0. Learn about LCA
Changing schools is a big deal academically and socially. Before even filling out an application, it’s important to get an idea whether LCA is a good fit for your child, and for you. Come to an open house. Meet the teachers who will be teaching your child. See what students do on a day-to-day basis. Meet the Parent Committee. See what we look for in prospective students. You might even decide to look at our policy handbook. After you get excited about LCA, you can…
1. Fill out an application
Note: We will offer online applications starting March 1st, 2017. On that date, the application fee will increase from $25 to $50. Paper applications will be accepted for the foreseeable future, but are not exempt from the application fee increase.
We currently have two application forms, each covering a different grade range, early kindergarten through grade 2 and grades 3-8. Both are PDF forms which can be filled out on your computer or by hand. Some computer programs may be able to open the forms but not allow you to fill out the form. Others may allow you to fill out the form and print it, but not save it for later. If in doubt, use Adobe Acrobat, which is available here. If you have any questions about the application, please contact Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, our Head of School.
We note that we do not have rigid cutoffs for student birth dates to enroll at a given grade level. Grade levels are handy for administration but remain as simple guidelines; each child is placed individually in both age grade and subjects. We also are pleased to note that we offer early kindergarten, not as day care but as an academic level.
To process your application, we have an application fee of $25, changing to $50 on March 1, 2017. This fee should be paid with a check made out to Las Cruces Academy. The application fee, which helps pay for staff time spent reviewing the application, is non-refundable.
Mail the completed form, along with the application fee, to:
Las Cruces Academy
4904 Calabazilla Dr.
Las Cruces, NM 88011-7655
2. Letters of Recommendation
For each application, we request at least two confidential letters of recommendation from someone who is familiar with your child. The recommendation letters should use the PDF form available here, which contains instructions for submitting the letter. Recommendation letters can be written by your pediatrician, a teacher, or another professional whose job involves observing children, allowing a good comparison. Each recommendation should be submitted by the person writing the recommendation, not sent with the application. There may be times when we may request an additional recommendation as necessary.
The letters of recommendation should NOT be sent with the application. We want the recommender’s honest opinion. 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 or reject your application, and it may permanently damage our confidence in that person’s recommendations.
3. Visit Day
If your application and letters of recommendation are tentatively approved by our admissions committee, we will ask you to bring your child in for a visit day. During this day, your child will be treated as much like existing LCA students as possible. He or she will receive class assignments and submit work during class. The teachers will evaluate your child’s work and disposition throughout the day.
If you cannot bring your child for a visit day, we may offer tentative admission.
4. Admissions Decision
After reviewing the application, recommendation letters, and visit day, our admissions committee will make an admissions decision to accept, reject, or hold your application. We will notify you of this decision promptly. If we chose to hold your application, we may ask you for additional information to resolve any questions.
5. Tuition, Contract, and Student Records
To finalize your child’s spot at LCA, you will need to:
- Make the first tuition payment. We will provide details of this payment with your admissions decision. Information on tuition and fees can be found here.
- Sign the parent/student contract, available here. You and your child agree at this point to abide by our policies.
- Provide us with immunization records and academic transcripts. We require students to be up to date on immunizations.
This is the exciting conclusion to the admissions process! 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 prefer to admit students at the beginning of an academic year so that students benefit from the full curriculum and have all the background material at any stage. We do have mid-year admissions, which serve especially those families who move to Las Cruces in the middle of an academic year. In any case, it is best to apply well before your child may be attending our school. Early application can ensure that your child may be admitted to a class that may reach its size limit; the early K through K class is particularly small, having no more than 11 students. This also helps us to plan teacher assignments and employment contracts.