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7-12
Public charter
Albuquerque, NM
Students enrolled: 450

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7801 Jefferson Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109

School website
(505) 998-1021
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Cottonwood Classical Prep address.

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February 09, 2014
This school started out as a wonderful place for life long learning 5 years ago. It soon became the norm to have 3 or 4 teachers that my child had leave during the school year. The school when from having a wonderful headmaster to a terrible principle to another principle who is out to make a name for himself the school is merely a launching pad. He cares very little for the students. The school has a lot of bulling and admin is aware of it but instead of dealing with the students involved the entire school gets reeducated on bulling which does nothing. Not a good school any longer.

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2014
I'm highly dissatisfied with this school. Let's start at the beginning. My daughter - 6th grade enrolled here. My son - 11th grade enrolled here (IB student) For my son, the 11th grader, school is okay. His IB Classes are highly challenging, making AP classes look like a cake walk! He has watched many of his friends transfer out of this school because of the academic rigor (which is no joke), but my son is very intelligent and despite the extremely challenging classes manages to maintain a B average. He has stated, although the students here are definitely click-ish, he said they are mature and very focused on academics. My daughter on the other hand is miserable here. Being a 6th grader is very challenging here for her. My biggest complaint is the teaching staff, which I would hardly call "teachers," as they haven't earned that title! They are impossible to communicate with, won't respond to letters, emails, or voice mails! They are simply "too busy,"... oh please! The academics are very challenging even in the middle school grades. I'm running out of room so I will just say that don't be surprised if your child is as miserable as mine if you select this school!

- submitted by a parent
January 24, 2014
I'm highly dissatisfied with this school. Let's start at the beginning. My daughter - 6th grade enrolled here. My son - 11th grade enrolled here (IB student) For my son, the 11th grader, school is okay. His IB Classes are highly challenging, making AP classes look like a cake walk! He has watched many of his friends transfer out of this school because of the academic rigor (which is no joke), but my son is very intelligent and despite the extremely challenging classes manages to maintain a B average. He has stated, although the students here are definitely click-ish, he said they are mature and very focused on academics. My daughter on the other hand is miserable here. Being a 6th grader is very challenging here for her. My biggest complaint is the teaching staff, which I would hardly call "teachers," as they haven't earned that title! They are impossible to communicate with, won't respond to letters, emails, or voice mails! They are simply "too busy,"... oh please! The academics are very challenging even in the middle school grades. I'm running out of room so I will just say that don't be surprised if your child is as miserable as mine if you select this school!

- submitted by a parent
November 04, 2013
We are in our second year at this school and agree with the following: It is an elitist atmosphere, not all children (nor families) are treated equally, some teachers are great - others brag about their high failure rates, there is very little diversity and it is blatantly obvious. Even though it's a free charter, money is constantly required for projects, books, uniforms, etc. leading to lower class families and minorities not being able to stay at the school. Teachers do not talk with parents (there are no parent conferences because "teachers don't have time"). The only way to communicate is through e-mail and most often teachers do not respond. Overall, we think this school believes they are doing a better job than they are. On the fence about staying. Class sizes have increased as well.

- submitted by a parent
September 16, 2013
Finally, Albuquerque has a true IB prep school that is focused on helping kids find their way in the world, to give back with community service and to become open minded caring individuals. Our boys have experienced bullies at their previous schools, now they feel comfortable and safe in this environment of learning, no bullying or disruptive behaviors so that the teachers can actually spend time teaching and not being constantly distracted.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2013
The road to "success" at this school is paved by exclusion of diversity and over exploitation of staff.

