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Posted May 9, 2013

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APS, CNM, PED to Bring New High School to Life

Dual-credit school to open in August 2013 on CNM campus.

Albuquerque Public Schools, Central New Mexico Community College, Gov. Susana Martinez and Secretary-designate of Education Hanna Skandera have announced that a new dual-credit high school is scheduled to open in August 2013 on the CNM campus. Students will be able to graduate with both a high school diploma and associate’s degree.

“We want to see more New Mexico students graduating, well prepared for life in college or the workforce,” Martinez said. “They need more opportunities and more effective choices for their education. While early college-style schools are already succeeding in Las Cruces, this unique agreement in Albuquerque between APS and CNM should meet college and career readiness objectives, and the Public Education Department stands ready to support them.”

The new school, which has yet to be named, will operate in a space being allocated to the program by CNM. CNM President Katharine Winograd offered the space to APS Superintendent Winston Brooks to create a school with opportunities for students to take high school and college-level classes at the same time, in a location that couldn’t be more convenient for them. Brooks and Winograd have discussed the opportunity to collaborate on a dual-credit high school for several years. The timing turned out to be right with the opportunity for costs to be covered by the New Mexico Public Education Department. The school will have to apply for the funds in the next few weeks.

“This is one of those rare times where we have the demand for a new school, the resources to create it and a location for it,” Brooks said. “All these things are coming together at the right time, and I’m grateful to Dr. Winograd for the use of a campus building. I also want to thank Governor Martinez and Secretary Skandera for helping us to realize our vision for this school. It’s a real opportunity to provide students with another option for success.”

The unique new school carries the requirement that half of the classes students are enrolled in are high school-level, and the other half are college-level. All credits earned at the new school can transfer to any university as progress toward a bachelor’s degree. It will operate on a trimester schedule, and students will be expected to attend classes during the summer.

“Not only will students meet high school graduation requirements, but also qualify with a CNM program certificate or an associate’s degree,” Winograd said. “Because there is no cost to students and their families, this system puts students ahead financially as well as academically. It makes success in education that much more accessible to New Mexico families, while helping our community focus on adding more high school diplomas, associate’s degrees and, ultimately, more productive, highly-educated citizens in our community.”

“Community partnerships and support are the keys to success for this school, and all our early college high schools around the state,” said PED Secretary Hanna Skandera. A critical component of the early college high school is the opportunity for training provided by the local business community. “Each student must have the opportunity to gain professional experience that will better prepare them for the next step. Albuquerque Public Schools, CNM and local business leaders are making a strong commitment and we’re proud to stand with them to support our students.”

The new school will expand on opportunities available at similar schools like APS’ Early College Academy and Career Enrichment Center, which currently enroll 197 students. The two established schools have a waiting list, so the new school will be able to help meet the demand for dual-enrollment education. It will open in the fall for grades 10-12 and serve up to 400 students. The building, built in 1975, has 10 classrooms and an auditorium.

Under the current dual-enrollment agreement between APS, CNM and the University of New Mexico, students are able to receive college credit in a wide variety of subject areas while fulfilling a high school graduation requirement. Some 1,553 APS students took dual-enrollment courses at CNM in 2011-12.

“We know that through education, we can create a stronger foundation for our city and our kids to thrive,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry. “I am thankful to be working with APS and CNM with this innovative approach to providing avenues for our kids’ success, which means our community overall is the winner.”

Liz Abeyta has been named principal of the new school. Abeyta previously has served as principal at the Career Academic and Technical Academy after APS took it over. She also has served as dean of students at ECA and CEC, as well as assistant principal at Garfield Middle School during her 24 years with APS.

As part of the requirements to receive state funding for a successful school, a business advisory committee must be formed to help advise the school. Members of the committee include Dale Dekker, Sherman McCorkle, Sally Adams, Adrian Chavez, Jim Hinton, Brian Fairhurst, Kathleen Avila, Natasha Martell and Terry Laudick.

More information is available at www.aps.edu/aps-cnm, or call the APS Student Service Center at 855-9040.

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