NACA - Breakthrough School for 2017
Native American Community Academy (NACA), an Albuquerque Public School District Charter School, joins 26 middle level and high schools redesignated as one of the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ (NASSP) 2017 Breakthrough Schools. NASSP recently evaluated each of these schools, originally recognized between 2011 and 2014, and determined that they have sustained their student achievement rates since their initial recognition.
Established in 2007, NASSP’s Breakthrough Schools program recognizes middle level and high schools that serve large numbers of students in poverty and are high achieving or demonstrate dramatically improving student achievement. Schools are selected based on documented success in implementing strategies aligned with the three core areas of Breaking Ranks II, including collaborative leadership; personalization; and curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
NACA is proud to be honored for the improvements our school continues to make. The most notable in the past four years include increasing graduation rates, especially among male Native American students, who are some of the most at-risk students nationally in terms of 4-year completion rates. NACA’s graduation rate for young men improved 20% over the past four years. NACA’s College Engagement program is also growing: more than 80% of seniors last year took a dual credit course, receiving both high school and college credit; and 100% of graduating seniors apply to a post-secondary program, and to at least ten scholarship opportunities to help reduce financial barriers to college entry. Our graduates have attended some of the most prestigious institutions in the nation, such as Brown University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Williams College, and Yale University.
A major part of NACA’s success is its integrated curriculum that combines culture, community, and a holistic wellness philosophy with rigorous academics. NACA seeks to develop the next generation of leaders, and to this end, it offers students many opportunities to hone their leadership and professional skills. NACA students participate in leadership and service learning trips throughout their academic careers to places such as Washington D.C., language and culture camps in South Dakota, experiential trips overseas (seniors have traveled to New Zealand and Hawaii to learn about indigenous culture), and college visits. NACA’s programs incorporate community presentations, open houses, guest speakers, cultural events, and mentoring for students in all grades, after school, and during summer months. Students also commit to a semester of service learning with community organizations during their junior year. All of these experiences support students in developing into adults with valuable professional skills, a comprehensive worldview, and as leaders in the national Native landscape.
About Native American Community Academy
Native American Community Academy was founded in 2006 as a tuition-free, public charter school and one of the first urban academies to support language, culture, health, and college preparation for Native youth. The 400-member student body is 95% Native American and represents more than 60 federally recognized tribes. The school serves grades K-1 and 6-12 (the elementary school is new and will add a grade each year until NACA serves K-12). NACA is the flagship school for the NACA Inspired Schools Network, which is a movement of community-led and designed schools across New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota that provide an academically excellent and culturally relevant education.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high-quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.