LEAP Academy is one of the first 13 charter schools in New Jersey and the first in Camden City. Through its trajectory, it has become an intricate part of the public education sector in the city, providing services to thousands of families. Over that time is its continued innovation that has propelled the 100% of LEAP graduates to ascend to new heights of college credit attainment through its growing partnership with Rutgers and Rowan Universities. Seniors amassed over $5.3 million in merit based scholarships and 100% college placement. Ten LEAP students graduated high school with a Seal of Biliteracy, making them the only students from Camden to earn this recognition of excellence. LEAP celebrated twenty years of providing high-quality education and received the NJ Department of Education Seal of Biliteracy Program.
|White|| 0% |
|Black|| 43% |
|Asian|| 1% |
|Hispanic|| 56% |
|American Indian or Native Alaskan|| 0% |
|Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander|| 0% |
|Multiracial|| 0% |
|Female|| 54.6% |
|Male|| 45.4% |
|Economically disadvantaged students|| 89% |
|Students with disabilities|| 8% |
|English learners|| 6% |
|Homeless students|| 1% |
|Students in foster care|| 0% |
|Military-connected students|| 0% |
|Migrant students|| 0% |
|Grade||Percent of total students||Students|
|Kindergarten|| 9% ||123|
|1st Grade|| 9% ||122|
|2nd Grade|| 9% ||122|
|3rd Grade|| 9% ||120|
|4th Grade|| 8% ||114|
|5th Grade|| 8% ||112|
|6th Grade|| 9% ||121|
|7th Grade|| 9% ||119|
|8th Grade|| 9% ||119|
|9th Grade|| 8% ||114|
|10th Grade|| 7% ||104|
|11th Grade|| 7% ||103|
|Incidents per year|
|Harassment, intimidation, and bullying||0|
|Days absent||Percent of students|
|0 days|| 3% |
|1 to 5 days|| 26% |
|6 to 10 days|| 30% |
|11 to 15 days|| 19% |
|Over 15 days|| 22% |
|English|| 79.7% |
|Spanish|| 19.4% |
|Other|| 0.9% |
Learn more about Leap Academy University Charter School.
LEAP Academy's mission is to enhance opportunities for the children and families of Camden through the collaborative design, implementation, and integration of education, health, and human services programs and through community development. Since the school's inception in 1997, the LEAP model has reinforced the core elements of academic excellence and community development through the delivery of a rigorous and quality education; cultivation of effective leadership; support of effective teachers; development of positive and healthy school climates; the adoption of student-centric approaches; the engagement and support of families; and a commitment to supporting children from cradle to college.
LEAPÃ¢ÂÂs instructional practices are directed by guiding principles --high expectations, holistic environment, integrated learning, active learning, positive attitudes, and varied assessments. Instruction integrates opportunities for problem-solving; communication; critical thinking; information gathering and processing; and personal, family, and community growth and development. The curriculum focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics content areas. LEAP also offers Early College Access through a comprehensive Dual Enrollment program that allows students to earn up to 30 college credits. Students also have access to one-to-one technology.
Baseball (Boys), Basketball (Boys & Girls), Cheerleading (Girls), Soccer (Boys & Girls), Softball (Girls), Volleyball (Boys & Girls)
Academic enrichment is embedded in the instructional core through programs like band, arts, dance, and theater clubs; Leadership development (Student Council, Junior Achievement, and Young Women's Leadership Conference; STEM Programs such as the Fab Lab, Robotics, Urban Forest Project, Lockheed Drone Development, Sci Girls; and Service Learning through volunteer opportunities and partnerships with local organizations.
LEAP offers an extended day (8 hours) and year (200 days) from August through June and offers meaningful programming every day for students and families. Students have access to afterschool programs and clubs: The Fab Lab provides a variety of afterschool programs for students interested in STEM; SAT preparation for high school students; band club; drone club; dance club; art club; and intramural sports. Parents can participate in Leadership Institutes, Parent University, Fatherhood Program, ESL Classes for Parents and, the Community Fitness Club.
Teachers participate in monthly professional development institutes as part of the year-long PD plan. PD is offered every month for teachers when students are not in session as well as integrated sessions that occur in the classroom on a regular day with a focus on applied learning and coaching. Teachers are provided support in developing student growth objectives while focusing on instruction through planning. Data-driven instruction has been at the forefront and the school partnered with NWEA to engage in learning and discussing strategies on how to best MAP data to drive instruction. PD topics include Responsive Classroom, improving literacy skills, Integrating Active Learning, using data to drive instruction, effective use of formative and interim assessments, and Ed Connect. All non-instructional staff receives professional development training, which provides many informal learning opportunities.
