View more images here.


Quick News (2 October 2015):


Our calendar has been restored.


The Confucius Institute on the NMSU campus welcomed our students in grades 1-4.  They sang the songs they have learned in Mandarin, tried calligraphy, and did some tai ji - a good day.
Our middle-schoolers traveled to Carlsbad Caverns for two days of exploration and learning about geochemical processes.
Classes began 8:30AM, Monday, August 10th.  We're now in our 7th year of classes, in the fourth week of same.
We have a new after-school club, Lego Robotics, Junior League.  LCA parent Molly Bolt is our club coach; Vince Gutschick is our assistant coach.
We've joined the Amazon Smile program.  When you shop at Amazon through Amazon Smile, we get 0.5% as a rebate.  This can add up quickly.  Thanks.  Please note that we are a 501(c)(3) public charity; almost all donations to us are tax-deductible.
Our next open house will be on Tuesday, September 15th.  Please see our calendar for more information.
Our fiscal year closed on 30 June with a good financial standing, thanks to careful management and extensive volunteer work.
Our average class size this recent AY was 9.8; the mode was 8; the range was 2 to 18, far better than all other sizable schools, public or private.
Our middle school opened with its own curriculum, starting with grades 6 and 7.
Founders and volunteers Lou Ellen Kay and Vince Gutschick returned from China with much more world culture to share with the LCA community and beyond.


Welcome to Las Cruces Academy's online home

We're an independent, non-profit, non-sectarian school for gifted or academically advanced children who thrive in this alternative to other schools. We are not a charter school, so we are free to implement many novel and very effective teaching methods and policies. We do not do overweening standardized testing, while we do have detailed measures of progress in our weekly newsletters and report cards. Growing toward our goal of offering early K through grade 12, we currently offer early kindergarten through grade 7. Please view our mission statement to see what brings us all into the Academy.


You can find us in our very attractive facility at our location at 1755 Avenida de Mercado in Mesilla.  Our map may be useful for finding us.  Please see below to arrange a visit on almost any school day.  Meanwhile, we offer a short video tour of the building. You can also see a sampler of our curriculum and of student work.  We're also pleased to document our strengths on separate pages.  Among these we count our remarkable teachers, our engaged students (see above and below), our academic resources as books, scientific facilities, cultural artifacts, and art, and our many generous donors within our school and outside the school.  Beyond our immediate academic environment we reach out to the community at events, with charitable functions, and with a travel blog and advanced academic exercises for older students that presage our ultimate curriculum.  It's also inspiring to see the reasons that parents chose to send their children to the Academy


Comprehensive information about our curriculum curriculum, our policies, our application and admission process, our tuition, and our scholarship opportunities is detailed throughout our Web pages.

Our curriculum has been designed with a number of models and our own experience; we are essentially following the International Baccalaureate program, in which we aim to be certified down the line.  Our focus is on languages, math, and science, but we fill out a strong education with a variety of other subject areas.  All children learn English, Spanish, and Chinese every day. We also understand that good teachers, intellectual freedom and engagement, and a supportive social environment are the most valuable gifts we can give to students.  Students have independent input into the curriculum and independent projects are an increasing focus. Please read on, and, if you wish to explore having your child join us, please visit the admissions page.


Our newest academic offering: a comprehensive middle school curriculum, beginning with 6th grade.  Building on our high-performing academic model, we, as teachers and board members, have designed a challenging and rewarding program of 15 subjects weekly. We are offering it this semester that began August 10th, 2015.


Recent events:

We have much to share.  In reverse chronological order, we highlight these:

