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HomeNewsTeach Plus New Mexico Honors Trailblazing Schools with 2024 Innovation in Education Awards

Teach Plus New Mexico Honors Trailblazing Schools with 2024 Innovation in Education Awards

Amid growing concerns over educational outcomes in New Mexico, where only a fraction of students meet grade-level competencies in key academic areas, Teach Plus New Mexico has stepped forward to spotlight and celebrate exceptional innovations in education.

To celebrate award winners, Teach Plus will host their Innovation in Education Summit on July 19, giving educators and advocates a chance to experience and learn about these award-winning innovations in-person.

The 2024 Innovation in Education awards recognized ten schools across the state that are pioneering changes in education to improve student results. This recognition comes at a pivotal time – only 34 percent of New Mexico’s students can perform at grade level in English Language Arts; only 24 percent of students can perform at grade level in math – New Mexico is yearning for innovation in its education sector.

“Students want more for their future than what they currently have access to as children.” Teach Plus New Mexico Executive Director Hope Morales said. “A student named Daniel recently shared with me: ‘I want to be successful and live in a nice house with a positive and uplifting household. I also hope to have kids but I am going to put my education first, so I can be fully prepared and with stable living conditions.’ There truly are forward-thinking programs, strategies, and approaches taking root in our schools that are showing encouraging results so that students just like Daniel are fully ready for their prosperous futures. We are spotlighting these success stories inside schools that are doing things differently so that they can be replicated and amplified in districts and schools across New Mexico, no matter the size or geographic location.”

Each school that earned an award demonstrated outstanding achievement in one of the following categories:

1.      Early literacy and math

2.      Supporting underserved student groups

3.      Increasing high school graduation rates

“These schools are not just meeting standards; they are setting new ones. Through their commitment to innovation and excellence, they are rewriting the narrative of education in New Mexico,” Morales said. “Each of these institutions serves as a beacon of possibility, demonstrating that when we tailor our approach to meet the unique needs of our students, we unlock their full potential. This is how we elevate education across the state — by recognizing and replicating successful, innovative practices wherever we find them.”

Innovations in Teaching Early Literacy and Math

  • Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School, Albuquerque
    At Albuquerque Collegiate Charter School, a strong emphasis is placed on student-centered, individualized instruction that focuses on early literacy and math. The school’s innovative approach involves tailoring teaching methods to suit the unique needs of each student, ensuring they are not only engaged but are achieving significant academic gains.
  • Chamisa Elementary School and the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy, White Rock
    Chamisa Elementary School, along with the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy, introduced a pioneering approach to early literacy and math education. Their method focuses on individualized instruction that adapts to the needs of each student. This personalized learning strategy ensures that all students, regardless of their starting level, are engaged and can make substantial progress. The school’s efforts have been geared towards increasing student engagement through dynamic and interactive learning experiences, leading to higher achievement in foundational academic skills.
  • Reserve Elementary School, Reserve
    Reserve Elementary School stands out for its innovative teaching methods that captivate and engage students, making learning foundational literacy and math skills enjoyable and effective. The school’s approach is designed to stimulate interest and foster a deep understanding of the subjects, helping students build a solid academic base from an early age.
Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock

Innovative Support for Underserved Student Groups

  • Siembra Leadership High School, Albuquerque
    Siembra Leadership High School is recognized for its exceptional support systems for underserved student groups, including those experiencing homelessness,living in foster care, or have disabilities. The school’s programs are highly tailored, offering day, evening, and virtual learning options, alongside opportunities for paid internships and dual enrollment, which empower students to succeed academically and prepare for life beyond school.
  • Laguna Middle School, Laguna
    Laguna Middle School has been honored for its dedication to providing high-quality, targeted support to underserved student groups. Their innovative approaches are linked to improved educational outcomes, which is part of their commitment to equity and inclusivity in meeting the needs of all students.
  • Rio Grande Academy of Fine Arts Elementary & Middle School, Albuquerque
    At Rio Grande Academy of Fine Arts Elementary & Middle School, the integration of fine arts into the curriculum serves as their launching point for improving academic performance and student engagement. This approach supports a diverse student body, enhancing learning experiences and outcomes through creativity and artistic expression.
  • Carlsbad Intermediate School PR Leyva, Carlsbad
    Carlsbad Intermediate School has programs that cater specifically to the academic and social needs of underserved groups, ensuring that all students have the resources necessary for success.

Innovations to Increase High School Graduation Rates

  • East Mountain High School, Sandia Park
    East Mountain High School is honored for its efforts to increase high school graduation rates through innovative practices that go beyond traditional high school experiences. The school provides unique programs and support tailored to the needs of its students, fostering a learning environment that prepares them for postsecondary success and a better quality of life.
  • University High School, Roswell
    University High School focuses on preparing students for postsecondary success through innovative curriculum design and support systems. The school’s approach ensures students are well-prepared for the challenges of college and career, leading to higher graduation rates and improved student outcomes.

The Academy for Technology and the Classics, Santa Fe
The Academy for Technology and the Classics integrates technology and classical education, providing students with a comprehensive educational experience that prepares them for future academic and professional success. This unique blend of curriculum helps improve graduation rates and prepares students to thrive in a competitive world.

Students at University High School in Roswell

Innovation in Education Summit

This summer, Teach Plus will host its third annual Innovation in Education Summit, set to take place on July 19-20, 2024, in Albuquerque. This event will bring together educators, school leaders, and community partners from across the state to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the ten schools recognized with the 2024 Innovation in Education awards.

The summit will kick off on the 19th with an opening awards dinner, where attendees will be treated to a special panel discussion focusing on the theme of innovation in education. This discussion aims to delve into the transformative educational practices that have led to the successes of the awarded schools, providing insights and inspiration for other educators looking to implement similar innovations in their own institutions.

On the 20th, the summit will continue with a series of presentations from the awardees. These sessions are designed to showcase detailed case studies of each school’s innovative practices, highlighting the strategies employed, the challenges overcome, and the measurable impacts on student outcomes. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn directly from award winning schools, and gain practical advice to apply  these innovations in their own schools.

In addition to learning from the awardees, participants will also engage in the Teach Plus Innovation Change Agent program. This program is part of Teach Plus’s ongoing efforts to equip educators with the tools and support needed to drive systemic change in their schools and districts. The summit will provide ample networking opportunities, allowing educators to connect with peers who are equally committed to enhancing the educational landscape in New Mexico.

Registration for the Innovation in Education Summit is now open.

“This summer’s Innovation in Education Summit will be a pivotal gathering, where we celebrate the groundbreaking work of our award-winning schools and share their successes to inspire and catalyze change across all educational institutions in New Mexico,” Morales said.