I've been a LEAP student since 8th grade, this school has taught me a lot. I studied at various schools in the Camden district and Leap is honestly the best one. The teachers are caring and understanding they build relationships with their students. I'm one of the top students in my grade (10th) thanks to LEAP I've been able to maintain a straight A report card. The only problem i have with this school is the false advertisement, Dr. Santiago is the founder of LEAP but she doesn't give recognition to the teachers or even knows a students name. She only visits the school when there are visitors and money involved, i believe she ars more about publicity then the education of LEAP students.
As a former staff member who worked at LEAP for a little over two years, I would say the strongest aspect of this school is that it is a safe environment. However, the education as well as the organization of the school is very poor. For almost half a marking period, many classes did not have teachers or even adult supervision. Unqualified substitutes with no curriculum were used to fill in for these classes until a qualified teacher was hired, which many parents were not made aware of. Lack of organization is the reason why behind the fa ade the school portrays on television is chaos. Unfortunately the individuals who suffer the most in reference to the future are the students.
Honestly, I wish I had listened to my gut prior to my daughter going here. She had had so much misery as a student of LEAP. I really thought that since the school had good test results that meant it was a good school. Any educated parent won't fall for their hype. There is no discipline there and the kids know that the teachers can't manage the class. There are some classes of 25-27 kids all acting up at once. Our child will not be returning next year. What a chop job they do here. Ask what the average SAT score is. You may be surprised! All I know is we as parents deserve a better school for our kids.
This school is operating on its past reputation. There is so much bullying in there and the staff and teachers do NOTHING to help the victim. Mostly it is done by girls treating other girls very poorly. Sadly the administration cares very little as long as the y can continue to say college acceptance (most do not even go or finish college).
Leap Academy. I run an after school tutoring program and over the years many of the students were from Leap Academy. Our tutors are professional teachers from other school districts and we have found that none of the kids are at grade level. We have Rutger's future scholars in our program and they cannot do simple mathematical problems. They can read, but many do not comprehend. Several of our students were in the high school Honor's Program. The work they were doing was work that suburban kids were doing in 7th and 8th grade. We feel they are teaching to the lowest common denominator. We want the children to be able compete in a technologically advanced society and unfortunately we do not feel that the kids are adequately prepared for college.
As a former employee I saw first hand how disorganized this school is. Constant Administrative turnover, new teachers that can't cope with inner city situations causes constant turnover in teaching staff. In this school year alone they have had four business administrators. Yes this school is safer than Camden public schools. But the students in the High School run wild, no respect for the principal or any other adult, constant disruption from unruly students. The worse part is that the unruly students suffer no consequences. No matter who they curse at, push or back talk to, they are allowed to continue to do so. The current principal at the HIgh School is weak and does not have control of his school. Now we find out that the Chef of the school is paid $95K a year. The Board President has admitted the Chef is her live in boyfriend. So instead of using that money towards curriculum, she uses it to pad the income of her own home. Many other highly paid positions have a direct link to the board president. it's safer than Camden's public schools. it is a better alternative than Camden CIty, but it does not deserve the accolades that it receives. it still lags behind suburban schools.
I am a student at LEAP , I have been attending this school since kindergarten. So this is all I know. This school could be disorganized, crazy sometimes, and all other things, but I could honestly say I feel safe here than I would in any other school. The kids are out of contol but that is thier parents fault. You come to school to learn and not play around and do other things. Administration needs to take disipline more seriously and stop sending kids home bc you're 3 mins late to school. So much for education huh? but this school has its bad and good things maybe just like any other school i would assume
As a former student, I can honestly say that the school is a joke, an ongoing joke accepted by the same gullible audience who always fall for Gloria Santiago's vision of a brighter future for Camden city students--a vision I would give her accolades for but not for the way it's presented. With immodest candor, I will say that the school is terrible! The students are OUT OF CONTROLl, the education is watered down, the parents practically rule the administration, and lastly, the order is broken. I can recall my eight grade year where literally 5/7 of my teachers gradually either quit or were fired, leaving about 60 students without teachers and frankly an education for several months! True story; I'm sure the records WILL prove that. 100% college placement? Some of these students know nothing about the college application process and had the pre-college office "do it for them." Almost everyone ended up in Camden County College, and later droped. LEAP is just more sophisticated on the outside than Camden High, the worst school in the city/state! Teachers would agree; they are just adhering to their professionality. Gloria can keep putting on dog shows but her plan will not get far.
LEAP Academy is an excellent school! Schools can not do it a lone - it takes good parenting and wonderful families to educate and prepare a youngster for college and life. The partnership that LEAP provides for students and parents is non parallel - caring and quality teachers as well as very dedicated administrative personnel. You ripe what you sow - LEAP is RIPPING now a days from all the hard work that the Camden community & families have sowed. Every year there are young men and women graduating from College with great degrees who attended LEAP Academy! I am a proud grandmother of two wonderful LEAP students - grades 7th & Kinder.