About Laguna Middle School
Laguna Middle School (LMS) is wholly owned by the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, and operated under the auspices of the tribe's own Department of Education. The school represents the pinnacle of the tribe's efforts to achieve educational self-determination. LMS was the first school in New Mexico to be designed, built, and operated by an American Indian tribe.
Education at Laguna has always been marked by incredible fragmentation between schooling opportunities and consistency among educational options; because of this, the people of Laguna set out to create a school designed with the needs of the community in mind. In 1986 Laguna won its right to build a school and in the fall of 1992 construction of the Laguna Middle School was completed. Upon hearing that the facility had a huge gym and rooms for classes like; Art, Music, Home Economics, Wood Shop and Physical Education, students and community members anxiously awaited the opening.
At the first pre-registration in 1992, 134 students enrolled in grades 6, 7 and 8th grades. Today the school thrives and in 2006, 146 students enrolled at LMS and in 2007, enrollment was 152. Projection for 2008 shows an increase of 20 students. For the last two years LMS teaching staff has consisted of 17 full time teachers and six para-professionals.
Over the years LMS has initiated programs that help teach students’ values that the tribal leaders and parents feel are relevant toward a quality education, such as Service Learning:
- Annual senior citizen dinner and dance in the school cafeteria hosted by students.
- Students participate in feast day activities for example: the parade, traditional feast day dancing and clean up of the area, including the plaza, after the feast.
- Fund raising activities on for needy families before the Holidays, and on behalf of soldiers overseas in the War.
The following programs have been initiated to support academic achievement:
- Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), a college-preparatory program, was started to get students to begin thinking about college.
- LMS initiated its first ever National Junior Honor Society in 2006. 23 students from grades 6th – 8th grade were inducted at a school wide assembly in 2007.
- From the beginning, technology has been a priority for the school because it supports an environment conducive to learning. State-of-the-art equipment and software are available to both students and teachers.
- Digital storytelling is the latest initiative. It is going into its third year and the students have gained valuable experience and are now thinking about ways of using technology to learn more about their culture and their language