SANTA FE – New Mexico School for the Arts might just be the ideal model for the future of high school education. With a graduation rate this year of 96 percent, the small, statewide charter school is gaining the attention of renowned universities and colleges from around the nation.
The 38 students comprising the class of 2013 garnered nearly $3 million in scholarships and financial assistance, including the prestigious Presidential Award from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an award that goes to only one student each year. Students have been accepted to and plan to attend Berklee College of Music, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Wesleyan University, UNM, Ohio State University, Cornish College of the Arts and many more.
The emphasis on the arts at NMSA not only helps young New Mexican artists develop their creative talents, it has ignited the students’ passion for learning in the academics as well.
“Some students come here with average grades and an indifference to academics and leave here with a college scholarship in place,” NMSA Principal Cindy Montoya said.
The curriculum is unique among most New Mexico high schools. Academic classes are held in the mornings, followed in the afternoons by intensive daily practice in the arts.
New Mexico School for the Arts, Art Institute and Charter School assists passionate young artists in developing their full potential through a rigorous mastery arts and academic education.
“The students love being here so much … we have to make them leave at 6 p.m.!” NMSA-Art Institute Director Riis Gonzales said.