Parent Guide

Click on each subject to read more.

List of 19 items.

  • General Information

    What are school hours?
    Classes are held between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
     
    Where do I find information on school procedures and policies?
    The Student and Parent Handbook, updated every summer, contains school procedures and policies. This handbook is posted on our web site behind the password under "Resources." New families will receive access to these password-protected pages in July, after our database is updated. (Log-in required)

    What is the Summer Reading program?
    The Albuquerque Academy English department requires summer reading for all students. Click here for details.

    Are carpools available? Can my child take the city bus?
    Academy families often set up their own carpools. To obtain a list of families in your zip code area, log in to the Academy web site and click on "Directories." Once there, use the filters in the right hand column to select "Student Grade" and "Home Postal/Zip." The screen will refresh with a list of families within your search parameters. Click on the "Map" button (just above the listings) for a visual representation.

    The city bus stops at the Wyoming and Burlison entrance to the Academy. There is a school guard present before and after school at this intersection. Call SUNTRAN at 243-RIDE for route and schedule information.

    Where can we get band and orchestra instruments?
    Instruments may be rented or purchased from local music stores. Some instruments, particularly very large instruments such as baritone saxophones, double basses, and tubas, may be borrowed from the school. If you have questions or concerns about the purchase or cost of an instrument, please call your student's music director.

    Where are students dropped off and picked up?
    The drop-off and pick-up area for grades 6-7 is the circular driveway in the center of the West Campus. Parents should not use the parking lot behind the Visual Arts building to pick-up or drop-off students. Students in grades 8-12 may be dropped off and picked up at the curb in either the north or south parking lot. The north lot is closer to McKinnon Hall, the 8-9 building.
  • Billing and Payments

    Albuquerque Academy utilizes FACTS Management Company (FACTS), a third party payment processor, for all of our student billing. 

    Click here for a FACTS Program Overview. 

    Click here to Enroll or Manage your FACTS account online. 

    Parents/Guardians are able to change their regularly scheduled payment date in FACTS if the need arises. Please note you may only change the scheduled payment date within the same month. Please refer to the FAQ section for the link to instructions. For billing and payment related questions, please contact Sandy Timmons.
  • Handbooks

    Student/Parent and Athletics handbooks can be found by clicking here. (Log-in required)
  • Lockers and Backpacks

    Does every student receive a locker?
    Yes. Each student is assigned a locker in the grade level commons area or in the hallways. Lockers in all grades are half size (18" wide by 18" deep by 36" high) and will hold a backpack. Students in the 6-7 Division are not allowed to bring backpacks to class — any items not needed for class must be stored in a locker or appropriate storage area.

    Where do I get locker locks?
    Locks may be purchased at the Academy bookstores. If the lock is purchased at one of the school's bookstores, a record will be kept of the combination in case of forgetful moments.

    May students leave backpacks, musical instruments, and athletic equipment outside?
    For security reasons, belongings should be stored in lockers. Musical instruments should be stored in music lockers or the musical instrument rooms. Athletic equipment should be stored in PE lockers. The Academy is not responsible for personal property.
  • Extracurricular Activities

    What extracurricular activities are available for students?
    The Academy offers a wide range of extracurricular activities. Click here for more information. 
     
    Does the Academy provide supervision after school?
    No. The Academy does not provide after-school supervision. Parents are encouraged to discuss after-school plans with their children, and are responsible for picking them up. The library is open Sunday, 1-5 p.m., and Monday-Thursday until 6:30 p.m. There are often athletic events to watch after school. However, no direct supervision of students is provided in these instances.
  • Absences and School Closures

    What do I do if my child will not be in school?
    If your child is ill, call the appropriate school attendance line before 8:30 a.m. each day that your child is out sick. Attendance numbers are listed on the web site under Contact, and are available 24 hours.

