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About the Program

LEAP is designed for students with special education needs from ages 3-5 and typically developing preschoolers who serve as mentors (peer partners) and play an important role in modeling behavior.

We believe that children learn by actively participating in age-appropriate activities that foster the development of language, communication, social, pre-academic, and motor skills.  Young children who develop these skills have better chances of succeeding later on at school, and carry the skills with them as they grow older.

LEAP’s curriculum is guided by The Creative and The Carolina Curriculums and is aligned with the Preschool Learning Foundations developed by the California Department of Education. In the program, our students participate in:

  • Developmentally-appropriate activities that foster the development of language, communication, social, pre-academic, and motor skills.
  • Hands-on activities that integrate STEM and sensory learning in a language rich environment.

An Education Tailored for YOUR Student

We understand that all students learn in different ways. Creating an educational program that is suited for each and every student through differentiation is one of our main objectives. Through differentiation our teachers make observations and adapt instruction and/or activities to meet individual student needs.  

All students’ individualized education programs (IEP) are continuously monitored and updated to meet their needs. We require IEP meetings at least once a year to update student goals, objectives, and services. In addition, we provide parent-teacher conferences and written progress reports at least two times per year.

Our classes include students of all ability levels.  We ensure student success through collaboration and team work between a variety of professionals and between our students.  

Peer Partners

Peer Partners are children without special education needs who serve as peer models for our students.  Peer Partners play a very vital and important role in the LEAP Program. All Peer Partners receive a quality preschool education from educators specially trained in the field of Early Education. Through Embedded Program Supports, and with a Developmentally Appropriate approach,  Peer Partners are provided with opportunities to learn using multiple modalities. Peer Partners model appropriate behaviors, language, social and play skills while developing friendships with students with a wide range of disabilities.


Program Structure

Credentialed Early Childhood Special Education teachers lead our classrooms with support from special education assistants.  The educational team works with Designated Instruction Specialists (DIS) to ensure that interventions for each student are implemented.

DIS providers may include a speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, adaptive physical education specialist, behavior intervention specialist, and/or a physical therapist.

A Day in LEAP

Predictable routines promote student participation.


Students improve eating and self-help skills, practice communication, taste different foods, and work on table manners.

Greeting Time

Students greet each other, sing songs, recite nursery rhymes, and are engaged in group activities.  Name recognition and counting skills are practiced.  

Work Time

Students work throughout the classroom using toys, blocks, sand, and water. They are introduced to art, music, writing and have access to the library. This is a time for children to practice sharing and taking turns, among other social skills.

Small Group Time

Children work on an activity to practice goals that are written in their IEP’s.  A variety of activities are presented to promote language, math and fine motor skills.

Socialization / Self-Help

Children learn to interact with other classmates and adults.  They may play in the classroom and/or take part in music, art, games, and cooking activities. Potty training is addressed and is part of the school day.

Large Group Time

Children come together with the adults to play games, sing songs, do finger plays, learn dances, play musical instruments, do exercises, or retell parts of a story.  We use flannel stories, books, and puppets to encourage language.  Children learn to participate in fun activities as members of a group.

Story Time

Children engage in reading readiness, listening, speaking, and writing activities focusing on book concepts and awareness of sounds that different letters make.

Outside Time

Playgrounds provide children with opportunities for movement, exploration, improved locomotion, balance, and creative play.  Water and sand play allow additional opportunities to explore the environment.


Children use computers and developmentally appropriate early childhood software.  


LEAP is a language-based program.  Students are encouraged to use language to express wants, needs, and social preferences.