  Our big community event and fundraiser, Food for Thought, Wed. evening, 27 May.  A fine dinner led to fascinating discussions with very interesting people locally and regionally.
  Two of our 5th-grade students represented New Mexico in the 2015 Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition Preliminary Contest, 15 May, in Mission Bay, CA
  Our book fair at Barnes & Noble, Sat., 9 May Ė a midday celebration of reading and our school.  It raised over $3.7K!
  Our end-of-term student performances, also 9 May
  Cinco de Mayo in Mesilla, Sat. & Sun., 2-3 May; we were on Avenida de Mesilla with a novel display.  Attendance was light, so we'll do it again in a more focused venue.
  Completion of our tennis court markings, 20 April. Our deepest thanks to the US Tennis Association
  Celebrating Earth Day on the NMSU campus Horseshoe, 19 April
  Field trip to the Hornworks, on 15 April, to see how French horns are made
  Our studentsí visit to J. Paul Taylorís home, 19 December, as he shared his great interest in nacimientos (Christmas scenes)
  J. Paul Taylorís visit to our school, 16 December
  Our students performing Chinese songs and dances for the Air Force, 12 December

Earlier events are captured in our blog.   


   We are supported by tuition, currently $7938 per year (partial scholarships available), the financial investment of founder and Head of School Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, and generous donations of funds, goods, and services by our students' parents, the students themselves, our teachers, local businesses, and community friends, for which we are very grateful.  We are able to set about 3.5% of total tuition set aside for partial scholarships.
   Phonics helps our students, as it has for years.  Our teachers in grades K-2 work with students every day on phonics.
   A recent article in  Scientific American highlights why we serve children who have high potential to be informed and compassionate leaders and who come from all different socioeconomic levels.

   High-tech facilities: We have a networked weather station and we have a real-time satellite image download station for the NOAA-18 and -19 satellites (also planned to be networked!  We also have an automated high-resolution optical microscope with control and image-recognition programs.
   High-tech scheduling:.  We programmed the advanced mathematical technique of simulated annealing to schedule our classes.  See why and how.
    Please see our new public newsletters, with abundant news and images of the Academy for May - October 2013 (top listing) and June 2012 - May 2013 (second listing).  This link opens in a new window or tab. NOTE: This link is dated and is under revision.


The navigation bar at right leads you to much more detail about our philosophy and curriculum (or click here).  We also are pleased to share news of what is happening at the school currently.  We started the second semester of our sixth year of classes on Thursday, January 8th, 2015, with students in grades K-5. Our fifth year began on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013, for grades K-6 plus early kindergarten.  You can see the list of our events on our calendar.  You can also make an appointment by calling our Head of School.  To find us at our new location, see our map.


Comments from parents & students have rewarded us for our efforts.   Please click here to see a selection.


Our students of all ages do hands-on science.  Presentations and demonstrations are given by Ph.D. scientists.  We use the highly successful Singapore math program.  Our students spontaneously count in Chinese or Spanish when they exercise, and during birthday celebrations they sing in all three languages. They have access to over 4,000 books that have been donated and purchased by many people.


Scholarships have been available each year, thanks to both new donors and continuing donors, including El Paso Electric.  We have a  scholarship application form. In our startup phase with our significant costs, we have to limit the offerings to 3 to 5 partial scholarships, but we are pleased with the support we have been able to offer to students.  We are looking forward to having more funds to disburse and more students supported. All scholarships are need-based; need will not be revealed, because we do not reveal which students have received scholarships.  All our scholarships are partial scholarships, so that we may reach the most students.   All students share our "stealth scholarships," the lowering of our tuition by many person-years of volunteer work by our Head of School, Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, and Board Chair, Dr. Vincent Gutschick.


Outreach to the community and the public schools is mandated by our Articles of Incorporation. A concrete plan is for our students themselves to develop and run a public museum.  In this effort they will use a number of scientific and cultural artifacts that the Academy founders, Drs. Lou Ellen Kay and Vincent Gutschick, have acquired in their scientific careers and in travels to 36 nations.  You can sample our travel images from Indonesia and Costa Rica. As a kick-off for our outreach, we have written a series of one-page light essays on interesting topics in science.  These are located here.


Our financial status is open for inspection.  To see the documents, please visit our page on our Annual Fund.


We are proud members of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, the Green Chamber of Commerce, and the High Tech Consortium, and we thank them for the great support they have given us.


If you are a potential donor to the Academy, please consider augmenting the scholarship fund, capital fund, or our general fund. We plan to grow to a full pre-K - 12 school over the years, with your help.  If you wish to donate, please visit our Giving page, or call, write, or email us.  Thanks!





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