Las Cruces Academy ranks among the top 20% of private schools in New Mexico for:
Academics and Faculty
Tuition and Acceptance Rate
American Sign Language, Board Games Club, Engineering Club, Lego Robotics, Math Club, Theater Club
- We are a non-profit private school with a mission that addresses students' academic, social, and emotional needs. Las Cruces Academy serves students who are advanced and motivated academically in one or more areas, by providing academic challenge, individual attention, and a nurturing environment. Our class sizes are small (average 9.8); our teachers are experts with passion to give students a great education. Our mission is to guide them toward realization of their full potential intellectually, socially, and emotionally.
- We are committed to recruitment of enthusiastic, highly qualified teachers and staff and to small class sizes. A comprehensive curriculum with emphases on math, science, and language includes daily classes of English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese to prepare students to effectively engage in an increasingly diverse world. Students are taught according to their ability, not age nor class. Our student-centered curriculum encourages self-directed learning, collaboration, and nurturing of intellectual curiosity and creativity. While in the classroom and at play we provide opportunities for social development and strive to impart the values of honesty, compassion, humility, and leadership. We believe that all of our students possess gifts and talents. We provide a nurturing, loving and structured environment for our students to gain self-knowledge and self-confidence. Our hope is that they become compassionate people and productive citizens and that they enjoy fulfilling lives.
- We are in a beautiful and safe environment. Please seeour page portraying our physical facilitiesand neighborhood. OurFrequently Asked Questionspage gives concise details of interest to parents and students. A cohesive narrative about our curriculum provides another good viewpoint: Our curriculum is indicative of how we achieve our mission. Broadly, we have four major divisions of our curriculum, based on nominal age groups. There are also mixed-level groups in computer programming and tennis.
- The four core groups are:(1) Early K/K. They have their own classroom with all the teaching materials and equipment. Our teacher is Katherine Bushma, with a degree in early childhood education. Kindergarten students leave the class for Chinese lessons for 5 periods each week. teacher Elizabeth Brasher teaches social studies in place; Yolanda Guevara teaches Spanish in place;
- (2) Grades 1 & 2. They also have their own classroom with very diverse teaching materials and equipment. Our teacher is teacher is Arielle Lane, with a bachelor`s degrees in Wildlife Science, a master`s degree in Education, and several certifications. Arielle also teaches math to grades 1-8, collaboratively with Head of School Dr. Lou Ellen Kay. Other teachers come to the classroom to teach music appreciation. Students leave the classroom for classes in Chinese (one of six levels, according to their ability), Spanish (one of four levels), and science 1-2;
- (3)Grades 3-5. Elizabeth Brasher teaches English, writing, social studies, music, and PE. Head of School Dr. Lou Ellen Kay teaches science 3-5 as well as cursive writing and varied special course such as life skills or Chinese geography. Students have classes in four different rooms, by subject and by level. PE is in our enclosed courtyard; tennis is on the parking lot where regulation striping has been painted professionally;
- (4) Middle school, grades 6-8. We made an innovative curriculum for this group, beginning in the 2015-16 academic year. Students have 15 subject classes each week, 10 of them specific to their group. Core classes include science 6-8 , taught by Dr. Vincent Gutschick, ranked by Stanford in the top 2% of scientists in the world in 2019. Classes in each subject meet from 1 to 5 times weekly, totaling 52 periods of group learning.
- All students have free access to our vast collection of books (3,000 on display). Students access our networked computers for class research and computer programming classes. Most students have several periods not assigned to a subject, using these periods then for reading. Beyond academic learning, our students learn leadership and service.Besides initiatives within classes, they participate in projects in the greater community. Our outreach page tells the story.
- Below we note how students may jump age boundaries, getting the most advanced classes that reward them. Our academic curriculum is designed to meet the needs of advanced and motivated students, in a number of ways: Students get classes that challenge and reward them by ability level, not age group. Our classes do have nominal age groups, such as English 3-5 or math 3-5, but students progress at their best pace. An advanced 2nd-grader is found in math 3-5. In a math 3-5 class, one finds students working in Singapore math books spanning 4 years. Classes are small 15 is a maximum, 10 is average We set the range of subjects for effective learning. For example, there are classes in both reading and writing for English, with distinct pedagogies. Math, science, and languages are our core, meeting the demands of the modern world. Students learn three world languages, English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. We fill out the curriculum fully.
- The level of classes is advanced. Singapore math is a world-leading method, about 1-2 grade levels above nominal grade levels of ordinary math. Our kindergarteners learn phonics. Science and technology are taught by Ph.D. scientists who have had prolific careers in research and teaching. Subjects are not siloed. Writing ability comes up in science; math comes up in science and technology, of course. Student projects blend several subjects.Our teachers are proven experts in their subjects. No teacher has to span the curriculum, sacrificing mastery in some subjects. Our teachers hold advanced degrees or certifications, up through PhDs in the hard sciences.
- Teachers develop their own curricula, which we review for progress. We do not impose a restrictive outline. Overall, our curriculum most closely resembles the International Baccalaureate. We plan to certify that we meet IB criteria. Only Singapore math has standard textbooks. The coverage of topics in all classes is reported in our weekly newsletter by every teacher. Students spend their time learning, not taking standardized tests or preparing for them the way that public schools spend an estimated 28 days annually. Our teachers give their own tests. We use standardized testing once annually with no teaching to the test and using the results the proper way: guiding our curriculum, not imposing consequences for students or teachers.
- Our students are already doing well; upon moving to public schools, they typically get advanced or very advanced placement. Our early graduates have entered excellent universities. Outside of formal subjects, our students have other opportunities to grow academically and socially. We have six after-school or lunch-time clubs: engineering/ Lego challenges, theater, American Sign Language, math, yearbook, and board games . Students as young as in early kindergarten participate. Interesting projects also arise; students have come before the semester began to build PCs from scratch, learning about electronics, mechanical and electrical construction, operating systems, and user accounts.Our special class sessions and our range of activities outside the classroom - field trips, special performances by our students, and more - is much outsized for our enrollment. We post about ten suchspecial opportunitiesfor our students each month on our News & Events page. Scroll down to the archives to see summaries of even more.
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