- submitted by a community member
August 05, 2013
A lot here to offer the motivated student but CCPS continues to struggle in some areas. Our student completed the IB program, a grueling but comprehensive prep for college. Overall it was a positive experience for our family but we feel lucky. Unfortunately not all diploma candidates went into this spring's exams adequately prepared to pass. Most teachers were wonderful, but we experienced wildly fluctuating administrations/philosophies and extreme teacher turnover. During the critical 2 yr IB (11th-12th grade) program, our student started over with 4 new teachers out of 6 classes. Many teachers left the 1st 2 yrs too, sometimes mid-semester. Now that CCPS has moved to the new campus, hopefully the focus will move from fundraising back to academics. If your student is considering IB, I encourage you to first talk to as many former IB students/parents as you can so you'll know what to expect--it's absolutely not for everyone. I agree that the the social climate at CCPS can be quite insular--unfriendly to some parents and suffocating for students. A peculiar level of attention to things like the draconian dress code was frustrating with more important issues falling by the wayside.

- submitted by a parent
July 24, 2013
While I agree with others that have stated this school is difficult to get involved in as a parent and somewhat clicky with the adults, my son's educational experience overshadows this. He has gotten into trouble in previous years at his elementary school with other students and admin. Here he is excited about learning and is taught that he is responsible for his own education. I appreciate the way that the teachers do not belittle the children but treat them as young adults, which they are. I am very very happy about the education he receives. I do have to say I am disappointed by feeling a lack of community and trying to get involved and feeling like I can't be. Thus the reason for a 9 instead of 10.

- submitted by a parent
April 21, 2013
CCPS offers a very good liberal arts curriculum. If you want anything more than that (computer applications, technology, well-equipped labs, etc.), this is not the place. If your child is an over-achiever or your family can afford to donate mega $, she ll be treated like royalty. If not, she ll still have access to a good education but as a second-class citizen. Teachers are well-qualified. Most are wonderful, but some are clueless when it comes to relating to adolescents. The school seems to be losing sight of its mission and becoming extremely institutionalized. Instead of encouraging children to be individuals, they are forcing them to fit into a very restrictive mold. Students are encouraged (and even threatened) to snitch on their peers, over the smallest infraction. While this may aid the administration in keeping the upper hand, it fosters deep resentments among the students. The administration consists of bullies who have no respect for the students as people (unless they fit the mold). The teacher turnover rate has been alarming. As I said, most are wonderful, but I think they get fed up with the small-minded, elitist, control freaks in the administration.

- submitted by a parent
January 28, 2013
My girls are finishing their second year. Classes are small, teachers care and are engaged. Unlike other schools my children have been in, class time is not wasted on disciplining other children. The girls seem to be challenged but not stressed or overwhelmed.

- submitted by a parent
January 22, 2013
Our family homeschooled our children before sending our children to Cottonwood. their commitment to academic rigor is top notch! The popularity and name recognition of the school grows daily and I am proud to tell my friends and neighbors my children are educated at CCPS!

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2012
The people running Cottonwood are elitest, uncompromising and rigid who do not want anybody at their school who might not be the ubiquitious shiny pennie. News for Cottonwood Staff: people like Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchhill and Thomas Edison would all have been rejected by this school if they had been judged by their early endeavors. But, if you think education should be oppressive, grueling, boring and ordinary, this is the school for you and your kids.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2012
It is an amazing school where everyone gets a great education. The school has a wonderful IB program, although it is rigorous, it will truly be of help. The school is close and in the beginning I knew everyone in the whole school but since the school is quickly growing in students you only get to know your own grade. If your child is problematic and drama occurs much you might what to stay away due to the fact everyone is too close-knit to ignore each other. Classes are good and small but sometimes the schedules have problems at the beginning of the year but soon they will fix it. Throughout the years the school has been growing and the IB begins in 11th grade (All other grades are in preparation for IB). This year has been our first Homecoming and we're looking forward to the school's new campus and newest additions. Though many people have complained about our school- the school is continuously growing and learning how to be a great charter school. Our school is one of the top schools SAT's etc etc etc.

