What We Look For
We expect that some of our students will be profoundly gifted, but most will be “average” bright children who are ahead of their peers in one or two subjects (such as reading, writing, or math). We realize that a student can be gifted in just one subject, and that “advancement” depends upon previous educational training; because of this, we are amenable to many combinations of talent and advancement.
Looking for so many kinds of talent and advancement means that we ask a lot of questions on the student application. Before you read it and get thoroughly intimidated, you should know that we haven't met the child yet who was outstanding in every area we ask about. We ask a particularly wide range of questions because not only do we hope to identify children gifted in commonly recognized ways, but also the less-obviously gifted children.
The admissions process has several steps:
- Early preparation: You may find it valuable to find out as much about us in advance as you please - from our Website, from talking with us by phone or during a visit (open house, reception, or a scheduled visit), from talking with your friends and neighbors. Please look at our policy handbook, too.
- Filling out the application admission form. A few details are given below.
- Sending in the application form, along with a check for $25, which is non-refundable. The fee helps pay for the staff and advisor time during the admission reviews. Please mail it to us (Las Cruces Academy, Inc.; 4904 Calabazilla Dr.; Las Cruces, NM 88011; add "USA," if your packet is coming from outside the US).
- Getting letters of recommendation. A PDF form can be downloaded here. There are some details on this, too, below. You may email us, perhaps a week or two later, to find out if we've received the letters.
- Having the child visit the school for a day. This is an opportunity to see if both the child and we are comfortable with each other, foreseeing that we will both make progress in the coming year.
- Provided that the application, recommendations, and visit go well: enrolling your child. We have a short contract to sign. You and your child agree at this point to abide by our policies.
- Finally, paying the first installment of tuition. We can set up any of a variety of payment plans. The most common are 9 installments or 12 installments. We send an invoice on the first of each month, with payment due on the 15th.
- The first two weeks are a provisional enrollment, to be sure that we all work well together. After this time, enrollment is for the term. We hope and expect that your child will remain enrolled with us through the final grades we offer; this provides the best benefit of our unique education. We understand that families move or have changes in their finances and might have to disenroll their child. In any event, we need to have tuition paid through a full semester at a time. We have to schedule and pay our teachers for full terms. We appreciate your understanding.
You will need Adobe Reader (or any application which can open pdf files) to open the form. Adobe Reader can be downloaded here.
Filling out the application form
There are two versions of the form. One is for younger students who would be entering kindergarten or grades 1 or 2. The other is for older students who would be entering grades 3-6 this year.It's a fairly intense application, so before you get intimidated you should know we're not expecting your child to excel in anywhere near every area we ask about. In fact, we don't even require that you answer all the questions, since you may not remember the answers to some of them. In any case, we're more than willing to talk you through the application if you've got questions.
Getting letters of recommendation
Each application should be followed by 2 or 3 confidential letters of recommendation.
It is not a requirement, but for a younger student we recommend that at least one letter is written by your child's pediatrician, preschool teacher, or another professional whose job involves observing a large number of children.
The letters of recommendation should NOT be sent with the application. We want the recommender's honest opinion, even if it is not all flowers, marshmallows, and rainbows. A letter written in your presence is questionable at best and seriously misleading at worst. If we suspect that the letter is not confidential, we may ask for another letter and it may permanently damage our confidence in that person's recommendations.
It is much more frequent for parents and their children to have met us by this point than not, but if we haven't met you and your child by this point and we like your application, we will definitely ask you to come meet us. Even if we've already met you, we may ask you to come for a short interview with your child to resolve any questions we have.
The admissions committee reviews complete applications (those where we have the application and letters of recommendation) approximately once every two weeks. We will consider all the applications at once and choose to accept, reject, or hold each one. We will notify you of the decision, whichever of the three it is. If we chose to hold your application, we may ask you for additional information to resolve lingering questions. Applications which were held in a previous review will be reconsidered every two weeks until we decide to either accept or reject them.
Las Cruces Academy uses rolling admissions. In other words, the admissions committee periodically reviews all the applications we have received, and votes on all of the applications. We will continue to accept applications at least until either all available spots are reserved (by a tuition installment) or until August 1st, whichever comes first. Late admissions can be problematic for the child and teachers, but occasionally we will accept applications after August 1st if we have not filled all our spaces.
Besides tuition and the application fee, there are no mandatory charges at LCA. Some optional activities (e.g. lunch at nearby restaurants ) may require small additional payments, but you will be warned in advance and all of them are completely optional. For more information on tuition, please click here.
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