The school has continued to meet its expectation of 100% high school graduation and college placement for all of its seniors. The school implemented the Early College Program that provides for all of the seniors to attend college classes at Rutgers and Rowan Universities. This program transforms the senior year experience for all of LEAP's seniors as they finished the year with between 12 and 30 college credits. The school continued its dual enrollment offering with Rutgers and Cabrini Universities and students in 10th and 11th grade were able to enroll in college-level courses. The results--100% of graduating seniors were accepted to colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Rice University Rochester Institute of Technology, George Mason University, Saint JosephÃ¢ÂÂs University, Villanova University, Hofstra University, Temple University, Drexel University, Rutgers, and Rowan University, amassing nearly 500 college and university acceptances nationwide.
LEAP provides a variety of support services for our students with a disability to ensure that they achieve proficiency and enjoy learning. Our students benefit from two teachers in a co-teaching model that provides instruction in the least restrictive environment. Students also have access to SIOP Instructional Framework to make content and language more accessible to our English Language Learners. The teachers are trained to provide specialized instruction in the English language. Special Education Services are provided to students to ensure that everyone is at the academic level needed to achieve proficiency. LEAP's Behavioral Health team is staffed with two master level social workers and behavioral specialists to address the social-emotional and behavioral needs of the students. LEAP provides additional assistance to students through the YES Tutoring Program to help students accomplish their goals.
In November 2016, LEAP opened a pediatric school-based health center to provide convenient, accessible, and comprehensive health services for children and adolescents. Staffed by a full-time pediatrician and with nursing and health support staff, the center offers a range of services from basic primary care, preventative medicine, immunizations, and physicals for student's participating in sports. The Pediatric Center is open to the public and LEAP students and siblings--birth to 23 years of age. In two years, the LEAP Health and Wellness Center enrolled and provided care to 899 patients. Medical staff conducts necessary screenings, administers medications, and offers post-natal care to new parents in the community. Through this wellness portfolio, the Clinic provides seminars, interventions, and health education to our children and families.
Engaging our parents is at the core of LEAP's mission and has been since the inception of the school. We involve our parents as Parent Council members, board members, staff, and volunteers. This year, our parents participated in over 59 school events and completed over 7200 Parent Volunteer hours. The LEAP Parent Center works daily with all families to facilitate engagement and provide support. Parents are also provided access to the Oncourse parent portal so they can monitor their childÃ¢ÂÂs work and growth. Our Parents are Our Partners!
LEAP operates five state-of-the-art buildings along Cooper Street in downtown Camden. Our campus has both indoor and outdoor basketball courts, a performance theatre, dance studio, fitness gym, STEM fabrication laboratory, greenhouse garden, and a student library.
LEAP Academy Charter School takes proactive measures to maintain a secure environment for all students and staff with 11 full time and two part-time security personnel located in each building. LEAP trains and certifies all security staff in SORA, and the Director holds Certification on Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for schools through FEMA, Homeland Security, and the NJ State Police.
LEAP provides a rigorous curriculum that focuses on college preparation and STEM/STEAM learning. Students are challenged to think deeply and become innovators, who can solve many of todayÃ¢ÂÂs challenges. The Fabrication Lab is at the epicenter of innovation at the school. The state-of-the-art Rutgers CLC/LEAP Fab Lab serves as a launch pad for discovery where students collaborate to design, test, and apply innovative solutions to real-world problems. Through the Fab Lab, LEAP Academy graduates enter college with previous experience in model design creation and interpretation; computer-aided modeling; precision digital fabrication machining; layout and planning; and a solid understanding of the importance of following safety procedures; and working in teams. Graduates have matriculated to the Rutgers School of Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Parsons School of Design.
LEAP embraces the following design elements: A focus on building an educational pipeline that sustains children from infancy through college to ensure that the academic and socio-emotional needs of children are addressed as early as possible. Children exit this pipeline ready for college and careers. A systemic strategy for building capacity and cultivating excellent teachers and staff that is grounded on performance-based evaluation and the ongoing provision of professional development is essential. We offer an extended day and year to allow time to provide experiences that lead to better outcomes for children and increased engagement with families and community with a college-going culture across all grade levels. Support to alumni to ensure college completion; and strong partnerships with local universities, colleges, hospitals, businesses, non-profit organizations and community to provide resources and capacity building enrich the LEAP experience. Engagement of parents at all levels of the schoolÃ¢ÂÂs organizational structure while also strengthening their capacity and self-sufficiency through a two-generation focus that binds families and children together.