The ideas behind the LEAF Charter School had been percolating for many years before the initial founding group got together in the fall of 2014. Dakota Benedetto invited Sally Eaton, Katy Haas, Barb Davis, Dave Benedetto and a few others to start working on a plan for an innovative new high school. The ball got rolling quickly, and by February of 2015 we had secured Mole Hill as our proposed location and submitted our initial application to the NH Department of Education (DOE). After receiving substantial feedback from the DOE, we submitted a revised application in July of 2015, and were approved by the state in January of 2016. Our inaugural Board of Trustees formed shortly after approval; Lonn Livengood, Erik Walker, Crystal Powers-Yelle, and Catherine St. Pierre joined the original founders on the board. Dennis Molesky of Mole Hill stayed on as advisor, and Abby DeMond as student representative. In March 2016, the DOE awarded LEAF $525,000 in federal start-up funds for the first three years of operation; and in April, we were selected to move on to the Development Phase of the XQ Super Schools Challenge.
Throughout the spring of 2016 we are conducting Community Info Sessions at libraries across the region. We’re also currently engaged in curriculum development and facilities preparation, and will be visiting local schools and other venues in the coming months, to get the word out about LEAF to prospective students. Look for Open House dates at Mole Hill, coming in January 2017.
The application deadline for the very first LEAF Charter School class is March 1, 2017. All applications received by the deadline will enter a lottery for the 28 available spaces. LEAF will open for incoming first-year students (9th grade) in August 2017. We’re looking forward to welcoming future artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators of all kinds! We can’t wait to meet you!