Back to School - Vista Grande High School

Vista Grande High School student scientists Mangas and Aaron conduct an experiment. Submitted photo

Vista Grande High School is moving full steam ahead this year! We have just completed work on an inspired blueprint, curriculum maps and pacing guides for all core content classes. We will be right on target with our vision to develop creative and critical thinkers in a holistic setting. There are many announcements such as a reconfigured career pathways program, returning experienced teachers with a passion for teaching as well as new courses added so that our students get the very best out of their education. VGHS is thrilled to have the new Imagination Lab up and running, staffed by an art teacher.

Dawning Pollen Shorty will be joining the VGHS staff. She is an experienced art teacher and an artist who is well known across America. She brings her unique view of education to VGHS. She will be teaching a STEAM class, Crew and an entrepreneur class.

This year we are continuing our wilderness adventure experience with backpacking trips for the 9th and 10th grades. The students will summit three different peaks around Taos. The 11th and 12th grade students will have a retreat to focus on setting their goals for the school year.

The class-based learning expeditions are planned for each semester: 9th grade (Teens around the World/Farming), 10th grade (Art & Activism/Sustainability), 11th grade (Media and Literacy/The Human Condition) and 12th grade (self-guided Senior Projects based upon interest). End of semester expedition projects will include documentary filmmaking, growing food, creating a podcast and writing/drawing a graphic novel.

We have been listening to what our students want and so we have completely revamped our social studies curriculum. Partnering with the Public Education Department Indian Education Division, VGHS will be implementing a new social studies curriculum that honors Native students' histories and ways of knowing. Our Tewa Language and Culture class will will be taught by a member of the Taos Pueblo for native students who would like to continue learning their language while in school. Our new Crew curriculum will be a partnership with the Harvard School of Education, VGHS will pilot the Possible Futures curriculum.

At Vista Grande, we have a diverse population so we will as always be running new and special programs to fit our students’ needs. We will maintain our relationship with UNM-Taos for the Dual Credit program. It is a huge success and an opportunity for students to graduate from Vista Grande with not only a high school diploma, but also college credits and degrees. It’s a great opportunity for tuition-free education and expanded worldview. In addition, we will also be running our Night Flyers program for students who wish to complete their education in the early evenings at Vista Grande.

For a school schedule, please view online at

Vista Grande High School's mission is to provide an authentic and challenging learning experience within a culturally inclusive, supportive environment that motivates all students to develop to their fullest potential.

Vista C.A.R.E.S.!

(Creative Thinking, Achievement, Respect for both Cultural Diversity and our Natural World, Empowering Change and Sustainability)

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