Early College High School Opens




Students stick with school


Early college high school’s first year deemed a success

Bulletin Staff Report Friday, June 10, 2011 Volume 43 Number 23

Las Cruces Public Schools is reporting that all 112 freshmen in its early college high school will be returning to begin classes in its new building on the New Mexico State University campus.

A community group of educators and business leaders called The Bridge pushed for the creation of an early college high school as a national best practice for academically focused students to take classes at a university or college campus environment. Early college high schools enjoy a 95 percent graduation rate, nationally.

LCPS opened the new school last July before construction began on its building at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. Doña Ana Community College provided classroom space for the first group of students.

The Arrowhead Park Early College High School (APECHS) prepares students to graduate with both a high school diploma and a two year college degree in four years. APECHS students completed their first college-level dual credit course, ninth- and 10th-grade honors English classes and posted district-leading attendance rates. “I like that we’re a small community and we all know each other,” said student Marina Calderon. “We’re like a big family. Here we all communicate with each other, and we’re all under four teachers. Our school motto is ‘We are the Trailblazers.’ So without the teachers taking that risk for the first-year students, we wouldn’t be anything.”