Project based learning has success with LEAP, the Leading Edge Accelerated Program for middle school students. The enrollment for the alternative learning program at Las Cruces Public Schools has increased from 51 students to 71 for the upcoming school year.
LEAP offers middle-schoolers a project-based alternative learning program, which is well suited to students who do not thrive in more traditional school settings.
Last year, the program was closed in order to trim $350,000 from the overall budget. Parents protested, and the program was restored for this year. A new principal, Toni Hull was hired, and has brought a greater emphasis to the program on project based learning.
Hull explained that some students do better when teaching techniques are unconventional. LEAP’s approach is different, which helps students who do not do well with rigid schedules or large social settings.
“It’s, how can we make this rigorous, and very engaging?” Hull said. “A lot of kids who do come here are uninterested, they’re bored, and they need to be shown something that’s cool, because they don’t like school.”