    You may also inform the school of an absence by submitting an online attendance form found behind the password under Resources. (Log-in required)

    Students who will miss any classes or obligations for reasons other than illness should bring a note to their division office as soon as they are aware of the situation, preferably a week before the absence. Students in grades 8-12 should pick up an assignment sheet from the division assistant's office to obtain assignments in advance of planned absences.

    See the Student and Parent Handbook for additional information about attendance.

    How will we know if there is a snow day or delayed schedule?
    Albuquerque Academy will follow Albuquerque Public School (APS) decisions in "typical" closure situations, but will make differing decisions if appropriate. If APS follows a delayed schedule, our school day will begin at 10 a.m. KOB (KOB TV Channel 4, Radio 770 AM, and KOB.com) and the Academy web site are the primary sources for school cancellation announcements. Snow day schedules are subject to change during the week of exams in December.

    Information will be posted on this web site (www.aa.edu). The school will also communicate using text messages and phone numbers for immediate weather-related decisions.

    The Student and Parent Handbook has specific information about cancellations and delays. 
  • ID Cards

    Does each student have to carry an ID card?
    Yes. An Albuquerque Academy photo ID card is required to borrow library books, charge purchases at the bookstores, and use athletic facilities during non-school hours. The first ID card is free. If an ID card is lost, the replacement fee is $5. If a student brings in the pieces of a broken ID card, it will be replaced free of charge.

    Returning students entering grades 8 and 10 will receive new (free) ID cards from their division office in August. Yearbook photos from the previous year (grades 7 and 9) are used to make these new ID cards.

    Where and when are ID pictures taken?
    The Business Office Auxiliary (BOA) takes ID pictures and processes ID cards. BOA is located in the Copy Center, just west of the East Gymnasium. The entrance door is from the North Parking Lot (P1).

    To reduce congestion and lines at the beginning of school, BOA offers special summer hours:
    Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    During the school year, BOA will take ID pictures during office hours (7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.). Students in grades 6-7 who have lost their ID cards should request a new one from Paula Crawford or BOA.

    Call BOA at 828-3200 if you have questions.

    May parents get ID cards?
    Yes. Parents may purchase a photo ID card for $5 from the Business Office Auxiliary. Parents who have an ID card may borrow books from the library and attend some athletic events free of charge.

    Do siblings need ID cards in order to use the facilities?
    No. Siblings of students may use the facilities only if accompanied by a current student or parent with an Albuquerque Academy ID card. Purchase of a sibling ID (for $5) allows an unaccompanied sibling to use the library and is the only reason for purchasing a sibling ID card. 
  • Dining Halls and Meals

    May I pack lunch for my child?
    No. Lunch is included in the enrollment contract. There are entrée choices, vegetarian options, and soup, sandwich, and salad bars.

    In grades 6-9, lunch is eaten family style with a pre-determined group of students and one faculty member seated at an assigned table. Lunch table assignments are made randomly and change frequently in 6-7, although students do sit with their family heads every Wednesday throughout the year.

    In grades 8-9, students eat with their advisers and advisory groups two days a week, sit at randomly assigned tables two days a week, and may have open seating one day a week.

    In grades 10-12, lunch is open seating. Students may eat at any time between 11:40 a.m. and 1:10 p.m., sit at any table they wish, and leave the dining hall once they have cleared their dishes.

    What if my child has a medical condition requiring a special diet?
    Please ccontact the School Nurse, Jennifer Duval, at 858-8876.

    What about religious fasting?
    Children observing religious fasting days should inform their table heads. Students in the 8-9 or 10-12 division should notify their division head or dean of students in order to be excused from lunch.

    Where can I find the lunch menu?
    Monthly lunch menus for the East and West Dining Halls are posted here.
  • Academic Support for Students

    What if students need additional help with classes or homework?
    Students are encouraged to seek extra help from their teachers, who are available to provide support beyond the regular class schedule. If a student and teacher are not able to find a common time to meet, students are encouraged to seek assistance from other teachers in the same field. Peer tutoring is also available for some academic subjects. Students interested in working with a peer tutor should talk with their teacher, who will then consult with the department chair for availability.

