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GreatSchools Rating

Desert Academy

Private | 6-12 | 200 students

Our school is best know for its caring, compassionate faculty/staff.

 

Living in Santa Fe

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $377,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $910.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 5 ratings
2012:
No new ratings
2011:
No new ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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School Official Point of View

Posted January 21, 2014

We take seriously any postings that show Desert in a negative light, as any school would. We always invite parents to meet with our Head of High School or Head of Middle School if there are concerns about a particular class or teacher's style, and we seek resolution for all parties. To say that we have an "open door" policy is an understatement! Come visit and you'll see.

10 reviews of this school


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Posted December 18, 2013

Desert Academy was a great school a few years ago. Many faculty members left the school at the same time and with them went Desert's heart and soul. The facilities are horrible. There is no gym, no field, and no library. They do not have adequate funds to seek excellent well trained teachers. They are very disorganized on many levels. The middle schoolers have no recess or break time, excluding a vey quick lunch. My son has learned next to nothing so far this year in the middle school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 16, 2013

Desert Academy could be a great school, but it isn't. Two of our kids went there. Some faculty members are wonderful. Some are terrible. Far too many are terrible given the tuition which is quite pricey. The biggest problem is the administration which is clueless and inept, from the Headmaster on down. Problems are never solved. They are ignored. Plus, if you complain, they take it out on your kids sooner or later. The IB program would be great if the school could ever figure out what it is all about. But they can't. The IB administrators are just as inept as the Headmaster. It's better than some of the other choices in Santa Fe, but that's not saying much.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 20, 2013

Desert Academy is an excellent school. They honor all children for who they are and allow them to be themselves. They provide an excellent education, guiding children to be independent thinkers capable of learning anything they put their minds to. I appreciate the recognition that Desert has for the importance of a balance of school, homework, extra curriculars/sports and also family life and social life. I want my children to understand the value of this kind of balance in life as we move through all stages. Desert accepts all children with all abilities into the various sports the school offers, with a no cut policy- sports for the fun of sports. The Head of School is great and I recognize him as a person who strongly respects children for who they are at all stages of their lives and treats them as human beings. My daughter is going into her 3rd year at Desert Academy and I plan to send my son to Desert as well!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 10, 2013

The weak leadership (administration) at this school is what hurts it. The Headmaster is not strong as an educator or a businessman. The admissions person is rude and not on top of many educational issues. Teachers, for the most part, are strong and have an excellent connection with the students. This school has always had a reputation for behavioral issues and this past year (2012-13) was particularly bad with virtually no disciplinary actions at all. The International Baccalaureate Program is top-notch and the Middle Years Program (affiliated with IB) will be as well if they ever understand it. The grading system is a mess. I could never really understand how my child was doing. The English Department is weak with almost no writing required.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 2, 2013

I have two daughters who have attended Desert Academy. My eldest daughter has graduated, and is an honors student in college. My second daughter will graduate from Desert Academy this year. During her time at Desert, she has matured and flourished intellectually with the support of challenging, engaging and compassionate teachers. The administration, teachers and students at Desert Academy respect and support each student's unique talents and interests. Overall, the students are kind to each other.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 15, 2010

This school likes to shine students on into thinking they are the greatest. The problem with this is, the students (including mine) have no idea that the real world is actually academically challenging. My student has the highest grades in all classes, but hasn't learned much, almost never has homework and is only used to a low number of students in the grade. The school is more focused on trips to be paid for (and that's time not in school) than schoolwork. Recently, my child took a state test and did horribly in the subject, though the classroom grade at Desert is an "A". This has happened with all classes, but one. The principal isn't very good. l If you want to pay money to shine your child on and not have a true education that will prepare for the real world and college, go to Desert in Santa Fe.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 28, 2009

Desert Academy is an IB World School with the best academic program in the state!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 4, 2009

I think Desert Academy is a good school. But i don't like the fact that you have to pay just to do a sport.


Posted March 2, 2007

The faculty & staff at Desert is amazing! I'm confident that my child is getting a top notch education, and is constantly inspired in his classes. He is actually excited to go to school & comes home & talks forever about the exciting things he's learning. Couldn't recommend it more highly!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 24, 2006

A fantastic alternative to the other public and private schools in Santa Fe for students that want to follow their passion.
—Submitted by a former student


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 80% 26%
Hispanic 12% 59%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 3% 1%
Black 3% 2%
Two or more races 2% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 10%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school Wood-Gormley
Rio Grande School
El Dorado
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
College counselor(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Math specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Tutor(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Mathematics
  • Technology
Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Performing arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing and written arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Gifted / high performing
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
School leaders can update this information here.

School basics

School Leader's name
  • Terry Passalacqua
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
Gender
  • Coed
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Nonsectarian
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (505) 992-8270

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • College prep
  • Gifted / high performing
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Project-based
  • STEM
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Foreign languages
  • Global
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Performing arts
  • Service learning
  • Technology
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Foreign languages taught
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • French
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • College counselor(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Math specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Poetry/Creative writing teacher(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Tutor(s)
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Diving
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Diving
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Vocal lessons / coaching
Performing arts
  • Creative writing
  • Drama
  • Improv
Media arts
  • Computer animation
  • Technical design and production
  • Video / Film production
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

Submit your application by

February 03, 2014

 
 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


2 out of 10students were accepted for the 2013-2014 school year.


Students accepted for the 2013-2014 school year
70
Applications received for the 2013-2014 school year
300
Students typically come from these schools
Wood-Gormley
Rio Grande School
El Dorado

What does it cost?

Vouchers accepted
Yes
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Outside scholarships
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

7300 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Website: Click here
Phone: (505) 992-8284

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