LEAP groups: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Claire Peralta, Staff Reporter

Many may not be aware,  but a group of leopards is called a leap.  And with leopards the school’s mascot, it’s no small jump to see where the name “leap groups” originated.  For students, it is a 15 minute class requirement to bond with peers a few times a month.

But to some students, the purpose of leap groups is vague.  They were originally formed to help students participate in activities, to build character throughout high school and to achieve the school’s “Graduate Profile.”

“We have always said that we want all of our outside programming, we want our leap groups to be able to participate in those types of events together,” Assistant Principal Kristen Kinnard said. “In addition to that, in the last two years we use that time to have students do things such as educational or character building type lessons, and we decided that that needs to be singled out by leap groups and individually led by teachers.”

Leap groups were originally started with good intentions.

“We wanted kids to feel connected, we wanted them to have a group to which they belonged throughout their high school experience so that they could have that bonding experience you want every high school student to have,” Kinnard said.

Instead of the character building, bonding time leap groups were meant to be, some students think the is clouded and misused.

“I don’t think that they’re a very good way to be spending our time, because I think we could be learning a lot more otherwise.” sophomore Madi Franquiz said.

The structure of leap groups is quite unclear and the results show.

“We just sit around and do a whole bunch of nothing.” sophomore Emily Teague said.

But while some students question the purpose of leap groups, the goal is noble.

“(With leap groups), we hope to take you from a high school student to the mature young adult that you will become and make sure you are ready for the world.” Kinnard said.