    Is help available for students with learning disabilities?
    The Peterson Learning Support Program offers support to students with a wide range of learning needs including students experiencing significant difficulty with academic performance and those diagnosed with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, ADHD, or other diagnosed or situational needs. Click here for more information.

    What do I do if I have a question about my child's academic or social progress?
    In grades 6-7, start with the student's Academy family head; in grades 8-12, start with the student's adviser. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses for all faculty members can be found on the web site under Contact and in the online Directory.

    What if our family is experiencing a difficult situation which may impact my child's school life?
    Again, start with the Academy family head or adviser. These are the faculty members who know your child best and can make appropriate referrals. Or, if you prefer, call a member of the counseling department. If you're not sure who to call, speak with your child's division head.

    Does my child need a computer at school?
    For the 2016-17 school year, students in grades 8 through 12 will be expected to bring a laptop to school every day as part of the Academy’s 1:1 program. Learn more about the 1:1 program here.
  • Physical Education

    How often is PE held?
    Physical Education (PE) is held every other day for students in grades 6-9, and six days out of the 9-day cycle for students in grades 10-12. In grades 8 and 9, students may opt out of PE while participating in athletics. In grades 10 through 12, each season of athletics substitutes for a season of PE.

    Are showers required after PE?
    Showers are available and encouraged.

    Where do I get a PE uniform?
    For students in grade 6 or new to grade 7, uniforms will be distributed in PE classes and charged to your student's account. In grades 8-12, a uniform is not required, but students must dress in appropriate workout clothes. 
  • Family Heads, Advisers, Counselors

    What is an Academy family head?
    Sixth and seventh grade students are placed in small groups called "families" with a faculty member who is their Academy "family head." Sixth and seventh graders check in every morning with their Academy family head. The Academy family head is the first person the student and student's parents should go to for advice on school or personal matters. The family head is the primary social and academic advocate for each family member and is responsible for coordinating the preparation of the narratives for his/her family members in each of the three trimester marking periods.

    What are advisers?
    Every student in grades 8 through 12 has a faculty adviser with whom the student and the student's parents can talk about school or personal matters. In grades 8-9, students are assigned one of their classroom teachers as an adviser. In grades 10-12, each student chooses an adviser. New students are encouraged to select one of their classroom teachers.

    What is the counseling department?
    The Counseling and Human Development department is staffed by full-time, professional counseling faculty. They conduct courses, programs, workshops, and activities to promote healthy living and foster effective life skills. Counselors are available to meet with students individually and in groups at all grade levels. There are no charges for counseling.

    Is our child allowed to visit the counselor whenever he or she wishes?
    Yes. Your child can drop by a counselor's office any time to talk or make an appointment for a later time.

    When does college counseling begin?
    Students are formally introduced to the college guidance program in grade 10 during the one-semester mandatory College Process course taken by all sophomores. Although most of the college guidance activities are carried out during individual appointments in the junior and senior years, there are events presented each year for families in earlier grades. Regardless of the grade level, college advisers are available for individual appointments with students and families during certain times of the year. For additional information visit the College Guidance web page. You can also find more information in the Student and Parent Handbook, available for downloading on the Academy web site under "Resources" (login required). 
  • Bookstores, Library, Charger Books

    Albuquerque Academy has two bookstores, one on the West campus and one on the East Campus. For details about the bookstores, click here

    How do students pay for supplies and books?
    A student may pay with cash or credit card, or may charge to his or her Academy account using a current Academy ID card. Please speak to your student if you have concerns about the frequency or amount of their charges.

    Where can I find more information about Simms Library?
    Students and parents need a library password for a number of library services, including looking at circulation records, renewing books online, saving searches, and viewing loan history. Passwords are encrypted in the library system. An Academy ID card is required. To obtain a library password, students (and parents who want access) need to go to the circulation desk and select a password that can be remembered easily. For more information about the library, click here.

