be demonstrating delays in one or more areas, such as language, motor skills, and/or social-emotional skills. Dillon Center teachers explore children’s abilities in all domains of development, and subsequently create activities that help them to make progress. Differentiation of instruction is key. Dillon has four general education classrooms and one 4410/integrated classroom.

General Education with Related Services

Our four general education classrooms are open to children with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that mandate a general education setting with services. This means that a child is able to make progress in a general education setting with the support of one or more of the following services: SEIT, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and/or counseling. We welcome children with these mandates to apply to the Dillon Center through our regular application process; however, acceptance will be based on whether the director feels that the student’s needs can be supported in the general education classroom.

4410/Integrated Classroom

Our 4410 classroom has eight spots designated for children with special needs who are mandated by their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to be placed in an integrated classroom. An integrated classroom is one in which children with special needs are taught alongside children who are typically developing. We do not separate the students based on this; rather all children are provided with individualized support in order to help them achieve the classroom goals to the best of their abilities. While all children will not receive the same interventions, all children will receive the support they need. There are typically about 20 children in Classroom 1 and there are four adults (general education head teacher, special education head teacher, general education assistant teacher, and special education assistant teacher). In addition, there are therapists who provide services to the children with IEPs, through a mix of push in and pull out sessions (speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and psychologist).


  • Have a 10-month IEP.
  • Integrated placement recommendation (10:1:1).
  • 2.9 – 5.0 years old. Children are eligible to stay in the classroom for two years.

If you would like to receive more information about our 4410 program, please contact our Director, Susan Straut Collard, at sstrautcollard@sjny.edu, and our Special Education Coordinator, Carol Gerstmann at cgerstmann@sjny.edu.


Classroom One — INCLUSION

8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Age Group: 3s and 4s — A unique and child-driven class based on inquiry and discovery. Read more.

Classroom Two

8:15 – 11:15 a.m. or 8:15 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Age Group: mixed 2s/3s — These oldest 2s and youngest 3s learn about going to school, perhaps for the first time, and expand on language and social skills. Read more.

Classroom Three

8:30 - 11:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Age Group: 3s — Designed for Dillon's middle three year olds, children explore the school environment and learn how to function and thrive with other students. Read more.

Classroom Four

8:30 - 11:30 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Age Group: 2s — In this classroom, children work on navigating the world of preschool. Read more.

Classroom Five

8:15 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Age Group: Pre-K/K — In Dillon’s Pre-K classroom, we involve the children in the study of things nearby that interest them and are worth knowing more about. Read more.