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A Guide to Choosing a Charter School in Albuquerque, New Mexico

July 22, 2022 1:26 pm/Published by Etan

Albuquerque charter school

If you’re a parent that’s looking to give your child(ren) a good education, you may have thought about enrolling them in a private school. However, the price is a barrier to entry for many families, which is where charter schools come in. In Albuquerque particularly, there are plenty charter schools to choose from.

But what exactly is a charter school, and how would you know that you’re enrolling in the right one? Here’s a comprehensive guide about choosing charter schools to help you answer these questions.

What Is a Charter School?

Charter schools are commonly known as schools of choice since they offer specialized education for families. For instance, a charter school will have a curriculum to enhance students’ proficiency in maths and sciences. Similarly, there are charter schools that groom children towards media and the arts, like the New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts.

Charter schools fill the gap between public schools with traditional curriculums and private schools with steep demands on families’ finances. However, these schools are still public, so they don’t charge a tuition fee. However, they are autonomous and free from significant local and state regulations regarding operation and management.

For example, New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts has its own Governing Council, which acts as a decision-making body for management and other school-related governance. Despite their autonomy in this aspect, they are still publicly accountable since they’re still under state funding. Furthermore, they have to prove their academic performance to authorities every three to five years. If they don’t meet the standards of their chartering authorities, then they’ll lose their charter and close.

Charter schools essentially function as spaces with more freedom in curriculum development and education. This is perfect for families that don’t necessarily want the traditional education of public schools but don’t want to spend on high-ticket tuition fees.

Why a Charter School Over a Public and/or Private School?

You may think charter schools can be great for your children since they serve as the middle ground between private education and state-funded public education.

However, it’s important to choose a charter school that established solid strategic partnerships with relevant organizations and has a proven track record of stellar academic performance. New Mexico Academy for The Media Arts has received awards that recognized its dedication to its charter, such as:

●     10 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards

●     Creative Bravos Award in 2012 by the City of Albuquerque

●     Only public school to be named as a top school in ABQ the Magazine

Its students also earned numerous accolades in many prestigious events like:

●     Top 3 over 10,000 teams in the National Stock Market Game/Competition

●     Top place honors of Media Arts students in Laugh Out Lud Comedy Fest and Digital Desserts Film Festival

●     Top 3 and 4 in Microsoft’s Robo Rave

Secondly, since charter schools can only cater to a smaller student population, they usually conduct lotteries to let students in. So, there’s a chance that you won’t get your way into your dream charter school.

Yet, despite all of these limitations, why should you choose a charter school over a public or private school?

Suppose your child already has set their eyes on one specific career. In that case, charter schools are a great way to rear them towards their aspirations. Maybe you want a more specialized education in the arts. Then you can enroll in a charter school that specializes in that aspect.

Grade Levels of Charter Schools Near Me

Suppose you have already decided that a charter school is the right option for your family. If so, where can you find them?

Don’t worry. There’s no shortage of charter schools Albuquerque has to offer. Currently, there are 55 charter schools Albuquerque citizens and outside can enroll in.

Charter schools cater to different grade levels. Some are full-fledged K-12 schools, while most cater to specific levels. Other charter schools provide education for adults as well. But, no matter what grade level your child is, there’s always a charter school Albuquerque can give you.

The first step to choosing your charter school is knowing if they cater to your child’s grade level. Here’s a quick list of charter schools in the Albuquerque area and their grade levels:

K-12 and Pre K-12

There are five charter schools across Albuquerque that offer K-12 education. In fact, there’s one school on this list that provides pre-kindergarten until Grade 12. If you like to enroll your child in a school from their youngest years until they graduate high school, then you should definitely take a look at these schools.

