Theater club

Saturday, 14 March 2020.  Our theater club prepared for the play they wrote last year – 31 pages of script, lots of set design, lots of practice, and, now, more set-building.  Parents helped too – Ugonna, Aaron, Charlotte, and Todd.  Thanks to all!

The play will be performed under unusual circumstances this year, with all the measures for containing COVID-19.  We’re planning a mix of live performances before audiences of strictly limited size with recorded performances.  Please watch this space!

For the moment, the Academy is NOT closing

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has mandated the closing of all public K-12 schools in New Mexico, to begin at the end of school, Friday, March 13th.  The closure will last at least three weeks, and it may be much longer.


As a private school we are not under the mandate.  It is, of course, possible that special mandates will be made for gatherings that apply to our total population.  As yet, there are no such requirements for us to close.


For the present we are holding to our decision to stay open, for two principal reasons.  First is that interrupting the students’ education will have permanent effects on their progress; it also may not make them safer unless they and their parents are quarantined all day.  Second is that the need for parents to stay home with their children will require that they leave their jobs for the duration of a closure; there are yet no firm plans for economic relief of parents who lose job time and income.


We must take all the steps short of closure to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • NO SICK CHILD CAN BE BROUGHT TO SCHOOL NOR KEPT IN SCHOOL. As in our policy handbook that’s online on our website, a child who had a fever cannot return to school until at least 24 hours after the fever has completely cleared.  The same criterion applies to other symptoms that mark COVID-19 – aches, sniffles, and such symptoms of flu or other respiratory diseases.  We will have to be rigid on these rules; violations WILL risk enforcing closure of the school for all children.
  • Per CDC guidelines: Cleaning staff will increase cleaning, particularly of bathrooms and common areas.
  • We respect the decisions of any families who choose to self-quarantine. This is a good consideration for families who have elderly, ill, or immune-compromised persons residing in their homes.
  • We have far more detail on our new operating protocols.  The protocols can be viewed by our LCA families.
  • It is remotely conceivable that an LCA student will be tested as positive for COVID-19.  Following state requirements we then may have a temporary closure of the school.


You may call us at either main number, (575)521-9384 for Lou Ellen, (575)571-2269 for Vince.  You can also check or website for news.

We are developing distance education methods.  These are complex and are being tested during the week of 16-20 March.  They will be substantially developed for the week after spring break.

We’re all in this together, around the world.  We look forward to doing the best we can for everyone in the school.


Thanks for your consideration and for the confidence that have always shown in our work.

Learning to manage money

6 March 2020: Our students in grades 3-8 got valuable lessons in money management from Bryan Stein of Washington Federal bank.  He engaged the students about credit cards and debit cards, offering four illustrative scenarios of fictional people using credit cards, well or badly.  Students had a wealth of good questions, all well-posed and on-target.  We look  forward to them being wise consumers of financial services.

Mattress sell-a-thon

6-16 March 2020: Ashley Homestore is running a mattress sale to benefit the Academy!   We’ll get 40% of the sale price on all mattresses sold when buyers present the event flier… and LCA students earn rewards!  The mattress prices are just what you’d pay without the LCA tie-in – you get the regular price and even the sales price on items tagged for special discounts!  Please click here for the flier that gets us the benefit.

Paul Bowman, the Ashley manager and the originator of the great idea, brought in a queen-sized mattress as a demo.  Here some of our students are enjoying the bounce.

Young engineers

28 February 2020:  More in our after-school engineering club. Our young students in kindergarten through 6th grade recently constructed a “Core Sampler,” which basically uses potential energy with rubber bands and straws to puncture holes in fruit and extract a core—it’s inspired by the Mars rover drilling for samples.

Writing Chinese stories

27 February 2020: Our young students in grades 1-4 write Chinese characters and illustrate their stories with pictures.  We have 5 levels of Chinese classes covering grades K-8; here is work of students in just their second year of Chinese.  Our teacher, Yulin Zhang, asked students to write some short stories about a person or a pet of their choice, accompanied by an image.  Using adjectives that they learned they described in writing what this person or pet looks like.

Have you eaten a dinosaur lately?

24 February 2020: Our students in grades 1&2 get a science lesson from Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, our Head of School.  Here she takes the stance of a bird to demonstrate how birds and lizards use their legs differently… all in the course of explaining the evolution of birds as the only surviving dinosaurs.  She asked at one point, “Have any of you eaten some dinosaur lately?”  Students popped up with, “Yes, I’ve had chicken!”

Growing bacteria in science class

21-27 February 2020: Our students in grades 5-8 grow common Escherechia coli bacteria, seeing how long it takes them to divide and double.  They also saw that growth at a cool room temperature of 15°C instead of their optimal 37°C (our body temperature) slowed them by a factor of five!  Here’s our temperature-controlled water bath and the students holding up the final cultures.  Btw, the E. coli cultures are safe, non-pathogenic strains from Carolina Biological Supply.  These are bacteria in our normal guts that help edge out pathogens, in fact.