I graduated a couple years ago from this school. Overall, it is an average school.There will always be good and bad teachers as well as good and bad students. The athletic departments always receive the bulk of funding, and I feel the fine arts should be better funded. I was in band and art classes. For band, we did our own funding, such as the craft fairs we held. I guess that helped develop humility in a sense. And our band program was stellar. We were outstanding during marching season, and state champs during concert season. Our art program wasn't too shabby either. Several students won awards for their work. I myself won $50 for a painting I did. Yet in my last years in painting classes, our teacher could barely afford paper towels (which believe me, we needed a lot of those). I'm not saying that atheletics shouldn't be funded, I'm just hoping that someday the fine arts department will get the share of the funding they deserve.
I have been saying this for years, La Cueva is the best high school in the state, bar none (not Academy, not Sandia Prep, not Pius). Nothing can compete with the level of AP academics at this school. Math and science are rigorous at AP level. Forget the liberal whining with elitism, social class, color of skin, blahblah, etc. I have worked in the schools in many New Mexico districts, and it is absolutely appalling (including the districts within an hour's drive from Albuquerque). Both of my kids graduated from Ivy League grad schools with masters and Ph.D. in engineering, and La Cueva set the stage for them in math and science. English department was corrupt back then, not sure about that department now. Anything would have been better than Coffey as principal back then.Your kids, if they have any intellectual/academic competency and motivation, are best at La Cueva if you are looking for rigorous, competitive. If they don't, send them elsewhere. As far as the "trailer kids" are concerned, if they can keep up academically, that's fine; usually they don't. AP classes weed out the "problem and inclusion" (SpEd) kids, and concentrate on the kids who want to learn and can learn.
I am a graduate of LCHS and a very proud alumni. Having now worked in other schools within the state I see that La Cueva deserves the recognition for excellence that it has earned. While at La Cueva, I was treated with respect by teachers, given many opportunities academically and extra curriculum wise that I see no where else in the state. I see several comments regarding politics, elitism, and the like and that is in every school in every city. La Cueva deserves the title of best in the state. The test scores are far above 99% of the schools in NM and the graduation rate is the second highest in the state as well. The fine arts department is first rate as is the athletic department. La Cueva wins more awards for music, athletics, science, math, etc than any other school in NM. You will not find a better high school in NM.
As for the person who posted regarding the economic segregation, that is incorrect. My daughter who graduated a couple of years ago had several classmates who lived in a trailer parks that were near La Cueva. Personally, I don't understand how the ones across the freeway were in LCHS district & homes that are about a mile from LCHS are in DNHS district.
As a student that just graduated from La Cueva, I am very glad that I was able to attend La Cueva for all four years, and then have the honor of placing in the top ten overall in my graduating class. I joined the band my freshman year, and I can say that you will make more friends from extracurriculars than from any other source. La Cueva may have its public relations problems, but as a whole, the student body does not participate in those nefarious activities. My experience with teachers varied, from having awful biology and chemistry teachers, but once you enter the AP-level classes, I never found a teacher that wasn't excellent. Also, it is worth taking summer P.E., Health, New Mexico History, Government, and Economics so that you may open up three more elective credits, which would aid you in gaining the foreign language experience many colleges now want. I feel that I am more than prepared for college, and that I may credit my teachers for helping to prepare me to attend a rigorous, out-of-state university.
La Cueva is a monument to economic segregation, thanks to a school board that won't allow kids to cross the street from a trailer park to go to the high school they can see from their front doors. That's not the school's fault, necessarily, but it is disgusting, and it's a reflection that perhaps it's not so much the teaching that is different than any other school but the proficiency of the kids coming in.
This school is overrated by the community... Our children went outside our school district to La Cueva based on the suggestion of the APS school district personnel. The school is too large for the staff to handle effectively and many kids fall through the cracks. The school is also plagued by drug problems and problems with its sports management. As military family, we've had our kids attend school in five different states and even more school districts. This is by far the worst. Our daughter thought she was basically repeating her coursework. NM schools are some of the worst in the country and even though La Cueva is rated as the best among them, it is a far cry from being a "great school". The curriculum does not challenge the kids and the teachers and staff display an arrogance and lack of honor and integrity that i haven't seen anywhere else. NM curriculum is well below the national average... You'll also find that athletics come before academics - not a recipe for success in today's world. If you care about your child's education and preparation for college and life beyond high school, don't put them in NM public schools and certainly don't send them to La Cueva.
In my opinion La Cueva is by far the best school in the state. Many of the characteristics that critics argue to be downfalls are exactly the opposite. Some teachers have favoritism but that is to be expected at any school and also is a large part in the real world. College and the work force often times play favorites which is no different than any other high school.The school's principal is harped on quite often for being too hard on students. La Cueva and all of the students are held to a higher standard than any other school which requires this kind of behavior from the faculty and administration. The atmosphere is competitive which encourages hard work and the staff encourages extra curricular activies which help in forming more well rounded people. Any high school will have pit falls but in my opinion La Cueva High School is the most well rounded state in the state.
