LEAP stands for Learning, Exhibitions And Performance.

The excitement and anticipation is palpable during the prep time for LEAP Night.  The students spend the days leading up to the evening preparing their portfolios, putting finishing touches on displays and carefully crafting a table that speaks to each student’s uniqueness.  This individuality is one of the predominant features of The New School.  There are no standardized tests with grades, and no mid-terms or finals.  The New School students exhibit their work of the semester, individually to community feedback teams and then publicly to families, peers and the greater community.

For the first hour of the evening, students sit at their tables and go over their work with our volunteer feedback teams.  In the image below, Calliope is describing her class, The Story of Stuff, based on the book by Annie Leonard. During this class, students learned about the various ways that over-consumption in our society has lead to major pollution problems in our oceans, ground water, and air.  The class created a brochure outlining the some of these issues and brought a proposal to the community to cut down on disposable items within the school.  The class even received a grant to fund this by providing reusable products such as to-go cups and dishes.

Another class that introduced students to new topics was Pre-Columbian History, which examined the America’s indigenous people prior to the arrival of Columbus and subsequent conquest by European culture.  The students questioned and researched various myths about these civilizations, including agriculture, architecture, and societal hierarchies.  Taylor demonstrated the common use of pyramids across cultures of this time period. The hidden history of the America’s inspired this class to further their learning by creating on of the intensives around it.  A group will be spending three weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico, to study pre-Columbian sites first hand!

The evening included videos created by the Fairy Tale Explorations class varying from The Three Bears Rap Battle to a cooking show with Rumplestiltskin and The Evil Queen demonstrating how to make delicious poisoned apples.  Some of the seniors joined the stage at the end to give previews of their senior projects.  Some of the works in progress are fiber and handiworks, medical and nursing shadowing, theater and production, art and photography, music and much more.  If you haven’t been to LEAP night yet, it’s well worth the time to see our students shine!  

For the full album of the evening, go to our flickr page.