About LEAP

About LEAP
Learning Enrichment for Advanced Pupils

The LEAP program consists of two parts. The Gifted and Talented Education part of the program uses multiple criteria to identify potentially Gifted and Talented students. These identified students receive direct instructional services in grades 4-8. 

The second part of the LEAP program consists of enrichment opportunities for students not yet identified for participation in the Gifted and Talented part of the program. This group of students varies from year-to-year and may receive pull-out services in addition to in-class enrichment opportunities.


Gifted and Talented Education



During the kindergarten year in Old Tappan, the LEAP teacher serves as a resource for the classroom teachers by providing a series of “Challenge Boxes” for student use. The “Challenge Boxes” focus on creative and critical thinking activities, using a hands-on format. The activities include logical thinking puzzles, problem solving activities, science and social studies challenges, spatial awareness games, and language arts activities. At the end of the series of critical and creative thinking activities, the LEAP teacher and the kindergarten staff discuss each child’s participation in the activities. The LEAP teacher also provides materials for teachers to use with students who excel in specific academic areas.

First, Second, & Third Grades:

The LEAP program for grades 1-3 is fluid and flexible with the LEAP teacher and regular classroom teachers working with students on creative and critical thinking activities. Small group instructional units vary based on the strengths and interests of the students. In addition, classroom teachers will differentiate the regular instructional program based on the identified needs of students. At the end of the third grade school year, classroom teachers help to identify those students with particular strengths in creativity, motivation, learning, and leadership. Acknowledging the importance of using multiple criteria for identification, the screening process incorporates several sources of available information. (See Student Identification, p.4.) 

Grades Four through Eight:

Students entering fourth grade are identified using the agreed-upon criteria, usually resulting in 5-10 students being a part of the Gifted and Talented program. Beginning in October, fourth grade students meet with the LEAP teacher/teacher of G & T one time each week. Beginning activities focus on critical and creative thinking and eventually move to more student-identified topics of interest. During the first 7 weeks of the middle school year, students identified for the G & T program meet by grade level with the teacher of G & T for their Cycle class (35 sessions). At the conclusion of the first Cycle class, middle school students meet with the G & T teacher by selecting from among several periods each week based on the schedule of activities in their regular classes. During these G & T class periods, students work on independent project work determined in conjunction with the G & T teacher. G & T students may also select one or two of the Curriculum Extension periods taught by the LEAP teacher, where they attend with non-G & T students.

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