ABQ charter school offers core classes and arts

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – In education, it’s usually a challenge for teachers to find the perfect mix between fun and learning. Administrators at Tierra Adentro: The New Mexico School of Academics, Art and Artesania say combining a core curriculum of classes with learning arts is proving to be a winning combination.

“I love our education because we also have a math class, we have arts, we get to play guitar, we get to dance flamenco, do ballet,” is the way Tierra Adentro Freshman Javier Solis describes his experience at Tierra Adentro.

Administrators also believe that combining the arts classes with core curriculum courses is making the learning experience an easier one for students.

“Every day our kids take dance, music and visual arts,” says Tierra Adentro Executive Director Veronica Torres. “They’re not electives, they’re part of their academic curriculum everyday. So the fact that our kids are doing three hours of arts on top of all of their academic classes including Spanish as one of them is very unique to our programming.”

Some students say that unique approach combined with the one on one interaction they have with teachers makes for a great learning environment.

“In public schools, you have classrooms of 30 students and here, the most you have is like 20,” adds Tierra Adentro Senior Andrea Solis. “And that way the teacher is more able to focus on you as an individual in order to understand concepts.”

Tierra Adentro is a dual credit school where the work they are doing is already laying the groundwork for students to attend classes at UNM and CNM.

“They’re taking advantage of those opportunities more and more every year,” says Torres. “The school builds and grows and not just in the arts, but in the academic areas where we have seniors graduating with anywhere from 20 to 22 credit hours heading into college almost as a sophomore.”

The relationship between teachers and students is one of the reasons both sides credit for turning out successful graduates.

“When you walk into our building, all of our students are just cared for by everyone on the staff,” says Torres. “From our educational assistants all the way through our faculty that everybody knows your name, everybody respects you and everybody has high expectations for you.”

The school is having an open house on Wednesday, March 18 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. They are located at 1511 Central Avenue, NE. For more information, you can find it at the Tierra Adentro website.

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