●     Corrales International

●     El Camino Real Academy

●     International School at Mesa del Sol (Pre-K-12)

●     Native American Community (NACA)

●     Albuquerque Sign Language Academy

Grades 9–12

Other schools in the area offer education to Grades 9 to 12 students only. Here are the schools that offer education to Grades 9-12 students:

●     ABQ Charter Academy

●     ACE Leadership High School

●     Albuquerque Talent Development Academy

●     Digital Arts & Technology (DATA)

●     East Mountain High School

●     Gilbert L. Sena High School

●     Health Leadership High School

●     Mark Armijo Academy (Formerly Nuestros Valores Charter School)

●     New America School – New Mexico

●     Siembra Leadership High School

●     Technology Leadership High School

●     Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School

●     Amy Biehl High School

●     Cesar Chavez Community

Grades 6–12

Other schools like the New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts offer education to Grades 6-12 students. Like any other charter school, these charter schools also specialize in an area of education. For instance, the New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts gear students toward fields and professions relevant to media arts.

Here are the charter schools that offer education to Grades 6-12 students:

●     New Mexico Academy for The Media Arts

●     Tierra Adentro

●     The GREAT Academy

●     Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics & Science (AIMS)

●     South Valley Academy

●     Robert F. Kennedy Charter High School

●     Public Academy for Performing Arts (PAPA)

●     La Academia de Esperanza

●     Cottonwood Classical Preparatory

Other Schools

Don’t worry if you didn’t find the right school for you in the list above. As we said before, there are numerous charter schools Albuquerque can offer to your kids. Each charter school offers something different and tailor-fitted to your children’s needs.

If you feel that your children should enroll in another school, then here are other choices for charter schools Albuquerque area.

●     21st Century Public Academy (Grades 5-18)

●     Alice King Community School (K-8)

●     Christine Duncan’s Heritage Academy (Pre-K-8)

●     Cien Aguas International (K-8)

●     Coral Community Charter School (K-6)

●     Gordon Bernell Charter School (Adult)

●     Los Puentes Charter School (Grades 7-12)

●     Montessori of the Rio Grande (Pre-K-5)

●     Mountain Mahogany Community (K-8)

●     New Mexico International School (K-5)

●     William W. & Josephine Dorn Charter Community School (K-5)

●     Albuquerque School of Excellence (Grades 1-12)

●     Altura Preparatory School (K-2)

●     Explore Academy (Grades 6, 7, and 9-12)

●     Horizon Academy West (Pre-K-5)

●     La Promesa Early Learning Center (Pre-K-8)

●     Mission Achievement & Success (K-3 and Grades 6-12)

●     North Valley Academy Charter (Pre-K-8)

●     South Valley Preparatory School (Grades 6-8)

●     Southwest Aeronautics Mathematics & Science Academy (SAMS) (Grades 7-12)

●     Southwest Preparatory Learning Center (Grades 4-6)

●     Southwest Secondary Learning Center (Grades 7-12)

●     The Montessori Elementary & Middle School (K-8)

La Promesa Early Learning Center has two campuses in Albuquerque. One is located at 5201 Central NW, 87105, for its Pre-Kindergarten to Kindergarten students. Another one is located at 7500 La Morada NW, 87120, for its K-8 students.

For more information about the charter schools Albuquerque area, like their mission statements, contact information, and location, just click this link. This is an official list of all the authorized charter schools Albuquerque offers.

Things You Need To Know When Choosing a Charter School

You need to know more things before enrolling your children in the charter school of your choice. While it’s important to sift through the grade levels catered by each charter school, it’s also important to consider what type of education these schools are offering, the type of teachers they have, and the student-teacher ratio of each classroom.

Deciding that your child needs a charter school means that you want to provide them with a better quality of education that suits their needs.

Here are the things that you need to consider when choosing a charter school for your child:

Know Your Child’s Specialization

The first thing you have to take into account is the specialization of your child. Most parents enroll in charter schools because of their specialized curriculums. Specializations and the ability to tailor a curriculum are among the greatest advantages of charter schools. So, if you’re looking for “charter schools near me,” then you need to look for what kind of education they’re offering. After all, state-of-the-art facilities won’t be enough if the education they provide doesn’t suit your child’s needs.

