Leonia Public School District (03-2620-050)

Leonia High School

The high school continues to increase in numbers as now approximately 725 students from both Edgewater and Leonia are enrolled in grades 9-12 at Leonia High School. We offer a varied program of studies designed to meet students’ individual needs and goals. The opportunity to participate in a multitude of extracurricular activities complements a demanding curriculum.

For the 2016-2017 school year, a third academy is now part of the high school program of studies. The Marketing and Business Leadership Academy (The M.B.L.A.) joins The Leonia Academy for Science (L.A.S.), which began in 2003, and the Leonia Academy for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (L.A.C.H.A.). The mission statement for each academy is to excite, motivate, and challenge students in a specialized course of study. More details and applications can be found on the LHS website www.leoniaschools.org.

Seniors and juniors have an option of enrolling in college courses on-campus or on-line, volunteer for community service or selecting a S.I.I.P. (Senior Individualized Independent Program) or J.I.I.P (Junior Individualized Independent Program), which allows a senior or junior to study an area of interest currently not part of the school’s Program of Studies. Arabic, Japanese, architecture, Calculus III, Materials of the Universe, and the Elias Sports Bureau are a few of the S.I.I.P.s that seniors have participated in over the previous few years. Seniors can also schedule a vertical S.I.I.P. that allows a senior to participate in an all-day Friday externship anywhere in New Jersey or New York City. This year, approximately 1/4 of the class has vertical S.I.I.P.s.

We modified our mandatory summer reading program to allow students to choose from over 100 selections. In early September, students “chatted” with teachers to assess their understanding of their chosen text. The program was very successful and will be expanded in the near future to permit students to earn credit for a second summer reading selection.

As a charter member of “Re-inventing New Jersey High Schools,” the district has further examined student transitions in the 6th and 9th grades. . We continue to facilitate a year-long 9th grade orientation program, focusing on the transition from middle to high school and the student’s self-esteem. Part of the 9th grade orientation program is a Peer Leadership Program where juniors and seniors mentor freshmen in small groups throughout the school year. In addition, after-school peer tutoring is available to the students by members of the National Honor Society at the Kevin Kuchipudi Learning Center. Leonia High School seeks to engage all of our students with learning appropriate to 21st century challenges.

The high school motto is “Give Respect to Get Respect” is a daily focus. In 2015, the school began participating in the #DayOne program began by the Tyler Clementi family. Students pledge not to be bystanders when a student is being harassed or bullied. They are asked to be “upstanders” and assist in diffusing the situation.

Recognizing the benefits of inclusion for our special education population, we implement a collaborative teaching model that enables us to mainstream our special education students. In addition to the main stream special education population, the high school also provides a comprehensive program for a class of Multiple Disabled students. Although self-contained for a majority of the day, the MD students participate in all school activities, including the annual Senior Week celebration. The Evergreen Program of Bergen County Special Services moved to the high school and provides assistance to a group of students. As with our other special education programs, inclusion is an important component of an Evergreen student’s schedule. During the 2010-2011 school year, an Applied Behavioral Assessment (ABA) program was added to the high school.

Leonia High School takes pride in the diversity of its student population. “We Are All Americans Day” celebrates the uniqueness of our different cultures while recognizing that we all are part of the American culture. The day’s activities and events include poetry-readings, music and dance performances, history lessons, and a day-long smorgasbord buffet.