Sometimes people mistakingly refer to charter schools as private institutions. In fact, charter schools are indeed public schools. They are granted greater flexibility in regard to their operations, yet are still held accountable for growing student achievement. Because charters are public schools, they are open to all children; they do not charge tuition; and they do not have special entrance requirements or exams.

Charter schools are publicly funded, but can be privately operated. Not all charter schools are mirror images. They can vary greatly in their design and in their results.

Taos Municipal School District Charter Schools

Anansi Charter School

57 State Road 230, Des Montes

(575) 776-2256

The school opened its doors in 1993. Anansi serves students in kindergarten through 8th grade. "Teaching is done in focused units on a wide range of topics," says the school's web site, "allowing students to integrate facts into practical knowledge in multi-age groups. Classes explore topics that integrate science, history, geography, language arts and math."

Taos Charter School

1303 Paseo del Cañon East

(575) 758-8909

The story goes that Taos Charter School (TCS) was born in 1999 through a group of parents and teachers that wanted a K-8 school with "rigorous academics in a positive social environment."The school's academic menu includes (but is not limited to) peer-assisted learning, art, physical education, Spanish, mathematics, a writing workshop, and phonics and reading fluency.

Vista Grande High School

213 Paseo del Cañon West

(575) 758-5100

New Mexico State Charter Schools

Moreno Valley High School

56 Camino Grande, Angel Fire

(575) 377-3100

To fulfill its mission of "providing a world-class public education for students of all abilities and backgrounds," Moreno Valley High School (MVHS) employs the Paideia (py-dee-a) Program, a curriculum that integrates three methods of teaching: Socratic Seminar, Academic Coaching and Didactic Instruction. For more information, the 12 Principles of Paideia are outlined on the school's web site.

Each new school year begins at MVHS with an all-school camp out coined "Beyond the Valley." Past trips included Arches National Park, Great Sand Dunes, Rocky

Mountain National Park and Lake Powell. Also outside of the classroom, parents and potential students of MVHS stated their case for adding athletics during the May 3 governing council meeting at the high school.

Red River Valley Charter School

500 East High St., Red River

(575) 754-6117

Red River Valley Charter School's unified, theme-based curriculum is known as the Core Knowledge Sequence. The curriculum fosters a "child-centered school that addresses the strengths, needs, interests and cultures that equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to meet challenges and succeed in a rapidly changing world."

Roots and Wings Community School

35 La Lama Rd., La Lama

(575) 586-2076

An Expeditionary Learning School, Roots and Wings Community School is based upon the concept of a small community schoolhouse or “learning family.” It is designed to be an intimate, inter-age learning community ranging in age and ability from kindergarten through 8th grade.

Taos Academy Charter School

110 Paseo del Cañon West

(575) 751-3109

Serving grades 5 through 12, Taos Academy's mission focuses on 21st-century skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, accountability, technology, problem solving, global awareness and civic responsibility. One of the school's many flagship programs is the SMART LAB, a state-of-the-art technology lab housed in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) building where students explore robotics, animation, engineering, flight simulation, music production and alternative energy.

Taos Integrated School for the Arts (TISA)

118 Toalne Rd. (As of September)

(575) 758-7755

Taos Integrated School for the Arts (TISA) blends the arts — visual arts, dance, music and theater — into the general learning process and are interlinked throughout the lessons using "a thematic, interdisciplinary, project-based approach to instruction."TISA brings together current national education standards with a strong early childhood focus in the arts, which emphasizes the school's philosophy of "Teaching is an art."

Taos International School

118 Este Es Rd., Ranchos de Taos

(575) 751-7115

The mission of Taos International School (TIS) is to "provide K-8 students an educational program focused on inquiry-based teaching and learning; the acquisition of languages, including Spanish immersion and Mandarin Chinese; and the development of social, emotional and rigorous academic skills necessary to function in our local, national and international community."

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