Leonia NJ Schools

Old Leonia High SchoolLeonia Public Schools 

The Leonia Public Schools serve students in Kindergarten Twelfth grade. Enrollment in the district is 1,752, of which, 289 are Edgewater students in grades 7-12. An Early Childhood Learning Center is available for 4-year olds. This tuition-based program provides a half-day of academic activities to prepare children for kindergarten. 
The Leonia NJ district has 175 classroom teachers and 23 educational support personnel. Average class size in all 3 schools is 21 students. 

The Leonia High School Academy for Pharmacy, Medicine and Technology is in its third year. The academy prepares students for careers in the medical field. Leonia High School's graduation requirements are among the most rigorous in the state. The school has nine periods per day with no study halls. The combined SAT score for 2004-2005 is 1068.

Anna Scott Elementary Website 
Leonia Middle School Website 
Leonia High School Website 

Leonia Private Schools

St. John the Evangelist School 
St. John the Evangelist Catholic School is a small parish school situated in Leonia, New Jersey. While close to the George Washington Bridge with easy access to Manhattan, Leonia has maintained a small town atmosphere. The average school population is about two hundred twenty students. Several students are from neighboring towns. Recently, Filipino, Korean, and Japanese students have been added to the already ethnic and cultural mix that makes up our school. 
(The information above is cited from http://www.4stjohns.com/school. For this and more information, please visit this link)

Ben Porat Yosef 
At Ben Porat Yosef, our goal is to instill within our students a strong, individualized Jewish identity, based on a comprehensive understanding of the unique place each Jew holds in Am Yisrael, the Jewish nation. By advancing knowledge of Sephardic heritage – its practices, its educational methodology and its values – we strengthen not only the Sephardic community, but also the fabric of the Jewish community as a whole. 
At Ben Porat Yosef, we bring to life the richness of the past as reflected and celebrated in the present. We emphasize an appreciation of our modern diversity in an environment suffused with academic excellence in both Judaic and general studies. By teaching Sephardic and Ashkenazic practices side by side, our students are raised in the true spirit of Ahavat Yisrael (love of one’s fellow Jew). 
(The information above is cited from http://www.benporatyosef.org. For this and more information, please visit this link)

For information on schools in Bergen County, please visit our Area Schools page.
For information on all schools within New Jersey, please visit our All NJ Schools page.


General Information

Leonia Borough HallNear the George Washington Bridge in Bergen County, Leonia is a borough with a population of about 9,000 residents. Though Leonia may only be 1.5 square miles in area, the borough contains tree-lined streets, seven parks, ten churches, two synagogues, a library, a community theater, a volunteer fire department and ambulance service, a recreational program and a shopping district.

Notably, Leonia has been home to five Nobel Prize winning scientists. Currently, numerous professors, writers and artists call Leonia home. This volume of intellectuals has given Leonia its reputation as being “The Athens of New Jersey.”

According to New Jersey Monthly magazine, Leonia is the 31st best place to live out of its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places to Live" in New Jersey.

Fast Facts:
Population: 8,914
Zip code: 07605
Median Family income (1999): $84,591

Visit Leonia’s Official Website

Leonia History

Leonia was settled by Dutch and English farmers in 1668. One of the oldest towns in the state of New Jersey, Leonia was previously called the English Neighborhood or West Fort Lee. This quiet farming community’s main pursuit was the cultivation of grapes.

Location influenced much of Leonia’s history. Being close to the Hudson River, Leonia was a crossroads of the American Revolution and an important training ground for Union forces in the American Civil War. Historic places in this town include the Civil War Drill Hall and Armory, the Cole-Allaire House, and the Vreeland House.

Leonia’s close proximity to New York City also prompted major universities, theaters and other cultural institutions to spring up and thrive in Leonia. With these major cultural institutions taking root in the area, Leonia thrived as an artist’s colony. Early films featuring Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Cops were shot in Leonia.

Leonia’s Art Colony

The tradition of art in Leonia is a longstanding one. As early as the 1800’s, artists built shacks atop the Palisades to capture breathtaking scenes of the Hudson Valley. These painters would often visit the small group of artists in residents in Leonia, including some of the most famous American illustrators like Peter Newell who illustrated Mother Goose and Alice in Wonderland.

