Our goals for each student are:
- To acquire knowledge and appreciation of literature, mathematics, science, history and human development;
- To nurture a well-developed self image, characterized by confidence and compassion;
- To cultivate a deep appreciation for natural systems, the environment, and working to make the world a better place;
- To demonstrate skill in working with others to resolve conflict;
- To be well-prepared and competent to attend the college of his or her choice.
The students at Camino de Paz are challenged daily in core academic areas in both regularly scheduled classes and practically applied tasks integrated with the natural world, our farm and the local community. It must be emphasized that our curriculum runs in three year cycles. Students are expected to finish the cycle to complete the full curriculum Our curriculum is guided by the New Mexico Department of Education standards and benchmarks. Standardized tests are taken every spring. Students are expected to show steady improvement in their work according to their abilities and strengths.
Students in the High School, Grades 10 – 12, are expected to continue their progression in core subjects. Academics for these students will retain a land connection; however breadth will be reduced in favor of depth. Students will no longer participate in 10 week crew assignments. Their academic load will increase and they will select at least one chosen area of specialization.
SENIOR PRESENTATIONS, the result of a school year project under the tutelage of a staff mentor, are required for all areas of specialization (excluding Math.) The Senior Student and Mentor receive a quarterly peer review from a committee comprised of a CdP teacher and outside community professionals.
Students are given a solid foundation in arithmetic, moving into pre-algebra and algebra as their cognitive development matures. Math is taught across the curriculum using texts, hands-on materials and practical problem solving. Students in the High School will advance their work into advanced algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Those with a math specialization: calculus.
HUMANITIES & FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Humanities units combine social studies and history with literature and writing. Our farm and ecology tours give students experience in public relations and public speaking. Students draw on primary and secondary source materials, maps, and internet research for reports, seminars and creative projects. All students are required to write a formal research paper each year. Camino de Paz is a dual language school. Emphasis is placed on cultural literacy and communication skill. Students in the Middle School are expected to develop a working Spanish vocabulary and basic grammar. In the High School conversational Spanish is attained.
ARTS and CRAFTS
In our use of wool, clay, and wood, we honor the master craftsmen and artists who surround us. Working with natural materials forms a bridge to culture and place. Our fiber arts program includes shearing, carding and spinning, making natural dyes, dying, felting and weaving. In addition lessons are given in drawing, painting, wood carving and clay, depending on the interests of the students. In the High School students are expected to develop master projects, and those with an Arts and Crafts emphasis a Senior Presentation.
The Camino de Paz Marimba Ensemble has played at public events (bookstores, fairs and farmers markets), as well as nursing homes, child care centers, pre-schools and elementary schools. Since playing marimba is a fun and valuable music experience for beginners and advanced musicians alike, all students participate. In the High School students are expected to develop a proficiency in a second instrument and reading music. Those with a music emphasis will develop a Senior Presentation.
BUSINESS and ECONOMICS
The farm school environment provides many opportunities for real-life problem solving. Student-run businesses include vegetable produce, eggs, wool, textiles, and goat dairy products, including soap. Practical applications of math, chemistry, biology and physics are used on a daily basis. Students have developed a network of independent grocers and coops to distribute their products throughout the Northern half of New Mexico. Moreover, they retail their produce, dairy products and craft items at Farmers Markets. They conduct weekly business meetings to evaluate their business and stewardship plans. In the High School students are expected to develop their understanding of political economy, various forms of government and social equity. Senior Presentations in Business and Economics may be done in the areas of Culinary Arts and Agribusiness.
ECOLOGY & SCIENCE
Beginning with the natural world around them, students’ scientific inquiry expands to form a solid background in biology, ecology, physical science and chemistry. Ecology (soil and water studies, species surveys, etc.) engages us in local issues and practices in regard to agriculture, water, soil, healthy food, food justice and sovereignty, all of which underpin the larger society. In the High School students are expected to develop their understanding of Biology and Chemistry. Those with an Ecology & Science emphasis will elect a subfield and develop a Senior Presentation.