The LEAP Program
Answers to Common Questions
- What is the LEAP Program?
The LEAP Program is the name of the inclusive special education preschool program that is funded and supported by the Avon Board of Education. LEAP stands for Learning Experiences for Avon Preschoolers. The program was established in 1997.
- Who can participate in LEAP?
LEAP is a district-wide program serving Avon residents, ages 3 through 5, with and without disabilities. It is currently located at Pine Grove School. Preschoolers requiring special education services due to disabilities are eligible based on specific criteria established by the district in keeping with federal and state requirements. Peer Model students, or students with typical development, are selected by lottery to be included in the inclusive (or integrated) classroom settings.
- What is the schedule for 3’s and 4’s classes? (days/hours)
Integrated classes for 3-year-olds meet three half days per week and classes for 4-year-olds meet four half days per week. Class hours are either 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 – 3:00 p.m. Students receiving special education services may attend school based on individualized schedules geared to their specific needs.
- Is there tuition for the program?
The district charges a tuition for Peer Model students only to help defray program costs. Fees are determined annually by the superintendent, and families are notified of the amount as well as payment options during the registration process.
- How does the peer model lottery process work?
After all applicants have participated in play-based screenings, names are divided into various categories based on age, birthdate and gender. Lottery selections are made with regard to the specific needs of the program, including class sizes, gender balance and age. We try to achieve class groupings that reflect a purposeful blending of students in order to promote positive social and educational outcomes for all.
- Who staffs the LEAP Program, and what credentials do the teachers and other staff members have?
Teachers in the LEAP Program hold master’s level degrees in early childhood and special education. The related service staff members (speech/language, occupational and physical therapists) also hold master’s degrees in their respective fields. Many professional staff also have additional areas of specialized expertise and/or certifications. In addition, the program utilizes trained support staff, called paraprofessionals, to assist the teachers and further enhance the learning experience for all LEAP students.
For more information about the LEAP Program and other district preschool services, please contact Caryl Goldberg, Preschool Coordinator @ 860-404-4825 or Pine Grove School @ 860-404-4790.