Preschool: Lechner Early Education Program (LEEP)

Our mission is to provide a developmentally based preschool program in a nurturing, language-rich environment. As a collaborative team of Early Childhood Specialists, we utilize a curriculum designed to teach to each child’s potential and work together to develop individualized programming. Our inclusive model promotes learning, acceptance, and self-esteem within a diverse population.

Program Hours

Morning: 8:45-11:05 am | Afternoon: 12:10-2:30 pm

The Team

Our team of professionals is comprised of certified early childhood teachers (who lead each class) along with a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker, physical therapist, and paraprofessionals. We practice an integrated approach which involves collaborative assessment and planning for every child on a regular basis.

An Inclusive Model

The Lechner Early Education Program is aligned with District 39’s philosophy of inclusion, whereby children with special needs are integrated, or included, in a classroom with typically developing children. Under this model, our program makes it possible for children with special needs to participate in all classroom activities, with modifications as needed. This enables typically developing children to be more accepting of people with disabilities and act as role models for the children with special needs. Additionally, all children benefit from being under the guidance of a team of Early Childhood Specialists.

The Curriculum

The curriculum is based on The Creative Curriculum. It focuses on the development of social competence, learning through play, fostering independence, self-confidence and self-esteem. The Creative Curriculum is aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Standards. Our study based program exposes children to a variety of pre-acadmic skills and concepts.

District 39 Affiliation

Since the Lechner Early Education Program is part of Wilmette School District 39, and housed at Romona School, our children benefit from access to the school library, gym, and outdoor playground facilities. We have opportunities to participate in all school assemblies and related activities.  Enrollment in District 39’s Connecting Kids also allows for a seamless transition to Kindergarten for all children.


We believe that a viable program must reflect involvement, education and collaborative efforts from all team members, including families. The Lechner Early Education Program offers:

  • Regular email communication.
  • Detailed teacher websites with information about current study topics and important dates.
  • In-class parent helpers and family guest readers.

How Does Inclusion Work?

In order to achieve effective preschool integrated settings, our team is sensitive to the environment, materials and, most importantly, the child. As Early Childhood Specialists, we have a shared respect for each child. Our keen observational skills allow the team to monitor developmental progress and individual achievement. At the Lechner Early Education Program, the focus is on choice and autonomy in a child-oriented setting, full of interesting and functional materials.

Our program’s philosophy places emphasis on approaching each student, first and foremost, as a child. Additionally, we afford multiple opportunities to the children to make choices and initiate their own activities. Finally, our program is designed and equipped to meet individual needs across a diverse group of children while fostering cooperative interactions. 

For more information about the Lechner Early Education Program please contact:

Kristin Johnson
Early Childhood Coordinator
Romona School 
600 Romona Rd.
Wilmette, IL