There are two most common specializations for charter schools, namely:

●     Media and The Arts

●     Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

There are also other specializations that charter schools in Albuquerque have, such as business and entrepreneurship. We’ll discuss these specializations in more detail below.

Media and the Arts

Even at a young age, students may decide to take arts seriously and pursue a career in these fields. And that’s a great idea. There’s an endless demand for artists, and the industry has continuously grown. In fact, according to a study, the media and the arts industry will increase by 4% from 2020 to 2030.

There are numerous career paths within the media and the arts, such as:

●     Film and TV

●     Web Design

●     Journalism

●     Screenwriting

●     Animation

●     3D Modeling

●     Visual Arts

●     Game Development

There are actually a lot of career paths in media and the arts, and your children can develop a strong interest in these career paths.

There are a lot of charter schools Albuquerque offers that give high-level education in this aspect. For instance, the New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts provides its students with “electives exclusively in the media arts.” These electives prepare their students to pursue careers in media arts such as film, photography, journalism, etc.

Charter schools specializing in the media arts provide ample opportunities for their students to explore the said field. If your child likes this career path, then you should enroll them in schools like the New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts. There, they can create numerous projects, such as:

●     TV and radio programs

●     Digital films

●     Web pages

●     Short animated movies

If you enroll them in charter schools with this specialization, they’ll be well-equipped to become the leading directors, professional animators, cinematographers, and journalists in the industry.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Another career path for your child is STEM-related professions. There are actually diverse opportunities in this specialization as well. As the name implies, charter schools will focus their curriculums on the maths and sciences to produce well-rounded individuals that will become leaders in numerous industries such as healthcare, research, and construction.

Suppose your priority in searching “charter schools near me” is to find schools with this specialization. In that case, you’ll be delighted to know that there are numerous options in Albuquerque for your child’s STEM needs.

For instance, you can check out Health Leadership High School if you want a health-specialized curriculum for your child. Their education places a considerable emphasis on developing strong health professionals that will help their respective communities.

Enroll your child in charter schools like the ACE Leadership High School if you want your child to develop strong skills in architecture, construction, and engineering. Unlike traditional public schools, these skills are not honed on theory and classroom-based learning. Instead, ACE Leadership High School has a project-based learning system where its students take on projects to learn the concepts taught in this academy.

Of course, there are several other charter schools Albuquerque can provide for the specific STEM needs of your students. While STEM-centric, these charter schools have a different approach and primarily focus on one career industry. Just take a look at the plethora of choices for your charter school in the Albuquerque area.

Other Specializations

As we said before, there are other specializations that charter schools in Albuquerque have in their curriculums. There are charter schools that focus on creating entrepreneurs and business leaders, like the Siembra Leadership High School. Other charter schools focus on equitable opportunities for new immigrants and native Americans. Some good examples of charter schools Albuquerque has with this specialization are:

●     New America School – New Mexico for new immigrant students that wants to learn English and maximize their potential for the American Dream.

●     Native American Community Academy (NACA) for native Americans. This charter school now boasts a diverse student population of 60 native American tribes.

Charter schools are designed for the specific needs of your child. Albuquerque has a wealth of charter schools for all sorts of individuals. While this is a good thing, choosing from 55 charter schools can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important to look at their passion, interests, and aptitude to find the best fit for their education. Take a closer look at a charter school’s curriculum to see if their education can help your child achieve their dreams.

Preparing for College and Beyond

Charter schools can help your child prepare for college and other career paths.

If your child wants to become a media professional, then you should seriously consider New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts. They have linkages to established organizations that provide opportunities for their students in relevant industries like:

●     Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers

●     New Mexico Technology Council

●     National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture

●     New Mexico Film Foundation

●     New Mexico Women in Film

Other schools in a similar specialization include:

●     Digital Arts and Technology Academy (DATA)

●     Technology Leadership High School

You can also take a look at STEM-centric charter schools and other charter schools Albuquerque provides. Whether it’s entrepreneurship, providing a safe environment, or maximizing your child’s innate potential, Albuquerque will have a charter school for you and your child.

