Advance Learning

Apr 18, 2012


(LAS CRUCES) -- It's a different type of school in Las Cruces where students learn beyond their grade level. Plus, they're learning how to write and read in other languages.

Students at Las Cruces Academy are wishing their fellow classmate a special Happy Birthday, in two other languages.

It's part of what they're learning in school.

"It's challenging and it's tremendously rewarding because if you get them excited about something, they are really, really excited. They pick up new ideas quickly, they hold on to things more rapidly than most of us do. The challenge is sometimes they're not interested like any kid and so they are more clever in figuring out ways or paying attention or trying not to do it," said Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, director of Las Cruces Academy.

There are 27 students enrolled at Las Cruces Academy, a private school for gifted and academically advanced children where language, math and science are the focus.

"It's telling how well we did our Chinese because it's showing what we wrote," said Eliseo Chavez, 9, as he explains a welcome board at the school.

He's been learning about Chinese for two years.

"Like Chinese, when you say it, you have to say it with an accent," he said.

The academy only has six teachers and the largest class size holds 12 students. For now, the school is a K through 6, but plans are in the works to make it into a K through 12.

"My parents are mathematicians and they taught me to like Math so, I like all the numbers," said Susan Harding, 10, who loves Algebra and Geometry.

She's part of the first students who enrolled at the academy.

"This school is a lot of fun because it goes a little longer than other schools so, I feel like we get more time to learn and learning is just really fun for me," she said.

Every year, administrators plan to add a new school grade and with a capital campaign, they hope to acquire a new facility to hold its already growing student body.