Humboldt County Office of Education: Special Beginnings

A photo of a student with a guitar
Special Beginnings Logo

Special Beginnings Program

Welcome to Special Beginnings, a birth to five program run through the Humboldt County Office of Education. Special Beginnings has multiple programs that serve children.

Redwood Learners Preschool

Redwood Learners is a regular education preschool program that serves children who are typically developing and those with learning needs. Visit the Redwood Learners Webpage to learn more.

Birth to Three Services

Early Start Programs that serve children with delays from birth to their third birthday. There are both classroom and traveling teachers that serve this population.

Preschool Services

Serving kids through screening, assessment, and individual education program development. A range of services can be accessed based on individual needs.

What to Do When You Have Concerns About Development

Children Age Birth to Three

Shelby Peterson
Shelby Peterson
Program Manager

Referrals can be made to the Early Start Coordinator at Redwood Coast Regional Center (RCRC). Children will not be reaching out to the Special Beginnings principal, it will be their caregivers.

Children with Low Incidence needs ( blind, deaf-blind, deaf, deaf and hard of hearing, severe orthopedic handicaps ) can reach out to the Special Beginnigns principal.

Children Age Three to Five (Preschool)

Jenna Adams
Jenna Adams
ECCI Learning Specialist

Referrals can be made to the school district of residence (school district in which the child lives), or to the Special Beginning’s Learning Specialist at Humboldt County Office of Education. If the child is, or will soon be, eligible based on age to attend Kindergarten, then referral should be made to the district of residence.

Children are evaluated to determine eligibility for special education services. If a child is determined eligible, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed and a range of service options are considered.

Program Descriptions

Special Day Classes

Special Beginnings operates classrooms designed to serve pre-Kindergarten children, ages three to five, with diagnoses of Autism. The programs use rigorous and evidence-based teaching to focus on pivotal skill areas to maximize developmental skill growth. Programs are regionalizing around the county.

Parents are an integral part of on-going assessment and curriculum planning. Non-school providers are welcomed to coordinate and meet with staff to ensure that students’ educational experiences transfer to other environments, and strategies and expectations are coordinated and consistent.

Early Start

Early Start services target infants and toddlers under age three. The lead agency in California for Early Start is Redwood Coast Regional Center (RCRC). HCOE has a formal working relationship with RCRC in which we help coordinate a range of community-based services to these very young children, as well as provide direct educational services.

HCOE has three special education teachers dedicated to serving children under age three: two are itinerant and visit children in homes and other community settings, and one teaches a self-contained class for children recently diagnosed with autism. We pride ourselves on our dedication to working closely with other community agencies and providers, and supporting parents as they learn about their “special” child so the best possible outcomes can be attained. Every eligible child has an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) with appropriate goals based on assessment.

Itinerant Preschool

HCOE has special education teachers and speech/language pathologist who serve pre-Kindergarten children, ages three to five, throughout Humboldt County. Children are served in homes, preschools, home childcares, and other off-site settings. We are proud of the dedication and passion of our itinerant teachers and their efforts, to ensure that each child is as ready as they are able for transition to Kindergarten.