DCPS Unveils New Early Stages Evaluation Center in Ward 7

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Today, DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor, Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, celebrated the opening of the district’s new Early Stages Evaluation Center, co-located within Ron Brown College Preparatory High School. DCPS Early Stages offers free screenings and evaluations to help families understand their child’s development and eligibility for special education services. Building on Mayor Bowser’s commitment to ensuring that District youth and students have access to high-quality special education services and support, the centers serve children aged 2 years 8 months to 5 years 10 months. 

“DCPS Early Stages Centers are more than just assessment sites,” said DCPS Chancellor, Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “They are where young children and their families connect with experts who understand their unique needs and receive invaluable resources that will help them learn, grow, and develop critical life skills. DCPS is laying the groundwork for kids and their families to be prepared for Pre-K and beyond.” 

Executive Director of Early Stages, Sean Compagnucci, and Early Stages’ beloved puppet mascot, Doodlebug, led Chancellor Ferebee along with DC State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant, community partners, and families on a tour of the new facilities. The new center replaces the former Early Stages site on Minnesota Avenue and provides a larger, more welcoming environment for families. 

“At Early Stages, we partner with families to understand each child’s learning needs and offer guidance on how to best support their development—at home and in school,” said Compagnucci. “With over 1,500 referrals and inquiries from nearly 200 organizations each year, Early Stages is constantly evolving. This new center will allow us to continue growing and meeting the needs of our community.” 

To help determine whether developmental milestones are being met, Early Stages professionals may engage children in play-based activities, perform screenings, and present families with questionnaires. If a child needs support, families receive information about the district- and school-based resources they can expect. All Early Stages services are free. Anyone can refer a child to Early Stages, including parents, teachers, childcare professionals, and medical providers. 

For more information about Early Stages or to refer a child, please visit www.earlystagesdc.org.

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