The LEAP (Leadership, Education, and Partnership) Academy University Charter
School is a kindergarten through 12th-grade (K-12) public charter school that
serves Camden City with one core principle: all children and families deserve
access to a quality public education.
Since 1997, LEAP has become a national model for urban education. It provides
a high quality, holistic education for 1,000 urban learners and families, while
guaranteeing every LEAP graduate an opportunity to earn a college degree.
LEAP Academy's three academic units—LEAP Lower School (K-6), LEAP Upper School (7-12) and a specialized STEM High School (9-12)—promote high expectations for students, personal development and successful college and career goals.
For more than 15 years this innovative approach has translated into tremendous success for students and families. Each year LEAP Academy graduates 100 percent of its senior class with all alumni admitted to college, where they are shaping their futures and the future of Camden City.
The mission of the LEAP Academy University Charter School 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.
LEAP Academy's success has been
nothing short of miraculous. That success, in
large part, is due to the school's emphasis on partnership
at all levels. Our partners recognize that schools are the
key to community development.
Cities cannot prosper without a thriving, quality
education system. But Camden lacks quality schools and
LEAP cannot meet the demand of every family in the city.
LEAP Academy is committed to increasing the number of
Camden City students it reaches and is expanding by
opening new schools in Camden City. A new 240-student
STEM High School and a 240-student K-3 elementary
school are just the beginning of LEAP's expansion efforts.
With the comprehensive investment of civic-minded
leaders, LEAP has demonstrated that success in Camden.
The number of students and families seeking
admission to LEAP continues to grow every year,
with over 500 children on the waiting list for grades K-6 alone.
LEAP Academy offers a college preparation curriculum for all students. Our courses address core knowledge requirements for state exams, but also challenge students to develop their writing and critical thinking skills. Furthermore, our Senior Option program allows eligible high school seniors the opportunity to engage in community service or internship or employment programs, or even take undergraduate coursework at partnering colleges like Rutgers-Camden and Rowan through the High School Scholars Program.
LEAP Academy students are educated in two contemporary-modeled learning centers: a Lower/Elementary school (grades K–6), and an Upper/High school (7–12). A complete renovation was financed to create the Lower school in 1999, while the Upper school was built from the ground up in 2005.
The buildings are located one block apart on Cooper Street and are both equipped with modern classrooms and educational tools, libraries, gymnasiums, cafeterias, staff offices, security systems, and technology centers.
Longer School Day and Year
LEAP Academy's extended school day begins at 8:00am and continues until 4:00pm. In addition, many students take advantage of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Extended Learning Program, which offers academic tutoring and homework assistance (as well as extracurricular activities) through 7:00pm.
In addition, LEAP extends the traditional 180-day academic calendar to 200 days. Together, these extended schedules translate into over 500 more school-hours for faculty and staff to work with students on important skills.
Beyond classroom time, a sizeable amount of these hours are allotted for unique enrichment activities like field trips, college and career fairs, and community service opportunities—all of which add to student learning.