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Sunset Mesa Schools

Private | PK-5 | 475 students

We are best known for academic success and values.

 
 

Living in Albuquerque

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $211,600. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $780.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 5 ratings
2013:
Based on 4 ratings
2012:
Based on 9 ratings
2011:
Based on 20 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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57 reviews of this school


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Posted May 1, 2014

This school encourages and rewards parents to post all these positive comments. I would suggest you check out the school yourself. Notice the grounds are not well kept. Many of the teachers are not certified. Ask about ages. The kids are often held back a year, in pre-first or preschool so they are a year older and thus test better. My kids went to school here, I must tell you I spent a great deal of time re-teaching the course work at home because they were so busy with their musicals. It seemed like most the kids had private tutors to keep up with the work that wasn't taught well. They teach by memorizing! There are many good schools in Albuquerque, this one is not worth the money!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 28, 2014

We have kids in elementary and preschool and could not be more pleased with the quality of the academic instruction here. We are maybe even more pleased with the "positive discipline" that both campuses practice and which we have adopted in our home. Our kids are very different from one another, but Sunset Mesa has worked to find ways to reach them both. They are both happy to go to school, empowered and confident as a result of all they have learned, and keenly aware of what it means to be a part of a community. We absolutely love Sunset Mesa. Nonetheless, because we are not wealthy, we tried an Albuquerque public school -- one very highly rated on this site -- for a little over a semester. We came away from that experience absolutely convinced that Sunset Mesa is worth every (sometimes scraped together!) penny.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 7, 2014

Sunset Mesa is by far the best school in Albuquerque! The owners are there everyday and treat everyone like family! We are proud to be part of the Sunset Mesa Family!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 28, 2014

Wow, wow!! We love Sunset Mesa, from the director, office staff, to teachers, parents and students. In 2013 we joined SSM and what a fantastic experience! After a long move from Michigan we worried about finding the right school for our 4 year old boy and sunset has provided us not only with an excellent place where our son goes to obtain academic achievement but a school where we feel like family. every day my sons jumps out of bed asking if it is school day and I don't blame him, for feeling this way. SSM is a place where he goes to learn not only through textbooks but also real hands on experiences. I cannot believe how much he has achieved in the last few months. Is absolutely amazing to see how everyone takes the time to know you and your kids, you are not just a number but a specific individual. Here everyone is given detailed attention, from the quiet one to the rowdy one. I feel they work with every family to bring each child to their potential. This is a school with academic success, social interaction and excellent expectations. Discipline is followed by responsiveness,supervision and age appropriate problem solving. Thanks SSM, looking forward to the next 5 years.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 20, 2014

My son is a senior in high school this year. He currently attends a fabulous, local private school. As we prepare for college plans I have been thinking about the wonderful academic opportunities he has had. This all started at Sunset Mesa where we nervously enrolled him for preschool. From the beginning, Sunset Mesa was remarkable. The preschool teachers were kind, well-trained, structured, and fun! We then moved to the other campus to enjoy kindergarten through fifth grade. Again, the teachers were excellent, the opportunities were endless and the friends my son made at Sunset Mesa are still his best friends today. They all come from wonderful families who agreed that the investment of small class sizes, like minded-students, and an enriching curriculum were worth it. The owners of this school are incredibly kind and generous. THANK YOU Sunset Mesa for giving my son a solid academic foundation, confidence, and for instilling a love for learning. We will always be thankful to you.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 2, 2013

This school is truly the worst school experience our family has ever had. There are some great teachers here, BUT the administration, board members and attitudes are elitist, judgemental, out of touch and dismissive. This may sound like a biased review, but it is not. It is an educated review. We had our currently bright and successful daughter enrolled there and left in horror less than a year later. Communication is abysmal. The majority of serious complaints are dismissed as "not being onboard with our program". Over the years I continue to hear horror stories of the damage that this school environment inflicts upon otherwise bright and driven children. I personally know of several professional successful families who left this school and were left trying to repair their children's subsequent apprehension about school for years after. When we moved out of state to an excellent school district, we found that the neighborhood public schools FAR exceeded the education, support and results of this private school. Imagine they are a self-hyped monopoly in a district that struggles with funding, because that is what they are. That makes the board and admin elitist. Unfounded. Beware.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 22, 2013

