LCSN: Early College High School has successful year

June 7, 2011. Retrieved online June 15, 2011 from AUTHOR, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES – None of the 112 students who attended the first year of Arrowhead Park Early College High School dropped out, according to the school.

Highlights from the first year of New Mexico's first Early College High School (Norm Dettlaff/Sun-News)

Highlights from the first year of New Mexico's first Early College High School (Norm Dettlaff/Sun-News)

The information was presented Tuesday to the school’s governing board, The Bridge of Southern New Mexico.

The students were part of the school’s inaugural, ninth-grade class. The students completed their first college-level dual credit course, finished ninth and 10th grade honors English classes and posted district-leading attendance rates, among other accomplishments their first year.

“I like that we’re a small community and we all know each other,” said student Marina Calderon. “We’re like a big family.

Four students did leave the school because they transferred.

The Arrowhead Park Early College High School, which prepares students to graduate with both a high school diploma and a two-year college degree in just four years, opened last July.

The majority of the students are first-generation college attenders, those “at risk” for not completing high school and not pursuing a college degree.

The average GPA of the first class was 3.167, according to the school. Nearly one-third of the students had higher than a 3.5 GPA, and almost two-thirds held higher than a 3.0.

In a traditional high school, the freshman year is when almost half of the total dropouts in a class occur, according to the school.

“We are so proud of the students and staff of this school,” said Kari Mitchell, vice president and one of the founders of The Bridge.

Discussions are under way for more Early College High Schools in the Las Cruces, Gadsden and Hatch districts. There could be as many as four countywide in the next five years.

Read the Las Cruces Sun-News article.

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