    What are Charger Books? 
    Charger Books are math and science textbooks owned by the Academy. They are loaned to students for use during the school year at no cost to the student if the same books are returned in good condition at the end of the course.
     
    How do I know which courses use Charger Books? 
    The list of the courses which use Chargers Books follows. Check this list against your schedule, and you will know if you need to check out Charger Books. If you change your schedule, you are responsible for returning any books you checked out, even though you are no longer in the course. Please place any books you are not using in the Library book drop, (at the Circulation desk if they are open or in the book drop just inside the outer doors if they are closed.)

    How do students check out Charger Books?
    Beginning of the school year:
    Charger books are checked out to grades 8-12 through a computer database per the schedule listed above. Each textbook has a bar code label on the back. The number on the label is associated with your AA ID in the database. Grades 6 and 7 will check out their books with their classes the first few days of school. 

    During the school year:
    If a schedule change occurs, or a textbook/workbook is lost, students should go to the Charger Books Office in the Science Center, Room S104, and fill out a request form (there is a clipboard with request forms located on the wall outside the office door). Students may then pick up the requested textbook/workbook the following day at the office.

    Think Summer:
    Students may stop by the Charger Books Room between 8 a.m. and noon during summer classes. Textbooks are due back on the last day of Think Summer classes.

    What if I misplace my Charger Book?
    If you are not able to find your textbook, you may check out another one by signing the Charger Books Request Form just outside Ms. Williams' office, S104, and following the instructions listed. Please remember you are still responsible for either finding or paying for the lost book.

    How can I keep from losing my Charger Book?
    Be aware of the book number checked out to you, make a note of it in your planner. Write your name in the front cover of your book as soon as you get it. If your book is misplaced on campus and your name is in it, it is more likely it will be returned to you. 

    When and where are Charger Books returned?
    Students in grades 8-12 return their books to the Charger Books Room on the day of their final exam, after they have taken their final exam. Students in grades 6 and 7 return their books during class. If a Charger Book is no longer being used (schedule change or conclusion of independent study), students may place their textbook on the book return cart outside the Charger Books Office in the Science Center. 

    Further questions? 
    Please contact Jayne Williams at 838-3150.

    For details about which classes need Charger Books and further information, click here.
  • Contacting and Excusing Students

    How do I get an important message to my child during the school day?
    To leave a message for your child, call the administrative assistant for the appropriate grade by 11 a.m. so that your message can be delivered at lunchtime. In grades 6-7 and 8-9, if a message comes in after 11 a.m., the message will be taped to the student's locker. To leave a message for grades 6-7, call Paula Crawford at 828-3300; for grades 8-9, call Joyce Knipfing at 828-3271; and for grades 10-12, call Julie Eckhardt at 828-3207. Messages can be left on a student's locker, but not all students return to their lockers during the course of the day.

    May my child call me from school? How do I call my child right back?
    There are telephones available to students throughout the campus. The main doors to the library are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m., and a phone is available right inside the door for student use. Phones are not to be used for social purposes. Additionally, these phones cannot receive incoming calls. If you attempt to call back the number shown on your caller ID, you will reach the main switchboard. Switchboard attendants will be unable to tell from which phone the call originated. If you need to speak to your child immediately, call his or her division’s administrative assistant.

    How can I excuse my child from class for medical appointments?
    In grades 6-7, a parent must come and sign the student out at the 6-7 Administration Building. In grades 8-9, the student must bring a note signed by a parent to Joyce Knipfing. In grades 10-12, the student must bring a note signed by a parent to Julie Eckhardt. Students in grades 10-12 have the option of bringing the signed note to Jayne Williams in the Science Center in the morning. A return-to school note from the physician or dentist is required upon the student's return to school. 
  • Exams, Grades, Narratives

    How often are semester exams held?
    Exams for grades 8-12 are held twice a year, mid-December (Semester I exams) and in late May (Semester II exams). The only exception is for second semester seniors who do not take exams after leaving on Senior Projects, or for students in some AP or elective classes. Details about format may be found in the Student and Parent Handbook. Sixth and seventh graders do not have formal final exams.