- submitted by a student
May 31, 2012
This is our first year at CCPS. We are wonderfully pleased with most everything. A sum-what minor thing we have some difficulty with is that they are not very welcoming & although they try to be a community they don't quite pull it off. Somewhat cliquish amongst the adults. If they do not know you they are not very out going & treat you very hmm stern I guess. Want to immediately see your ID & will not allow any body beyond the desk. I understand safety for children but come on there is a happy & safe balance. Maybe we were spoiled at our old school where there were almost 200 students but yet the staff knew who you were, often by name, & families knew each other. This also made volunteering so much easier. Other than that we are very happy.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2012
This school is very unethical. I won't be enrolling my daugher again next year. Most teachers are great! PE teacher is cruel. We are happy with the friends she has made this year but we will be seeking a school without nepotism.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2012
I really couldn't be happier. My kids have GREAT friends, the classrooms are small, academics great and the bar goes up every year. I really feel confident my children will be ready for college after CCPS. That is what it is really all about.

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2011
This has to be my favorite school of all time: The classes are small, at about 14 to 20 students in each, so that after one month, you know almost everyone in the school, teachers and students. The classes can be quite difficult, but that's what makes them fun for us, and of course, anyone is willing to help you with as much as much as they can. I love that there is no cafeteria, because we get to sit outside and eat on the unique and beautiful campus, which is right next to the bosque (we go inside during bad weather though). Our classes are just awesome, with great teachers that can teach according to everyone's needs and accommodate anyone that may have fallen behind, or challenge the most advanced students in a way that keeps them learning, no matter their level. The students are respectable and kind, and you would never see someone discriminating against another person for any reason. If someone is being inappropriate or discriminate to another, a warning is given, and with another offence, depending on the severity, they are usually taken from the school and asked not to return. Our principal situation has been shaky over the years, but we are currently at a great one.

- submitted by a student
September 21, 2011
Our family is very, very happy with CCPS! Our son is in his third year there, and is learning and growing in his analytical thinking skills, writing abilities, and knowledge base by leaps and bounds. We are so pleased, too, with the fact that the school is a welcoming place for students who might be a bit different from the 'norm,' or who have differences in behavior or learning abilities. Diversity is appreciated and celebrated, and that is something we value tremendously. The school's new director is outstanding, and we couldn't be happier with the job he's doing thus far! Excellent hiring decision!! Overall, a wonderful school, and a wonderful experience for our family.

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2011
My son is in his fourth year at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School and we couldn't be more happy on all levels. Our son always struggled with focus, being still, and being respectful of the teacher's efforts. In the last three years at the school, he has found his voice, confidence, and now respects the role of the teachers and adults at the school. He went from being sent to the principal's office every year of elementary school to being 8th grade class president and getting good grades. We thank those who dedicate so much to the students of CCPS and look forward to our future with them.

- submitted by a parent
June 23, 2011
My child will be in 7th grade after completing 6th grade at CCPS. He has never struggled until this year. He realized he had to focus on his work, pay attention to detail and spend the time to complete projects to the best of his ability. This school does not accept mediocre attempts which I love! Yes, there are bumps, but the potential of this school is there and I'm willing to put the work into the school to make it the very best school for my son.

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2011
This has been our first year at the school. Very challenging for our children but they have risen to the occasion. The vision of the school is amazing and they way the students learn is even more amazing; padeia, IB, Socratic discussion. Really making the children think and use their verbal skills. The school is very new and predictably has had some changes and growing pains but my children are happy and I am happy and we plan on continuing at the school. Worth looking into.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2011
We have been at the school since the beginning. First year my student struggled (having been APS trained), second year was a turning point, and now this year he is rising to the top. I am so incredibly proud of him, and honestly feel we made the best decision. I am undoubtedly certain he will be ready for college, and will be very successful. The school has been through some bumps, is currently going through some bumps. However there is a very strong group of amazing teachers, students, and parents that are the backbone of this school and will pull through.

- submitted by a parent
April 11, 2011
We have been at the school since the beginning. Despite the chaos, we've stayed because of the other children and parents. The academics are good and in the third year, better than they have been. Teachers are better than ever. But we must face the reality of leaving the school because the math and science in the HS will not be what we need to get our child into a top college of choice. The IB program isn't yet up to par. I wish we could stay, but like many other families, we will have to leave and finish the HS years somewhere else. We aren't leaving because of the academic "rigor." It isn't an incredibly challenging school at all. We just wish there was more attention paid to really challenging math and science classes. We also wish the school were more welcoming to parents in ways other than having them come and do work at the school.