Examine Teacher’s Quality

Most parents overlook this aspect when choosing a school for their child. Whether it’s a public school, private school, or charter school, you must select one where there’s a high quality of teachers to guide your child. After all, no matter how good a school’s program is, a bad teacher will not make for a great learning experience.

Furthermore, you should choose a charter school where teachers know what they’re teaching. For instance, you don’t want to enroll your child in a media arts school with teachers that are non-experts in media arts. This goes the same way with other schools that have different specializations.

New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts has a meticulous selection process for its teachers to ensure that your children get the best learning experience when it comes to media arts. NMAMA ensures that its teachers provide the highest quality of education for its students.

Find Schools With a Great Class Size

Another factor that you’ll want to consider is the size of each classroom. That is, how many students are there for each classroom of a charter school. You should consider the class size because you’d want each teacher to pay close attention to the progress of your child. Larger classrooms tend to become a roadblock to thoroughly monitoring students in schools. Smaller classrooms give teachers ample opportunities to see their students’ progress and conduct appropriate measures to fix and augment their classroom performance.

If you’re searching for “media arts charter schools near me,” you should also look at their class size. New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts has a student-teacher ratio of 11:1, which is excellent at enabling teachers to craft engaging lessons for their students.

Smaller classrooms are great at providing adequate attention to all the needs of a student in charter schools.

Diversity in the Charter School

Another factor to consider is the diversity of a charter school’s student population. Sure, a charter school’s curriculum may fit your child’s talents. But is its environment conducive for their learning? You’ll want to ensure that their education is not hampered by discrimination and an unsafe learning environment. One strong indicator of that is a school’s diversity in student population.

We’ve laid out two charter schools with an outstanding record for diversity in this guide. These are New America School – New Mexico and Native American Community Academy (NACA). These are great schools to enroll in if you belong to immigrant families and indigenous tribes.

New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts also recognizes the importance of diversity in its pursuit of academic excellence. We believe that the passion for the media arts doesn’t involve race, gender, and color. Check out New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts to know more about its student life and governance.

Safety and Security

Safety and security are vital components in any decision-making process. Choosing a charter school is not an exception. You have to look at a charter school’s security history and see if there are any incidents in the past that indicate a threat to your child’s safety.

At New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts, we are proud to have no records of such incidents. Our premises are secured to ensure that no threats to your child’s safety come close, especially if they are inside our campus at 4401 Central Av NE Bldg. 2, 87108. You can check out our campus and all the security features that we’ve installed in the area to keep you and your children safe with us.

Find Reviews, Testimonials, Stories About Charter Schools

There are numerous reviews for charter schools Albuquerque citizens left for them. It’s so easy to find them online as well. These reviews give you actual accounts of what really happens inside the classrooms of charter schools and what your child’s learning experience actually looks like.

If a charter school has many bad reviews, you better steer away from them. Reputable charter schools like the New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts have a lot of good reviews from parents that enjoyed their outstanding educational program.

You can view reviews and ratings of the New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts on this website.

These reviews and testimonials by other people and students can serve as an excellent reference to how great a charter school’s program is for your child. Moreover, since charter school closures are a risk, it’s always a good thing to look at these reviews to see if their stakeholders are still happy about their curriculum and how they run things at the charter school.

New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts

Children who have an innate passion for the media arts should seriously consider going to New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts. It has excellent faculty and staff, but it also has numerous linkages to ensure your child won’t be short of opportunities. Its program has also produced award-winning students in multiple festivals and activities throughout the USA.

If you’re looking for a charter school Albuquerque that has an excellent track record in media arts instruction, then contact New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts. We’ll help you determine why we’re the best charter school for your child in the Albuquerque area.

You can also learn more about our application process here.

Are You Ready To Choose Your Charter School?

Choosing the “best charter school near me” is never easy. That’s why you have to conduct rigorous research for each charter school you plan to enroll in. Keep this guide in mind when looking for your charter school of choice.

Contact our team to know more about New Mexico Academy for the Media Arts.



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