Lower Elementary

About

Serving students in grades K-3

The Lower Elementary School serves 480 children in grades K-3. The school focuses on providing every student with a strong academic foundation in math and language arts using integrated approaches that incorporate science, social studies and world languages.

Instructional Programs

Innovative Curriculum & Self-directed Learning

  • Structured and extensive instructional time to maximize the amount of instructional time provided in each content area. Including ninety minutes of Mathematics and ninety minutes of English Language Arts each school day, and one-hour core extension time built to provide teachers to review subject matter as a class or work.
  • Innovative curriculum focused on helping young children to develop the cognitive, social-emotional, self-regulatory, and foundational academic skills they need to succeed in school and beyond. The school uses Tools of the Mind as its main curriculum to give children the tools needed to take charge of their own learning.
  • Self-directed learning that focuses on having students create their own learning plan throughout the day through the use of classroom based independent activity centers and the motivation to work with “study buddies” in the classroom.
  • Immersing students in technology through regular class periods dedicated to teaching basic computer skills as well as early coding skills. All Kindergartners have access to IPads and to notebooks in grades 1-3

Principal's Message

Preparing Children to Thrive as Global Citizens

Welcome to the STEM Elementary School. As your principal, it is my pleasure to serve our learning community and ensure that our students are successful, safe and happy.

The STEM Elementary School campus serves 480 students in grades K-3. The academic focus of the school is on providing a strong foundation in math and language arts, integrated with the teaching of other core content areas such as Science, Social Studies and World Languages. Our school’s curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, and our school’s schedule is specifically tailored to maximize the amount of instructional time provided in each content area. Students receive ninety minutes of Mathematics and ninety minutes of English Language Arts each school day. In addition, students have one hour of core extension time built into their schedules to allow classroom teachers to review a subject matter as a class, or work individually with students that are struggling to master a specific skill.

To ensure that our students are immersed in STEM content areas, we offered the Tools of the Mind curriculum in the early grades to give children the necessary academic foundation to take charge of their own learning by allowing students to create their own learning plan throughout the day. The instructional day in our classroom is structured through a combination of activities that include teacher-led instruction combined with learning centers where students engage in independent activity.

We provide a variety of support services for our students to ensure that everyone is at the academic level needed to achieve proficiency and enjoy learning. On a regular basis, we provide support from a Reading Specialist, Occupational and Speech Language Therapy and ESL Support for our second language learners.

Every family in our school is very important to us, as we create a school community that will prepare children to thrive as global citizens and be successful in their school and college career.

Come and visit us!!

Faculty/Staff


Administration

  • Building Administration

Faculty

  • Kindergarten
  • First Grade
  • Second Grade
  • Third Grade
  • Special Services
  • Special Area Teachers (Arts, Music, Theater, Spanish & ESL)

Staff

  • Support Staff

Building Administration

Scott Lunn

Instructional Principal K-3

SLunn@leap.rutgers.edu

Charles Benito

Director of Data and Assessment

856-614-5774cbenito@leap.rutgers.edu

Kindergarten

Ashley Hudock

Kindergarten Teacher

ahudock@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Tiyana Hicks

Kindergarten Teacher

thicks@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Catherine Clark

Kindergarten Teacher

cclark@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Blair Mauger

Kindergarten Teacher

bmauger@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Alyssa Marrero

Kindergarten Teacher

amarrero@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Cloyette Edwards

Kindergarten Teacher

cedwards@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Chandra Barzey

Instructional Assistant

cbarzey@leap.rutgers.edu

Melissa Rivera

Instructional Assistant

mrivera@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Greseida DeJesus

Instructional Assistant

gdejesus@leap.rutgers.edu

Tonya McFadden

Instructional Assistant

tmcfadden@leap.rutgers.edu

Joan Rodriguez

Instructional Assistant

jrodriguez@leap.rutgers.edu

Raven Vanderpuye

Instructional Assistant

RVanderpuye@leap.rutgers.edu

First Grade

Divya Chohan

1st Grade Teacher

dchohan@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Melissa Cloherty

1st Grade Teacher

dchohan@leap.rutgers.eduWebpage

Donna-Lee Jarrett

1st Grade Teacher

djarrett@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Chelsea Morales

1st Grade Teacher

cmorales@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Lindsay Minton

1st Grade Teacher

LMinton@leap.rutgers.edu

Alisha Pondexter

Instructional Assistant

apondexter@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Second Grade

Tierra Arnold

2nd Grade Teacher

Atierra@leap.rutgers.edu

Lisa Derenzo

2nd Grade Teacher

ldorenzo@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Candice Stephens

2nd Grade Teacher

cstephens@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Isabell Howell

2nd Grade Teacher

ihowell@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Emily Griffith

2nd Grade Teacher

egriffith@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Amber Albright

2nd Grade Teacher

AAlbright@leap.rutgers.edu

Third Grade

Amanda Carpenter

3rd Grade Teacher

acarpenter@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Michele Pierce

3rd Grade Teacher

mfitzgerald@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Christine Meslar

3rd Grade Teacher

cmeslar@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Darla Merrill

3rd Grade Teacher

dmerrill@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Maria Orlina

3rd Grade Teacher

morlina@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

David Richardson

3rd Grade Teacher

DRichardson@leap.rutgers.edu

Special Services

Donita Zepeda

Title I reading specialist (K-3)

dzepeda@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Sarah Horneff

Special Education Teacher

SHorneff@leap.rutgers.edu

Special Area Teachers (Arts, Music, Theater, Spanish & ESL)

Shannon Covington

Health/P.E. Teacher

scovinton@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Amanda Dacenko

Health/P.E. Teacher

aphillip@leap.rutgers.eduWebpage

Jesse Barton

Art Teacher

jbarton@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Stephanie Paduani Gomez

ESL Teacher Fellow

Spaduanigomez@leap.rutgers.edu

Lissel Vasilaskis

Spanish Teacher

lvasilaskis@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Andrew Menno

Music Teacher

amenno@leap.rutgers.eduWebsite

Silvia Vasquez

Fab Lab Teacher

svasquez@leap.rutgers.eduWebpage

Support Staff

Julie Haymaker

College Access Associate

julie.haymaker@rutgers.edu

Samantha Deletto

School Nurse

856-614-2097sdeletto@leap.rutgers.edu

Maria Cruz

Associate Director of Parent Engagement

856-614-5084mcruz@leap.rutgers.edu

Juan Rivera

Custodian

jrivera@leap.rutgers.edu

Nutrition

View & Download Menus for Lower Elementary Students

Food is cooked daily in each school.  The staff works diligently to provide balanced and nutritious meals. Menus are available each week.

ESL & Special Service

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program


LEAP Academy’s ESL Program aims to provide culturally and linguistically responsive education for all English language learners to ensure equitable access to opportunities that promote language acquisition, life long learning, and global citizenship.

Click here to learn more