- submitted by a parent
April 07, 2011
This school is wonderful and first rate. The new Executive Director is fantastic and in really improving the school and getting rid of any chaos that remained from our old Executive Director. The academic schedule is rigorous and difficult, and is a real challenge. I highly encourage anyone thinking about entering the lottery next year, or any teachers thinking about working for CCPS to do so.

- submitted by a student
March 31, 2011
We have been here since the beginning. We have been very happy with the school, with the rigor of the curriculum, the dedication of the faculty, and the current leadership. It has been through its growing pain, and things have not always been easy, with changes, chaos, and a divided faculty... Leadership change has not been smooth, but I truly believe that we are moving into a more stable, better phase of growth, and look forward to this school finally making the map! The fact that several faculty members left this year was a necessary step toward a more positive and unified front. Many wonderful, dedicated and experienced faculty members remain, and they are to be applauded for being there for their students, not leaving for their own selfishness. I agree that this school is selective in its student population, and is catering to the subgroup of students who have a curious mind and love to learn. Not every school fits every child, and this is not any different. This has been an amazing learning environment for my kids, as well as a nurturing place for them.

- submitted by a parent
March 30, 2011
Response to 2/8 parent review. 3 different leaders: Only 3rd year, so personnel flux inevitable. Students from 120 to 240 to 380. Faculty from 8 to19 to >30. CCPS evolving and many LOVE being part of the evolution. Paideia, IB, college prep school turning out real thinkers. 3 teachers resigned: School of choice=faculty take stock of charter and decide whether good fit for long haul. Instructors leave: 5 of first 8 instructors still at CCPS. Great teachers predictably come and go. Academic focus changed: Stylistic differences among faculty account for shifts between didactic, project-based and Socratic instruction. Paideia system allows for this. Teachers ARE using project-based instruction. Greek, Latin & art: 2 Greek teachers, 1 left. 4 sections of Latin; IB Latin new next year. All 6, 7, 8 grades have art; also a thriving IB art class. No upper classes: 30 6th graders needed higher math, so 2 new sections of 7th grade math on 6th grade campus. Watered down: 15-to-1 teacher/student ratio assures each student is known and served. Program is for students who are college bound and want rigor. Overflowing wait list. CCPS a gift to public ed. My kid mid-range and THRIVING.

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2011
I love this school and am looking forward to joining the IB program. I like that the students at CCPS get individual attention from the teachers, something that would never be experienced in a public school. Also, we are very close to many teachers. It's great that we know that the teachers actually care about our succeeding in school, and later on, in life. I have to say that some of the teachers are really, REALLY awesome, and others are just average, but I like all of them. I get annoyed, as well as, sad, though, like the majority of my fellow classmates, that teachers leave in the middle of the quarter, semester, etc. We are not given a chance to say good bye or at least get a reason for their departure. The students here come back to school Monday and are told that the teacher will no longer be here. I hope this will change, but overall, I believe that I am receiving the best quality of education that a public school here can offer.

- submitted by a student
March 21, 2011
I am very happy that my children have gotten into this wonderful school. The project based curriculum really works great. My kids don't notice how much they are learning. The administration focuses on maintaining an excellent education for our children.

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2011
There are loads of charter schools to choose from in and around Albuquerque and I am glad we chose CCPS. It may not be for everyone but it is perfect for us!

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2011
My kids have been at the school from the beginning. A small community, the kids are so close it is wonderful to see. Yes It has its growing pains, as any new school will. BUT The class size isn't 30, and this is the closest you will get to a private education from a public school. My kids love this school. They wouldn't want to go any place else.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2011
For their third year in existence, I am quite impressed. If something is not working, they fix it. That does mean changes to classes, but what is worse would be sticking with something that isn't working. The school has doubled in size for the last three years, meaning double the staff every year. Teaching, and especially teaching IB and Paideia is not for everyone. Also a college prep school, it is a rigorous program and not for everyone, that is the beauty of charter schools! You find what fits your child. My kids LOVE this school. It is a wonderful community, and we feel very fortunate to have been chosen in the lottery.