This picturesque farmland drew artists to the area, and in the 1900’s a true “colony” began to thrive. To take advantage of this influx of young artists seeking pastoral inspiration, local residents installed skylights in attics, made living quarters in old barns, and even rented out chicken coops as studios. Around this time Leonia was known as the country version of Greenwich Village.

One of the most notable exponents of the Leonia art colony was the Summer School of Illustration, founded by Harvey Dunn and Charles Chapman in 1915. Dunn, a “western” artist who illustrated magazines and Chapman, known for his innovative water-oils, drew hundreds of students to study their methods. Many of these students would later become famous in their own right later in the century.

Many prominent artists of the period lived in Leonia, including Rutherford and Harriet Boyd, Charles Chapman, Enos and Frances Bassett Comstock, Arthur and Molly Covey, Harvey Dunn, Robert E. Johnston, Howard McCormick, Clara Elsene Peck, Grant Reynard, Frank Street and Harold Wicky.

At the height of the Great Depression in the 1930’s, one of FDR’s initiatives to combat joblessness was the establishment of the Works Progress Administration, or WPA for short. The WPA employed out of work artists and writers to reflect upon the history and current condition of their localities. Out of this WPA art, the art colony in Leonia thrived in the 1930’s, and some of this nation’s most seminal works in painting, sculpture and murals were produced in this community.

While artists and intellectuals continue to call Leonia home, there are few buildings and structures remaining from the zenith of the art colony in the 1930’s. Leonia’s artistic legacy, however, lives on in works decorating local libraries, schools and backs, as well as some of the most notable museum collections in the nation, and the world.

Leonia Garden ClubLeonia Parks & Recreation

Though Leonia may be a small borough, there are parks and recreational facilities for residents’’ enjoyment. Among the facilities operated by Leonia Parks and Recreation Department, you can visit six parks and three athletic fields. Day camp for children 3 ½ to 13 is offered by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Leonia Senior Center

The Borough of Leonia offers a variety of services to Senior Citizens. The Recreation Center organizes many activities for seniors each month. Recreational opportunities for seniors like film programs, craft classes, bingo, Garden Club meetings, and Atlantic City casino trips and much more are offered at the center. Senior programs are held at Leonia’s main Recreation Center and at the Senior Center at Beechwood Place. Residents age 60 and over are eligible to receive door-to-door bus service from the Leonia Bus service.

Leonia Annual Events

Leonia has its share of Annual Events.

Events held in the Borough include:

Health Fair held on the first Saturday in October; Halloween Parade on the Saturday before Halloween; Boy Scout Food Drive, November and March; Leonia History Weekend Tours on the weekend before Thanksgiving; Tree Lighting Ceremony and Visit with Santa on the First Friday in December; Sports Boosters Tree Sale during December; and the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast on Palm Sunday. Below are listed some of the details about a few of these events.

Halloween Parade
This children’s costume parade is held on the Saturday before Halloween beginning at Broad Avenue. All participants can collect treats at the end of the parade!

Leonia History Weekend Tours & Talks
Learn about the area’s history through these informative tours and talks. Held the weekend before Thanksgiving at Drill Hall Theater.

Arbor/Earth Leonia Day
This celebration is held on the third Sunday in May in Wood Park. All non-profit Leonia organizations are invited to participate. Enjoy a performance of the LHS Jazz Band and other activities like a petting zoo, pony rides, children’s performers, face painting, food, and more. The Environmental Commission, Shade Tree Commission and Leonia Public Schools sponsor this annual event.

Memorial Day Parade
Beginning at Leonia Middle School at 11 a.m., the parade travels down Broad Avenue, and ends in the library parking lot. There, a memorial service is held.

Overpeck Canoe Regatta
Bring your canoe for this annual Father’s Day tradition!

Fourth of July “Run for Fun”
For 27 years, this 5K race for runners and walkers celebrates the Forth of July. A one-mile race and a race around the block for youngsters are also available.

Andrew Kim Memorial Concert
This free concert by the North Jersey Philharmonic is held on the last Sunday of July at 7 PM. Bring picnic basket and blanket to Wood Park, and listen to a great concert under the stars.

View more information on Leonia Local Events

Philip Soo
Philip Soo
& Susy M. Soo