Exceptional Achievers Early Childhood "Little Mustangs"

School Town of Munster offers a continuum of services for children ages 3 to 5 who are eligible under Indiana’s special education rules. This program is available to Munster residents ONLY!

STM Early Childhood Assessment Team offers a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation in a preschool classroom setting. The Early Childhood Speech and Language Pathologists offer a "speech only" evaluation for those families that are only concerned with their child's speech development. 

Special Education services are provided in a variety of settings appropriate to meet the needs of each child. Developmental preschool classrooms and "speech-only" sessions are examples. Currently, STM has Early Childhood classrooms at Frank Hammond Elementary School that host our youngest learners in developmentally appropriate classrooms. 


What if I think my child has special needs?

Children ages 0 to 3 years:
Your child may be eligible for early intervention through Northwest Indiana First Steps. To make a referral, call (219) 662-7790 or visit their website.

Children ages 3 to 5 years:
Call the School Town of Munster Early Childhood Assessment Team at (219) 838-2060 ext. 6206 or email Claire Starcevich.

An Early Childhood Team member will speak to you regarding your concerns and schedule an appointment for your child to attend a screening. Screenings are brief sessions where the child works with a therapist (usually a speech-language pathologist) to get an overview of the child’s abilities in one or more areas of development.

Following the results of the screening, you will receive a written summary of the results and recommendations. Should an initial evaluation be recommended following the completion of the screening, the educational evaluation process will be initiated. The initial educational evaluation is conducted to determine if your child meets eligibility criteria set forth by the State of Indiana’s special education laws, for special education.

Some of the eligibility categories that are considered special education include but are not limited to: 

  • Speech Impairment
  • Language Impairment
  • Developmental Delay
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Other Health Impairment

Based on the results of the screening and the concerns you have regarding your child’s development, one or more areas of eligibility may be considered for your child’s educational evaluation.


Developmental Milestones

Please visit the CDC Website for more information regarding developmental milestones.



We recognize each child is a unique person with an individual pattern and timing of growth along with individual personality, learning style and family background. Assessment of the student’s strengths and needs is necessary to determine instructional needs.

Young children learn most effectively through a concrete, play-oriented approach. Their development and learning occur throughout daily activities and routines. The program provides a developmentally appropriate curriculum for the age span of the children being served and is implemented with attention to the different needs, interests and developmental levels of each child. An integrated approach is used to encourage the children’s physical, emotional, social, communicative and cognitive development. Emphasis is placed on providing materials and activities that are concrete, relevant to the children, and encourage self-directed play and active exploration.


ISPROUT Early Learning Assessment Tool

Indiana Student Performance Readiness and Observation of Understanding Tool (ISPROUT) is utilized to measure skills in children from infancy to kindergarten. ISPROUT is aligned to the Indiana Early Learning Foundations. 

ISPROUT will be utilized for Indiana students receiving services as part of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to meet the reporting needs of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The web or app based instrument is utilized by teachers to rate students based on their ongoing observations of children engaged in typical daily routines and activities.

ISPROUT for Families