The Anahuacalmecac autonomous charter school design is founded upon Native cultural knowledge and intelligence.
We call this educational design MAIZE.
Anahuacalmecac provides students in our community an opportunity to overcome educational disadvantage with purposeful opportunity. For thirteen years, Semillas has provided students in historically disenfranchised communities of Los Angeles a college preparatory, student-centered, internationally-minded education.
Anahuacalmecac recruits families from the neighborhoods east of the Los Angeles River, from Boyle Heights to the boundaries of unincorporated East Los Angeles. Our schools attract families from the four directions of the Los Angeles basin. Often after a few years of attendance in our schools, parents have relocated from a previously distant neighborhood or city to be closer to their school of choice. Parents who originally lived in Venice, San Fernando, Compton and even Perris, Ca. have reportedly moved into and around El Sereno over the years in order to fully commit to supporting their child’s educational path in Semillas.
Anahuacalmecac has adopted the principles and elements shared with the Center for Native Education through its Early College High School Initiative while expanding upon these based upon our own experience, analysis and practice. Anahuacalmecac promotes rigor, relevance, relationships and regeneration throughout our curriculum and school culture. Academic rigor is demonstrated through Anahuacalmecac’s coupling of our core curriculum with student support to produce strong academic results. These results include advancement on state proficiency exams, increased average daily attendance, parent/family satisfaction, progression and graduation rates, number of college credits earned by high school students through IB Exams or other alternatives, and college acceptance, enrollment and college graduation rates.
With a relevant curriculum, Anahuacalmecac will teach students how to become contributing members of their Native communities and prepare them for successful academic and professional futures. Importantly, indigenous education will provide all students, Native and non-Native, with a richer, more international course of study neglected in public education. Each student at Anahuacalmecac counts on adult mentors from their community, tribe, school and college who know them and help them achieve. Parents are respected and engaged as their children’s first teachers. Grandparents are honored and sought as community elders and cultural teachers. Community-based organizations are tapped to provide additional services and ways for students to contribute directly. Anahuacalmecac is becoming a heart in our metropolis where none currently exists for Native students of any tribal or national origin. Anahuacalmecac is also a center of healing and wellness by providing both cultural and organizational ways to build, rebuild, grow and regenerate healthy communities.
Anahuacalmecac is a small and autonomous school. Anahuacalmecac will increase the opportunity for Native youth to prepare for college by offering a university preparatory curricular continuum from kinder on, through coordination with Academia Semillas del Pueblo k-8 charter school. Anahuacalmecac’s target student population includes the children of Native peoples who reside in the metropolis of Los Angeles and immigrate, migrate or co-locate to this city without cutting their bonds to their maternal homelands. Anahuacalmecac will strive to employ as many Native teachers as possible to teach at the school.
Anahuacalmecac Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Principles:
- Cultural content is to be integrated throughout classes and school
- The school calendar will respect Native traditions
- Teachers will co-plan course content with Native educators and advisors
- Rigor and high expectations will be evident in student work
- 9th-10th grades will offer core, college preparation, and cultural curriculum through the continuity of the IB Middle Years Program
- 11th grade will offer core curriculum through the IB Diploma Program
- 12th grade may offer several college classes and the option of obtaining an IB Diploma
- Advisories will be offered daily
- Powerful culturally relevant forms of teaching, learning and assessment will be used
- Inquiry and project-based teaching and learning will be evident
- Students will complete one cultural project annually
- Hands-on, experiential instruction will be evident
- Multiple forms of assessment will measure student achievement
- Students will be organized into cohorts for small group support
- Students will have individual, personalized learning plans
- Students will take SAT, ACT or other college entrance exams and complete the IB Diploma
Anahuacalmecac Student Support Goals:
- Anahuacalmecac will strive to provide one mentor per 20 students
- Individual counseling will be offered to all students
- All students will participate in a daily advising class or seminar
- Anahuacalmecac will have attendance initiatives
- Anahuacalmecac will provide after-school support programs as funding allows
- Anahuacalmecac will provide personalized academic planning
- Anahuacalmecac staff will educate students and parents about the financial options for college
Community Student Support Requirements:
- Community advisors/members will be present in schools as leaders, teachers, mentors
- Native community advisors/members will have a process in place to approve cultural content
- Native community advisors/members will ensure that each student is supported by an adult Native community member
- Native community advisors/members will train teachers in cultural perspectives
- Native community advisors/members will offer Native language instruction if feasible
- Native community advisors/members will support attendance initiatives
- Families will participate in school climate surveys, parent meetings and a minimum amount of required hours of participation to be determined in collaboration with parents