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2011
I'm a high school student here. I'm really happy that I chose to go here because of the IB program. I know that college will be easy (and easy to get into) after going through such an academically rigorous program. IB is similar to AP in that you get lots of credit for college, but the learning process is different--IB focuses on developing critical thinking habits and global perspectives. All of the teachers are extremely knowledgable about their subject and really love teaching, and are very invested in the students' progress. The administration has been a bit shaky, with a few different principals and lots of schedule changes, but growing pains are expected in any new school. There aren't a lot of students, but most get along well and there are very few outsiders. It's not dorky to be smart; it's normal to see people working on homework at lunch together or reading a novel in between classes. Overall, this school is great.

- submitted by a student
February 08, 2011
The school has had three different leaders in 5 months- and the current principal makes erratic decisions. Three teachers have resigned in one month, and it seems that most of the experienced instructors will be leaving at the end of the year. The academic focus has changed from hand-on projects based learning to long lectures with note taking. They used to offer Greek and Latin, & art and the ability to take upper classes, but now it is a watered down program. Very sad, we will move our daughter to another school. In 6th grade they changed her schedule more than five times in one semester : (

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2011
IB College Prep schools typically are academically rigorous; this school is no exception. There's no basketball team, or football team. No cheerleaders. Electronic communication is the primary mode of information sharing with parents. The school has huge potential. A great vision for the future: quality of a private school education in a public school.

- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2011
I have high hopes for this school. They have a great vision, but are struggling to reach their goals. My son is a 6th grader, and he loves it -- he's very happy is doing well. The teachers he's had have been great, and most are very responsive. My biggest concern is the "growing pains" they're experiencing. They expanded their 6th grade class and have had to adjust schedules and programs several times to meet the needs of kids and teachers. Communication about these changes has been somewhat delayed (I hear more from my son than from administration about changes and cancellations of programs) which makes it difficult know what's going on. Many emails and phone calls go unanswered. Frustrating, but we're hanging in there because we see the potential, he's doing great, and he's happy.

- submitted by a parent
April 20, 2010
This school has great potential...that is just not being met. The administration doesn't seem to be communicating with each other, much less with the parents. There is a HUGE turnover in staff, it is so bad the teachers don't even wait to leave at the end of the year, they leave in the middle of the semester. My son has had two PE teachers, two science teachers, and three math teachers this year alone. If your child excels in school, they will do well here, if your child is average, or has any learning disabilities at all they will be overlooked, ignored, and even bullied, by the teachers and administrators! Their intention is to be elite and to weed our all the underachievers, and with the amount of students leaving at the end of this year, it appears they have succeeded.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 15, 2010
CCPS is a great school with small class size and awesome teacher who care about their students and quality education. It has also recently qualified for International Baclaureate Eduacation for 11th and 12th grades.

- submitted by a parent
no rating January 25, 2010
This school would be a better school if the staff could learn how to relate to the parents with out an elitist attitude. The teachers have issues with relateing to real life and are more interested in their agenda than educating the students. This school has great potential but will need to know about how students, no matter how smart, or unique, relate at the different age levels. ie high school students are just that not yet college and this school should recognize college is a goal not a place the children are in now.

- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2010
My son is in his second year at CCPS and we love it. This school keeps him challenged yet impowers him to be involved in the quality of his education.

- submitted by a parent
January 15, 2010
My son is in his second year at CCPS and we love it. It challenges him and has helped him become a more involved learner when it comes to his eduction.

- submitted by a parent
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Cottonwood Classical Prep
7801 Jefferson Street NE, Albuquerque, NM  87109
(505) 998-1021
Last modified Cottonwood Classical Prep is a Charter school that serves grades 7-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Cottonwood Classical Prep Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 40 reviews. Top