About Southwest Learning Centers.The Southwest Learning Centers are the first consortium of charter schools in New Mexico to utilize a vision of shared leadership and shared facilities which enables more student-generated funds to be put into the classroom to improve instruction for all students. The shared emphasis is on content mastery, not seat time. The students, parents and teachers work together to design individual growth plans enabling an individualized curriculum tailored for each student.
In Southwest Primary Learning Center, the teachers focus on teaching reading, writing, and math in a traditional setting - while providing access to state-of-the-art technology found only on college campuses. In Southwest Intermediate and Southwest Secondary Learning Center computers are used as tools for instruction - expanding the classroom outside the four walls confining the students. Students learn and utilize technology the way the rest of the world does every day. The majority of our staff are bilingual, multi-certified, and "highly qualified" as defined by the "No Child Left Behind Act". The three schools are certified by the North Central Association as college preparatory schools.
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Our Philosophy.Our vision is to become the best college-preparatory schools in New Mexico by teaching students how to become self-motivated, independent, life-long learners. We use a blend of traditional and innovative education techniques to help the student develop an individual growth plan, along with the input of the student's parents and teachers.
We believe it is essential to pave the transition between academics and workplace competence by providing real-world work experiences. Here, we link academic content to life situations by instilling the understanding of the value of work, and we lay the foundation for self-confidence by providing relevant, student-selected experiences.
Throughout the curriculum, students use critical thinking skills (problem solving, analyzing and applying knowledge) to navigate through a college preparatory curriculum that effectively uses technology to deliver instruction.
How it Works.Southwest Learning Centers has combined what works in traditional education with innovations for the 21st century. This is what we mean when we say we are “challenging education.”
From the traditional school model, we use the ideas of a smaller student-teacher ratio, having a core curriculum and providing a safe environment that provides extra-curricular activities in order to develop well-rounded students.
We also embrace the best of innovative educational ideas, including computer-based learning, a high-tech curriculum, individualized growth plans and flexible scheduling for the realities of the modern world.
What we are doing is working, as our students are getting the highest scores on statewide tests. We also have a high college transition rate and a virtually non-existent drop out rate.
Upon graduating from the Southwest Learning Centers, each student has:
• A high school diploma,
• A clearly demonstrated set of academic skills,
• Experience in the workplace and in community/government service,
• A clear awareness of rights and responsibilities of American citizens,
• The pre-requisite skills necessary for post-secondary success.
Founders.The Southwest Learning Centers were founded by a group of professionals with more than 50 years of combined educational experience. Each of our three founders has exemplified themselves in traditional teaching techniques, innovative high-tech curriculum delivery and administration in many of the most successful school programs in New Mexico.
Dr. Dolly Juarez had been an administrator in Albuquerque Public Schools, as well as a supervisor of student teachers for the University of New Mexico and the College of Santa Fe. She has served as an adjunct professor with the College of Santa Fe and an administrator with the superintendent’s office. Dr. Juarez was instrumental in bringing to New Mexico some of the first computer curriculum used in our public schools.
Dr. Scott Glasrud had been an administrator, department chair, and teacher with Albuquerque Public Schools, as well as the first director for the New Mexico Virtual School. He was also appointed to the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council in 1998 by Governor Johnson, and is a certified Baldrige Trainer.
Ms. Deborah Young has been an administrator and teacher in Albuquerque Public Schools, and is a specialist in using technology as a tool for instruction.
The Southwest Learning Centers began as the vision of these three dedicated educators, and thanks to their commitment and guidance, it has grown to be the premier charter school in New Mexico.