Monthly Archives: January 2015

Atrisco Heritage Academy High School

Atrisco Heritage Academy High School is located in the South Valley of Albuquerque. The school is built in the rapidly growing Southwest Mesa area on 65 acres of land and is home to approximately 2,350 students. It is a college preparatory, comprehensive high school that incorporates small learning communities, professional learning communities, and real life experiences to provide a personalized educational experience for all students. In 2008, with the opening of Atrisco Heritage Academy High School, the culture and legacy of the Atrisco Land Grant continues to live on in spirit and in name, proudly carrying forward a name that is deeply rooted in the land, history and culture.

Atrisco Heritage Academy High School values linguistic expression in multiple languages. At Atrisco Heritage Academy High School courses are offered in English, Spanish, and French in an effort to support students in achieving language proficiency. The majority of students are Hispanic/Latino. The students are challenged to reach high academic expectations and are supported in reaching those goals. Atrisco Heritage Academy High School had a school grade of C, but the school earned an A for the category of Student Growth of Highest Performing Students as well as for the category of Student Growth of Lowest Performing Students. Forty-three percent (43%) of English learners attained English language proficiency as measured by the ACCESS for ELLs, and Atrisco Heritage Academy High School had a high number of students who graduated with the APS District’s bilingual seal.

Chaparral Elementary School

Chaparral Elementary School is nestled in between the Franklin Mountains and part of the sprawling Gadsden Independent School District that embraces the border with both Texas and Mexico. Chaparral Elementary School is a predominantly Hispanic school community that supports its students’ bilingualism by implementing a 50/50 dual language program model strand at the school. Chaparral Elementary School’s one-way dual language values its students’ knowledge of Spanish and English. This is evident in the school’s balanced literacy approach where teachers gauge new students’ abilities based on how to read, write, and comprehend in their strongest language – whether or not that language is English.

The leadership, Laura Pargas and Vicki Arnold, together with the school community have set a goal of becoming a Blue Ribbon School in the future. The teachers, students, and families will strive to accomplish this goal together by valuing the community’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity with strong bilingual approaches in literacy and language across the content areas. Chaparral Elementary School received a school grade of A. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of English learners achieved proficiency in Reading and 67% in Math, surpassing state targets.

Dolores Gonzales Elementary School

Dolores Gonzales Elementary School was the first APS school to implement a 50/50 dual language program model for its students over 15 years ago. The school is named in honor of a well-known pioneer and advocate for bilingual education within New Mexico, Dr. Dolores Gonzales, La Doctora. The school proudly carries on her legacy with its dual language education. Students in the dual language program
receive an enriched education and an opportunity to become bilingual and biliterate. The students at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School develop a solid cultural awareness and appreciation for living in a diverse and multilingual world. Students are given homework, and their progress is continuously assessed in both
English and Spanish.

Teachers at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School believe that in order for their students to excel academically they must begin by building a classroom community that centers around respect. They believe in listening to their students, who they are – this allows them to know the whole child. For the parents at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School the school’s goal to graduate bilingual, biliterate students supports their efforts of ensuring that their children are grounded in their culture, know their language, and maintain communications with their extended family. Principal Lori Stuit and assistant principal Sandra Alvarado have created a school culture that values teachers, students, parents, and community. Dolores Gonzales
Elementary School received a school grade of B. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of English learners demonstrated proficiency in Reading and 59% in Math.