Two of my children have attended LC, both unathletic self-described nerds. I didn't know that LC is considered a top athletic HS until I read it on the internet, and certainly my children found their niches. The band was a central EC in the first two years, while debate took over later. In regards to scholarship: 9th grade has a mandatory schedule that makes a lot of the classes a waste of time for advanced students. 'Honors' classes are not, really, and grade inflation is at least one whole point across the whole school. AP classes that I am familiar with include math, physics, chemistry, english, enviro science and history, vary in rigor and quality from average to really good. Chemistry, math, and history are stand-outs, although I am sad to say the brilliant history teacher will be retiring this year. Take AP tests for believable assessment.
Historically this school has top of the line everything compared to other schools in the city of Albuquerque. They are provided the tools to excel.
I go to LCHS and I think it is an incredible school. Yeah we have some problems, but overall academically it is incredible. Our FIne arts department and Band are also immaculate!
It's always interesting to read reviews of schools by people on the outside. Having been a teacher and also had two children that went through 7 years (total) of academic training at La Cueva, I made it a point to get to know as many teachers as possible and using former connections would sit in lunch meetings with science, math, english, foreign language, etc... I'm sure your aware that LCHS has one of the highest academic records in the state if not the highest. They have won more math, science bowl, knowledge masters, speech and debate titles, better SAT, ACT scores overall than any other school in the state. The JETS (Junior engineering) team was undefeated at a state level while they had one and went to nationals, as does DECA and their ROTC. So exactly what are you basing your assessments on?
By and large, the school is in need of improved leadership and improved academics. Teachers who have a passion for teaching and who promote encouragement and creative ways of learning would be welcome. This school is behind the times due to teachers and leadership who lack understanding of educational advances. Students at either end of the spectrum are not adequately supported .Easily successful students are simply not challenged. An equal emphasis should be placed on high expectations for both students and teachers. Teachers who poorly reflect teaching should be transferred out. Above all, a significant effort should be made for APS to provide more training for its teachers in special need areas that will promote understanding, communication and support for all types of students.
My child attends this school. Students are not welcoming to new kids, a common problem in this area of the city. There are many good and dedicated teachers, but overall, the education at LCHS suffers from the limited abilities of the principal. This school is not for thinkers. Conformity is everything here.
La Cueva is an excellent school overall. They have a nice mix of academics and extra curricular activities. The test scores are near the top of the city and their athletic teams are some of the most competetive in the state. My son has enjoyed the years he has spent there.
LCHS is a great school for the self-motivated, self-reliant student who excels without intervention. It is a great school for the athletically talented. It is the best school in Albuquerque. With that said and my experiences with education in other high achieving states, this school lacks in a some areas. Many Teachers do not return phone calls, neither does the staff. There are bias against by teachers that carry from teacher to teacher. The teacher rumor mill is very active. It is tough to get a fresh start there. The principal lacks a lot. There are some excellent education and athletic opportunities at LCHS for those that want it, but don't expect anyone to take an interest in your child unless they are already an achiever at this overcrowded school. They also over-react when a child errors the first time.
I have been attending LCHS since my freshman year. I am now a junior. I think that it is an excellent school in many areas. It boasts an impressive athletics record, as well as outstanding test scores. It is a clean, well kept building that houses it's students in complete safety. The staff provides a rigorous curriculum fit to prepare young and impressionable minds for the demands of life beyond the trying four year stretch . I have thoroughly enjoyed the gifted courses I have participated in. They are both intellectually stimulating and enriching. However, it does have faults, just as any other large establishment run by our government.
I'm not a parent, but I'm a LCHS alumni. I have to say my best memories for me were at LCHS. I had some of the best teachers that made a real impact on my life and the way things are taught. That's not to say that every teacher there is outstanding, but compared to other schools, I'm sure La Cueva has the assets that other schools in Albuquerque do not. It's a safe, clean, beautiful high school with more school spirit than you'd see at any other school in the nation. I take pride in being a 1999 graduate of LCHS, who wouldn't?
What distresses me about La Cueva is that it substitutes real learning with a kind of waterd down mass education. It seems to focus heavilly on standardized tests, statistics, and ratings. The art and literature departments are lacking. It is overcrowded and the atmoshpere is harsh, competitive, and littered with biases. Students judge each other based on looks and conspicuous consumption. Faculty is involved somewhat with students, yet teachers tend to display favoritism , especially towards those in athletic programs. The only reason any pupil has to attend this school is they are a wealthy athlete.
I have only been going to La Cueva a few months, and I love it! They have wonderful after school programs and great teachers. A lot of people judge La Cueva because they think that we are a big huge preppy school and that it is filled with rich kids, but that really isn't true. La Cueva is the best school in the state, weather you like it or not!
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