Albuquerque Academyreview by Harvard University student. Albuquerque Academy provides students with a rigorous yet socially amenable education. Students are strongly encouraged to work to their fullest potential, however, they are stressed to do so without competitive connotations. The amount of competition that exists within the student body is dependent on the students alone, and not on the staff. The general ambiance initiated from the faculty and administration is very pleasant and user-friendly. While diligence is key to success at the Albuquerque Academy, competition between colleagues is not. The strengths of Albuquerque Academy are primarily academic. Classes at the Academy are all honors-level or higher. Beginning freshman year, students can choose from a well rounded pool of courses to enroll in, while fulfilling a general education requirement. Many teachers have been teaching at Academy for well over fifteen years, while some have been around for up to 40 years. The wide array of courses cover nearly every high school subject and beyond, ranging from a strong visual arts program to an excellent college expository writing program within the English department. An entire building is devoted to the sciences, while another is devoted to the visual arts, and yet another holds thousands of books as the school library. The average class size is around 16. The Albuquerque Academy strives to live up to this expectation. Teacher-student interaction is crucial to an education from the Academy. Teachers are very accessible to every student, and almost always develop a relationship with every student in each class they conduct. Each class covers topics in a wide variety of methods, including exams, discussions, lectures, projects, readings, and research. Exams and test-taking do not play an overwhelming role at the Academy, although students do usually take two exams per class, along with regular testing throughout the year. The Academy espouses having a broad education, and for this reason does not base everything on scores and grades. The school advocates a well-rounded education, and pushes students to step outside of the box, and outside of the comfort zone. The average daily life for a student is somewhat predictable. For the most part, classes meet everyday, and in the same order each day, with the exception of one "off-period" or "free-period" per class per week. Students are required to eat at specific times in the designated dinning halls on campus, with the exception of seniors who are allowed to eat off campus once a week. Each year students receive schedules based on what they chose to take the previous year. However, students have the freedom to alter these schedules as they wish, usually met with a positive response from the scheduling office.
One major theme at Academy is diversity. In fact, an entire day at Academy is called "Diversity Day". On this day, students celebrate diversity by holding booths, presentations, food, music, and more all over the campus. This day is open to visitors, and required for all students to attend. Students of every background attend the Academy. This is possible to due the enormous endowment it possesses. Students feel safe and secure at the Academy. For the most part, the campus is closed to outsiders during the day. The dinning hall prepares all of its own food, and serves lunch to everybody every day. Although many students naturally tend to get bored with the food and routine, it is still high-end. The school has its own natatorium, housing a competition racing pool, a recreational/diving pool, a basketball court, and a wrestling room, along with locker rooms and bathrooms throughout the entire facility. The school's main gym houses a wrestling room, two racquetball courts, a state of the art weight room, a spectator-friendly basketball court, and an auxiliary basketball court. The science center at the academy holds many classrooms dedicated to the physical sciences, along with multiple laboratories, fully stocked with a large range of supplies and equipment.
Albuquerque Academy has many clubs, teams, groups, and organizations. Students are also free to form their own official clubs, provided they clear them through the school first. Students can help the community through various community service programs, enjoy food and culture in the many foreign language clubs, play sports on many different levels, and much more. Students are generally required to be involved in at least one or two physical activities throughout the course of the year. They are encouraged to try out clubs as well, such as Science Bowl, Amnesty International, The Gay Straight Alliance, and more. To help push the students in the right direction, the Academy requires all students to complete at least 2 community service projects every year. Projects can be found easily through the program offered at the school. Of the many sports offered at Albuquerque Academy, cross country has probably been the most successful in recent years. The team has consistently been ranked among the top in the nation for years now. Track and Field is very competitive, as well as the Swim team which has one more state titles than any team in the state of New Mexico. Academy also has a very large tennis team that practices on twelve on-campus courts. Football, soccer, basketball, softball, and baseball are also fairly popular.