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News from 2015-2016

Posted: May 17, 2016

Farewell, Acoma

After 57 years, the Northeast Heights elementary school will be closing its doors at the end of the school year.

Over the decades, we’ve witnessed Albuquerque’s transformation. Young couples with new mortgages and growing families settled into what once were developing neighborhoods. But time has changed the city's landscape, and for one Northeast Heights schools that means a final chapter.

After 57 years, Acoma Elementary school is closing its doors for good. Located in the Princess Jeanne neighborhood near Juan Tabo and Indian School, Acoma has seen a steady enrollment decline over the years, going from more than 1,000 students in its heyday to just over 100 now.

Its students and staff will move next school year to nearby Onate Elementary, another aging neighborhood school with declining enrollment. 

The Acoma school building will provide new educational experiences for students as it becomes the home of the charter school PAPA or the Performing Arts Public Academy. PAPA has close to 350 students and a waiting list.  Earlier this year, voters approved an unprecedented $75 million in bond/mill levy funding for charter school projects like this one.

Acoma is the first APS school in decades to be repurposed as the city experiences little to no growth and enrollment continues to dwindle. It likely will not be the last. 

For now, all eyes are focused ahead. It’s been an emotional time for staff and students at Acoma, but they’re quick to tell you they are losing a school but keeping their friends and memories.

Tags: Community