Two Rio Rancho schools are among only four in the State of New Mexico recently recognized for the ongoing quality of their bilingual and multicultural education programs.
Puesta del Sol Elementary School and Rio Rancho High School received New Mexico Public Education Department Bilingual Multicultural Education Program Excellence Awards at a ceremony in the State Capitol rotunda. The award is given for maintaining consistent performance over the course of multiple years. The other two honorees in this category are from the Gadsden and Deming districts in southern New Mexico.
Puesta del Sol, with a student population that is nearly three-quarters minority and is 66% Hispanic, is especially known for its dual-language programs where students learn in both English and Spanish. The school encourages active parent participation in student learning and invites parents to act as full partners in making school decisions that affect children and families. Puesta del Sol also earned a program award in 2014, recognizing the excellence of its dual-language programs.
Rio Rancho High’s bilingual and multicultural programs are geared towards helping students to improve reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills through the study of language, literature, and composition. The program also emphasizes knowledge of Hispanic culture and reinforcing and expanding students’ knowledge of their home language as well as English. Ultimately, in addition to becoming proficient in their academic studies, the aim is that students be bilingual and bi-literate.