For the first time in the history of the program, Waynesville School District’s LEAP program has its own center, located in the newly remodeled spaces within Waynesville Middle School.
LEAP is the district’s program for gifted students and stands for Learning Enrichment and Acceleration Program. Waynesville School’s gifted program began in the 1979-80 school year. Services were delivered to students on Fort Leonard Wood and in Waynesville through a full-day “pull-out” program with each gifted student participating one day a week. The program expanded in the mid-1980s in stages until it served grades K-12. Continued enrollment growth kept space at a premium. The LEAP classrooms were moved several times to different schools on Fort Leonard Wood until locations were established in Waynesville and post students were bused to the classrooms. At various times, LEAP classrooms were in storage rooms, the stage in the high school gymnasium, and the old junior high wrestling room, which was partitioned into thirds with LEAP in the small middle third. Five years ago, a proposal was submitted to the administration titled “One Team, One Dream.” This fall, teachers, and students moved into their New LEAP Center located on the newly remodeled lower level of Waynesville Middle School. All classes from K-8th are housed at the middle school, which also includes a LEAP STEAM Room for science experiments, Lego Robotics, and group collaboration