    How often do students receive grades?
    Students in grades 6-7 are on a trimester system and will receive extensive narrative assessments three times a year. Students in grades 8-12 will receive grades quarterly (approximately every nine weeks) and at least one comment per course each semester. Narratives, grades, and comments for students in grades 6-12 will be posted online in My BackPack at the end of each respective marking period. If you have a question about a grade or comment, call either the appropriate faculty member or your student's adviser. More details can be found in the Student and Parent Handbook
  • Special Programs

    What is the Community and Global Citizenship program?
    At the core of Albuquerque Academy's mission is a commitment to teaching students to use what they have learned to serve and contribute to the community and the world. Click here to learn more about the program, requirements, and other details.

    What is Experiential Education (Ex Ed)? 
    Long known as "Ex Ed," outdoor education at Albuquerque Academy includes programming in adventure, environmental, and wilderness education, as well as leadership development.  Clcik here to learn more about the program, requirements, etc.

    What is Global Online Academy?
    The Academy is a founding member of a consortium of some of the nation's top independent schools that created the Global Online Academy (GOA). GOA began offering online courses in the fall of 2011. Click here to learn more. 
     
    What is the Sustainability Program?
    The sustainability program is part of the Experiential Education department at Albuquerque Academy. With a team approach, the sustainability program teaches students, faculty, staff, and parents how to be good stewards of the campus and the planet. Click here to learn more.
     
    What is the Community Builders program?
    This tuition-free program gives students from Albuquerque Academy and other area schools an opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of community philanthropy and nonprofit organizations, and includes a mix of site visits and meetings with community leaders to discuss a variety of topics. Click here for more information. 

    What is the Desert Oasis Teaching Garden?
    The garden teaches how growing food can sustain our bodies, our minds, and our planet. This blossoming experiment in ecological restoration and locally adapted agriculture thrives on 1-acre of recovering high desert land on Albuquerque Academy 
  • Health

    Do I really need to hand in all of those medical forms?
    Yes. Following New Mexico Activity Association (NMAA) guidelines, Albuquerque Academy requires all students to have a physical each year. Your child may not begin school, participate in athletics, or travel on school trips until all the Emergency Information and Consent/Medical/Immunization forms are on file. Forms were mailed to you after you returned your contract and are due on July 15. A physical will be required for your child every year. In future years, the forms will be mailed from the nurse's office at the end of March. Physical examinations must be performed after April 1 and health form packets returned to the nurse's office by July 15. Please call the nurse's office at 858-8876 if you are unable to meet this deadline. All students participating in athletics must have physical examinations completed before athletic team try-outs begin in August (a New Mexico Activities Association requirement).  You can print out the forms here

    What happens if my child becomes ill at school?
    The Academy has a full-time registered nurse whose office is adjacent to the West Dining Hall. If a student becomes ill while at school, he or she should report to the school nurse who will assess the student's needs and call parents as necessary. The Nurse’s Office can be reached at 858-8876.

    What if my child needs prescription medications during the school day or has special medical needs?
    Students requiring prescription medication during the school day must have a medication authorization form on file with the school nurse. The form may be found in the health packet you received in the mail, or may be downloaded from the Resource Board on the Academy web site (login required).

    Students may not carry or self-administer any controlled substance (e.g., Ritalin or Dexedrine). Call the school nurse to make arrangements for medication administration or to talk about special medical needs.

    Over-the-counter medications (Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, etc.) are available to your children while at school. However, they will only be administered to a student by the school nurse or an assigned Academy employee after receiving parental permission to administer that medication. With parental permission, students also have the option of carrying and self-administering a day's worth of either Tylenol or ibuprofen. The medication must be carried in the original container. 
  • Technology, Website

    Technology is abundant at Albuquerque Academy. As we all know from our daily business and personal use of technology, usernames and passwords are needed to access many resources. This is also the case at the Academy.

