Darlene Musland has been teaching early childhood through Dickey-LaMoure Special Education for over 20 years. During much of that time she has implemented reverse integration into her classroom. That is to say during the school year four to six preschool students each quarter join her students with special needs. The integrated students serve as language and social role models. Many youngsters had their first introduction to classroom learning in Musland's classroom.
Four times a year, the preschool class presents a program to parents, grandparents and friends. She and Kelly Anderson, Edgeley's kindergarten teacher have an activity together each month.
Musland brings third grade and sixth grade students into her classroom to assist with projects such as making bread, science experiments, a seasonal favorite - making gingerbread houses, and writing letters.
Students have opportunities to learn outside the classroom when they take field trips such as: feeding horses, picking apples, visiting the post office, forestation, nurse, police officer, etc. The class sends cards to veterans and soldiers on various holidays.
Musland recently has made peer presentations. "Reverse Integration of Typical Preschoolers into an Early Childhood Special Needs Class" was presented at the North Dakota Pathfinders Conference. "Incorporating Pre-literacy Activities into your Daily Preschool Curriculum" was presented at the North Dakota State Reading Conference.
Musland is the first teacher to be recognized with the Ready Child Award from the North Dakota Education Association.