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High School

Distinguished Stoles and Seals Awards

The stoles and Seals awards are a special recognition that Native American students can earn their senior year in high school.  Each senior must complete an application and follow the guidelines.  


Seal Banner 1.jpg Native American high school seniors who:

  • Are enrolled in APS.
  • Completed a 506 and CIB (Certificate of Indian Blood) and forms have been submitted to the APS Indian Education Department.
  • Have a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.4 or higher
  • Have good attendance (less than 6 absences for the year and individualized determination).
  • Have submitted application(s) for each seal to the Indian Education Department (IED) by the last Friday in February of graduation year.
  • Deadline -Students must submit a completed application with appropriate forms that are included in this booklet. The required application forms must be returned to the IED by the last Friday in February.  Bring to the APS Indian Education Department at 6400 Uptown Blvd NE, Suite 460W, Albuquerque.
  • You can also submit application online.  
  • Contact phone number is (505) 884-6392 ext. 80444. 


  • Seal Banner 2.jpgApplication Review - Applications are reviewed and evaluated by IED staff.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  •  Student Presentations – Applicants whose applications are approved will be scheduled to do a presentation (approximately 20 minute) in front of community judges during the month of March. 
  •  Notification - Applicants will be notified by the end of March regarding the status of earning the seal.
  •  Receiving - Stoles and seals are presented to eligible seniors who have met the specified requirements.  Each senior that receives at least one seal will receive a stole.  Students are eligible to earn more than one seal.  The NM Native American Heritage Language seal will be affixed on the eligible senior’s graduation diploma. 
  •  Wearing - Students will wear their stoles over their graduation gowns during the graduation commencements.  Each earned seals is attached to the stole. 

 Native American Classes


Native American Studies (NAS) I, II, and Leadership are aligned specialty elective courses with standards-based curriculum are offered in 3 high schools (Highland, Del Norte, and West Mesa) and 3 middle schools (Jimmy Carter, Cleveland, and McKinley). NAS promotes opportunities for cultural study, student self-reflection, and community building. NAS presents concepts that support American Indian/ Alaska Native values and advocacy. Emphasis is on the development of critical success skills including communication (reading, writing, and speaking), math, technology, and social skills. The Indigenous Teaching and Evaluation Model (ITEM) is the cornerstone for instruction and evaluation.

 Native American Government and Economics for high school seniors. The course is aligned with state standards and incorporates Indigenous illustrations specific to Native American content that include: treaties, business, laws and statutes, land and water rights, and etc.

Native Language Programs for all high school students during the school year and Summer Native Language and Culture Institute annually for students in grades K-8. The curriculum utilized by the Native language teachers is; Dine’ Bizaad Bi’nahoo’aah. Onsite coursework is conducted in four high schools with the highest Native student enrollment (West Mesa, Highland, Del Norte, and Cibola) and twelve high schools are supported with transporting the students to a centralized school (Career Enrichment Center) in the district. The teachers are state certified with a Level 1 teaching licensure. All teachers also passed Native Language exams within their respective tribal systems.