Sunset Mesa is a stellar school. I have had two daughters graduate from SMS and my third child is now in 2nd grade at SMS, this is his 6th year attending. He tested in the top 4% Nationally on his standardized tests last year thanks to the top notch teachers and staff at Sunset Mesa. I have had the blessing of two of my three children getting the gift of time and having the opportunity of attending pre-first grade. A true bonus that most schools don't offer. The teachers are amazing and the school community is one I am proud to be apart off. SMS offers many enrichment classes; my son's favorite is Spanish. I give Sunset Mesa two thumbs up and would highly recommend the school to others in the community. The best elementary school in the state by far! The owners love and care about each and every student. Class sizes are small and each student is given individualized attention.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 14, 2013

Success in private middle school placement varies significantly year-to-year. High teacher turnover rate. In attentive administration that can be erratic in decision making. If you need to see an administrator, be sure to make an appointment as they may not be present. Overall, teachers work hard to educate the children. Rumor is that tuition is negotiable.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 15, 2013

My son graduated from the sunset mesa program last year. This year he is a sixth grader at Albuquerque Academy. He was a first draft choice for Academy and I was told his scores were excellent. He was placed in advanced classes across the board and into 7th grade math at the beginning of term and then later tested for 8th grade math. Academy's first report card was the type of card every parent wishes for their child, and it made me so grateful to Sunset Mesa School. SMS equipped him with all the tools he needed to succeed in a challenging academic enviorment, from strong math skills and writing a proper paper to knowing how to work effectively in a group including time management skills. My son is a regular kid... he has my genes, so I know he didn't inherit a tremendous intelligence, but he has developed a strong love of reading, science, math and learning. All of which I attribute to SMS. While he was there I knew it was a great school, but now that he's moved on I can see that they went above and beyond my expectations. I strongly recommend Sunset mesa School for any child!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 23, 2012

I have been a parent for 6 years at SMS. I currently have 3 children attending the school, from preschool on up. I am continually impressed by the teachers dedication to their students. The principal and administration have strong leadership qualities. My children are well-cared for and are always being challenged academically by the pace and curriculum of the school. I am sure that my children are receiving a strong foundation for the future.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 28, 2012

This is the best elementary and preschool. It has outstanding teachers, small class sizes and the our kids love going to school. Our kids have scored in the 95% of National standardized tests each year. I know they are better prepared to handle any academic or social challenges because of the dedication on the part of the teachers and staff at this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 24, 2012

Sunset Mesa is a great school. Wonderful students, faculty, staff and families. My daughter received the best education available in Albuquerque, period. The best time spent from pre-school through 5th grade. I was shocked to see any negative comments at all for this school. All of them must be written by one disgruntled person or someone just out to slam this school for warped reasons. I would not give those comments a second thought. Anyone interested in providing their child the best possible education in ABQ should just go and see for themselves. Seeing is believing. And their success record stands for itself.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 11, 2012

My child did not have a positive experience at this school. The factors that I've attributed to this were, in part, the very cold and highhanded administration, teachers who behave as if they have to pander to the "elite" parents to the detriment of the others, mostly entitled kids, and subpar faciltiies. I was paying for my child to receive a top notch education that would meet her individual needs. I did not receive this. I am glad that my family is done with this school. If I had to do it all over again, I'd look at the competition, including the other private or parochial schools, or even my local public school. On another note, I am saddened, but not surprised, that an earlier parent reviewer made the statement that all of the "negative complaints are unfounded, most likely (made by) parents who had kids with learning or behavior issues." Wow! These reviews are made by individuals who speak of their INDIVIDUAL experiences! How can someone claim that another's personal experiences are unfounded. This attitude prevailed for our duration at this school. Buyer beware!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 24, 2012

I came across this website by accident, but I thought I'd leave my observations for prospective parents. First, kids who push, hit, kick, bite, etc, are asked to leave, sometimes very abruptly. And, usually the parents are understandably very upset about it and I imagine that the staff looks pretty cold and callus in their eyes. Second, the school is academically challenging and if your child can't keep up, or is disruptive to the class, they may be asked to leave. But usually, you'll see this coming after being called in for endless meetings with the staff. I've seen some parents call it quits just to avoid the meetings. Remember that a lot of the parents are PhD scientists and engineers at the labs or doctors, lawyers, etc. and some of the teachers are naturally a bit intimidated by this and it can make them seem a little cold but they warm up pretty quick if you take the initiative to talk to them. The public schools in the area have superior facilities, but have nearly twice the student to teacher ratio. And no child falls through the cracks here, unlike in some public schools. I'm happy with my choice.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 10, 2012

I think Sunset Mesa is a great school. As a fifth grade student, I feel like school's my second home. So, it's great to have a friendly environment with great academics. The only bad things I have to say about my school is that there's some favoritism going on. Sure that's great for the kids who are the favorites, but for kids like me, it's really not fair to not get the part you wanted in the school play, or something like that, just because you're not a favorite.


