In 1994, Turquoise Trail Charter School became one of New Mexico's first charter schools, which enabled the Turquoise Trail community to maximize our vision by refining a unique academic curriculum, utilizing site-based budgeting and management of funds, and implementing participatory governance and community involvement to focus on improving the achievement of our students.
Located 15 miles from downtown Santa Fe, our community is rural, with families living great distances from one another. Our children come from families diverse in their educational experiences and economic situations. Of the approximately 495 students enrolled at Turquoise Trail, the population has a 72/28 ratio of Hispanic children to children of all other ethnicities, i.e., Anglo, Native American, African American, and Asian. Approximately 25% of our student population speaks Spanish as a first language. Turquoise Trail qualifies for Title I federal funds, with 67% of the student population receiving free or reduced lunches.
Since its inception, Turquoise Trail has followed an alternative curriculum that was developed and continues to be refined by the school's teachers. The curriculum is centered around the interrelated theories of multiple intelligences, learning styles, and developmentally appropriate practices. The educational program at Turquoise Trail was developed for students by staff with the following Exit Outcomes in mind: Self Directed Learners, Collaborative Workers, Community Participants-Contributors, Quality Producers, and Complex Thinkers.
The learning experiences we implement have brought students in our multicultural community into engagement with current, best instructional practices in the fine arts, physical education, and information resources. Our educational program has further refined state standards and benchmarks into integrated units and learning goals per grade level. Balanced literacy is fundamental to our instructional program, as is a comprehensive bilingual/ESL program, and inclusion of special education children in the mainstream of classroom instruction to the greatest extent possible.
Through the enriched experiences offered at the school, students gain a greater sense of basic human values, particularly through the exposure, appreciation, and respect of multiple lifestyles and cultures present in our community.
As a community-based learning center, Turquoise Trail Charter School supports student achievement by developing and implementing programs that reflect best practices in teaching, providing equitable learning opportunities for all students, encouraging active parent involvement, and serving the needs of our students, staff, parents and community.
Turquoise Trail Charter School is an innovative and challenging child-centered learning environment that provides opportunities for elementary students to achieve, create, take risks, solve problems, work collaboratively and serve their community. Parents, staff and community members share in all aspects of the decision-making and governance of the school.
- that every member of the school community has unique academic, physical, artistic, social, and emotional qualities to be developed.
- that instruction based on the theory of multiple-intelligences supports students in developing their individual talents and gifts.
- that students primarily learn by doing
- in cooperative learning and collaborative teaching
- that service to the community empowers students to learn about themselves and their community and to be a part of their world.
- it is the role of the school community to thoughtfully manage and utilize available resources in support of the school's expressed vision.