    The information on the public pages of our web site is accessible to anyone, anywhere, and does not require a login or password. However, for security and privacy reasons, the community portion of our web site does. Some information, including the online directory are available behind the password. Students and parents have individual and unique logins and passwords for the online community.

    Parents: Log in using the same username and password you use for My BackPack. Parents click here if you forgot your username and/or password or call 505-858-8877 or e-mail mybackpack@aa.edu.

    Students: Log in using the same username and password you use for accessing campus computers. This information will be provided either during new student orientation (grades 8-12) or shortly after school starts (grades 6-7).

    If you have any other problems logging in, please call or e-mail Andy Williams (828-3190) 0r Cathy Garber (828-3151) in the Communications Office.

    What is My BackPack?
    "My BackPack" is web-based software which provides access to enrollment contracts and instructions, marking period grades and comments (grades 8-12), academic history (grades 8-12), and narratives (grades 6 and 7). Click here to access My BackPack.

    How do students access their school computer accounts?
    New students in grades 8-12 attend an orientation and receive computer account information at that time. All students in grade 6, and new students in grade 7 receive computer account information shortly after school begins in August. Back-to-school information from each division head will include orientation information.

    Students can only access their Academy computer account on campus, but will be able to access their school e-mail remotely.

    If students have any problems accessing their computer accounts, please call the Technology HelpDesk at 828-3249 or stop by the help desk in the East 
    Campus Administration Building, (Room A111/A112). 
  • Vouchering and Billing

    What is vouchering?
    "Vouchering" is the same as "charging" an item on a student's Academy account. Each student may use his or her Academy ID card for most school-related purchases, including bookstore items, concessions, team t-shirts, tickets for special school events, and PE uniforms. Vouchered charges will be paid to the Academy based on the family payment plan selected in FACTS.

    Does my child need my permission to activate the voucher system?
    No. The system can automatically be used by the student with a valid Academy ID card. It is your student's responsibility to notify you of all charges made. Albuquerque Academy cannot put a limit or restriction on your student's account.

    What if my child charges too much?
    You are responsible for your child's charges. It is a good idea to discuss limits with your student.

    What is FACTS?
    FACTS is a web-based payment processing company that serves the educational community. Academy tuition and incidental charges are handled through FACTS. A link to FACTS is posted on the Academy web site under "Resources" (login required). If you have questions about FACTS, please e-mail Sandy Timmons in the business office.

    Who do I call with questions about my monthly billing statements?
    Visit the Business Office web page or call 828-3226 with questions about tuition, accident and tuition refund insurance, vouchers and tuition payment plans, and ID cards.

    Call Jeanette Sanchez, Bookstore Director at 828-3247 with questions about bookstore purchases.

    What should I do if my family encounters a change in our financial status?
    If you have a change in your financial status at any time, call Director of Finance Pam Scanlon at 828-3232, as soon as possible.

    Does my child need to bring money to school?
    No. Everything a child purchases can be charged with a student ID card. 
  • Campus Security

    During the school day, when are the Academy gates closed?
    Gates on Academy Road and Harper Road are normally closed Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On days 5 and 10, they are closed from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The gate on Wyoming Boulevard remains open at all times. Special gate hours are set for athletic and other events.

    How do I report an emergency situation to campus security?
    For immediate contact with security staff call 828-3366, or press the EMERGENCY button on the emergency phones located in the following parking lots: P-1 North Lot, P-2 Library Lot, P-5 West Campus Circle, P-8 Stadium Lot, and P-10 South Parking Lot.

    How do I report suspicious activity or safety concerns that I observe?
    To report suspicious activity or security concerns, either e-mail security@aa.edu or call 828-3152 and leave a message, with the following information: date, time, location, description of what you observed (include names of people involved if you know them), your name, and a phone number. 
Albuquerque Academy is a private, coeducational, college preparatory day school serving middle school and high school students in grades 6 through 12, located in Albuquerque, NM.

ALBUQUERQUE ACADEMY © 2014

6400 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109-3899
ph: 505-828-3200