Posted March 19, 2012

We have had 3 children in this school, and been involved with it for 5 years, preschool and elementary. All the complaints I am reading are unfounded, most likely by parents whose kids had behavior or learning issues. One of our kids struggled academically coming here from a public school, and was offered tutoring by an outside source and his teacher. With the exception of one teacher, I felt my kids were very loved by their teachers. We are a family that struggles to keep our kids in private schools financially and feel no discrimination, and the school even helped us through a period of unemployment so that we wouldn't have to pull our kids. It is a closed campus, but all you have to do is ask and you can meet with anyone there and get involved. Most parents are wonderful, even to us "poor" parents. Kids will be asked to leave if they have behavior issues or can't handle the rigorous academics and I wonder if the parents here who are complaining are parents of those kids. I appreciate the fact that there are no serious behavior issues at this school due to that policy. My kids are very safe and loved at this school and thriving academically.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 7, 2012

It is unfortunate to read some of the negative comments here. My experience at Sunset Mesa has been outstanding. The faculty and staff have always been extremely open and supportive to me and my "non-Anglo" children. Academically, you could not ask for more. Sunset Mesa students continually place in the top 1% nationally on standardized tests. That speaks volumes about the quality of education. My children are in the best care at this school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 2, 2012

This school has good teachers, but a cold and callus administration. IT is highly religious, and do not seem to be able to tolerate non-anglo intact families. Diversity is lacking, as is empathy and genuine care for children's well being. They kicked my child out in the middle of the year without a reasonable explanation other than that he "needed to change within the next few days". How lacking is their understanding of children that they expect them to "change" in a few days? This is a school that is highly prejudiced and ignorant about the needs of children. I would not recommend wasting your time nor money here. I am regretful for having trusted them to care for my child.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 22, 2011

We moved to Albuquerque for just 1 year, and one of the highlights of living there was having our children attend Sunset Mesa Schools. Our boys attend PreK and PreSchool, and they loved every moment of it. I cannot praise this school enough. They welcomed our children to their wonderfully nurturing environment, they taught them with genuine care for their needs. The boys had fun every day, with an exellent outdoor play area. I recommend this school to anyone who is looking for a solid start to their child's education and social development, you won't do better!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 26, 2011

My child is currently enrolled at Sunset Mesa in the Preschool. I am having the same negative issues as some of the parents who have shared their concerns on this site. I came across this website as I was searching for a new preschool for my child. I too have issues with the staff being cold and unwelcoming. I also feel that sending my child to this school is more of a popularity contest with the parents than an actual school. In my experience, my child's teacher will not speak to me unless we are in a parent teacher meeting, but I see her speaking every morning to a select group of parents. It is not important to have a friendship with my child's teacher, but her conduct comes across as rude and uninterested. A simple "hello" in the morning would do. My concern is that my child gets this treatment at school by the teacher and staff as well. The staff as a whole seems very clickish and unwelcoming. Academically, I am not impressed. I feel that, after doing some research, there are several other schools in Albuquerque that are far better then Sunset Mesa. My child is very unhappy here and does not want to go to school in the morning. We are pulling our child.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 65% 26%
Hispanic 19% 59%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 11% 1%
Black 2% 2%
Two or more races 2% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 10%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Awards

Academic awards received in the past 3 years
  • National Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence (2007)

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Clubs
  • Gardening

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Student newspaper

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Gym
Clubs
  • Gardening

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Honors track
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • After school
  • Before school
School Leader's name
  • Alan and Debbie Mask
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NIPSA
Fax number
  • (505) 298-6132

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Accelerated credit learning
  • Honors track
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Resources

Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Computer
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Library
  • Playground
School leaders can update this information here.

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Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Painting
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Dance
  • Drama

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Gardening
  • Student newspaper
School leaders can update this information here.

School culture

Dress Code
  • Neither uniforms nor dress code
School leaders can update this information here.

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What does it cost?

Financial aid offered
Yes.

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Albuquerque Academy
Bosque School
Sandia Preparatory School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

3020 Morris Street Northeast
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Website: Click here
Phone: (505) 298-7626

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