• Portsmouth Early Childhood Program


    Community Partner Program is full for 2019-20 School Year.

    To be placed on waitlist, please complete & submit application. 


  • Integrated Preschool

    The Portsmouth School District's preschool program is located at Melville School.  This is a special education program that provides special education and related services for children who have an identified disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Research shows that children with disabilities benefit from being instructed with non-disabled peers, and with this in mind, Portsmouth invites community partners to participate in our program.  

    In our classroom, children with and without disabilities have the opportunity to learn and grow together in a high quality, stimulating and nurturing environment.  Our classroom is staffed by one certified teacher and two teaching assistants, and there are up to 15 children in each session.

    For community partners, we offer a morning session 3 days per week (Tues, Wed, Thurs) and afternoon sessions 4 days per week (Monday through Thursday).  Morning session runs from 8:30 to 11:15 and afternoon session, 12:30 to 3:15.  Our classrooms are open to preschool children aged three through five.  To be eligible, children must turn three on or before September 1 of the school year and may not turn five prior to or on September 1 of the school year.  Children who are eligible for kindergarten (i.e. celebrating fifth birthday on or before September 1 of the school year) may not be community partners in our preschool.  

    All children must be residents of Portsmouth, and children without disabilities must be fully potty trained.  Children must meet all requirements for registration with the Portsmouth School Department.  Bus transportation is not provided for community partners.  There is limited enrollment for community partners, and not all applicants can be selected for the program.

    We require that all community partner applicants participate in our Child Outreach Screening process before being considered for our program.  Please visit our child outreach webpage to schedule your child’s screening appointment.  We also require participation in a classroom play date where we can observe your child in regard to our entry comptencies.  

    Tuition for the 2019-20 School Year AM Sesssion (3 days per week) is $1870 annually ($1246 annually for children who qualify for free or reduced lunch) and for the PM Session (4 days per week) $2400 annually, ($1600 annually for children who qualify for free or reduced lunch).  Tuition is pro-rated for children who enroll after the official first day of the program, but not for early withdrawal from the program.  Tuition is paid in two equal installments (cash or check), due August and January.  Once children are accepted to the program, a non-refundable $200 deposit is required to confirm the child's enrollment. 


     Instruction is aligned with the RI Early Learning and Development Standards.  For more information about RIELDS, click here.

  • For information about Portsmouth preschool and early childhood special education programs, please contact

    Deana Dufficy, 401-683-1650 x5038 dufficyd@portsmouthschoolsri.org


    Special Education Services

    For children eligible under IDEA, we provide a full range of special education and related services:

    -Specialized Instruction

    -Speech-Language Therapy

    -Physical Therapy

    -Occupational Therapy

    Services are provided in one of our preschool classrooms or through regular appointments, on a walk-in basis, according to each child's individual needs.