Signature Programs


Learning to Elevate Action Program (LEAP)

Norfolk Collegiate’s Learning to Elevate Action Program―known as LEAP―provides robust and meaningful experiential learning opportunities to students in Grades 9-12. Through LEAP, students can discover their interests, passions and skill sets through exploration and experiential and service learning. 

Students set out on this path of self-discovery through an annual Leap Project and LEAP Term. 

The Leap Project

The Leap Project provides students with time and space during their upper school tenure to pursue something of interest. Whether that interest is academic, athletic, musical, artistic or just something that seems fun, students are encouraged to take full advantage of this opportunity to make an individual decision about their learning. 

Along the way, students engage with activities and exercises that build key skill sets like public speaking, collaboration, generative thinking and more. The ultimate goal of the Leap Project is to ignite excitement around learning, exploring and doing. 

Upper school students can pursue a different focus for their Leap Project from year to year or extend a focus from one year to the next. By their senior year, students will have a strong sense of self, confidence in future academic and personal paths, and a curiosity and deep appreciation of learning for learning’s sake. These experiences push students to think and to learn in different ways, exposing them to new topics or areas they have not traditionally had the opportunity to explore. 

The LEAP Map

Norfolk Collegiate utilizes the Experience Institute’s award-winning Leap Map to guide students in their journey to designing the right Leap Project for them. 

The Leap Map consists of four sections: Discover, Prepare, Act and Share. Students complete each section of their Leap Map using sticky-notes so they can add to, think, respond and allow their thinking to change and evolve over time. The Leap Map’s framework is shaped by characteristics of design thinking and growth mindset development place significance on iterative thinking, trying things or taking appropriate risks, pivoting if something doesn’t work and developing resilience in the face of challenges.

The LEAP Term

LEAP Term is a week in which students step away from their traditional coursework and engage with varied learning experiences. Students have the opportunity to partake in immersive workshops, to participate in community service and to learn and think about the challenges facing members of the Hampton Roads communities as well as to explore the world through travel or to learn through professional experiences like internships. 

The benefits of such a unique program are endless. 
Each year’s LEAP journey looks different and will have a different outcome for students. Below is a breakdown of what it looks like for each grade level.

List of 4 items.

  • Freshmen

    Freshmen will begin to develop their sense of identity by recognizing their interests, passions and skills by exploring modes of storytelling and developing communication skills by pursuing an individual Leap Project and sharing the story of that project.
  • Sophomores

    Sophomores will expand their sense of self and consider how their community has shaped them and how they can shape their community. By drawing on their freshman year experience along with their sophomore Leap Project, students will share their continued growth and vision for what they want from their time in the upper school.
  • Juniors

    Juniors will understand the breadth of interests and skills they possess and begin to see how those translate to college and beyond. Through their Leap Project, students will learn to identify a mentor and begin to develop their personal learning network that aligns with their interests and goals.
  • Seniors

    Seniors will grow as leaders and contributors to society and will have a strong sense of self and purpose. They will develop proficiency at navigating personal, academic and professional spheres as part of their final preparation for adulthood. They will be self-motivated problem solvers, thinkers and learners.
Norfolk Collegiate’s Learning to Elevate Action Program includes LEAP Term, a week in which students in Grades 9-12 step away from traditional classes and immerse themselves in different learning opportunities. Here is what a LEAP Term looks like by the numbers.

Middle/Upper School Campus

Lower School Campus