Three ways SSLC is different from other Albuquerque public schools.
It’s winter break, and you’re finally getting a chance to really hang out with your best friend for the first time since she transferred to a new school. You’re excited to hear more about Southwest Secondary Learning Center now that she’s been there for a while.
“I mean, it’s school,” she says. “But it is pretty cool.”
“The other day I ran into my math teacher in the hall and he called me Jessica.” Your name is not Jessica. “I’ve been in that class all semester and he doesn’t even know my name.”
She shakes her head sympathetically. “We definitely don’t have that problem. SSLC is so small I’m pretty sure everybody knows everybody.”
“Really? I figured since it was all on the computer, you wouldn’t talk to anybody that much.”
“Oh, no, it’s not like that at all,” she says, and then starts to explain…
There’s Tons of Support in Every Classroom
At SSLC, there are three types of classes. There’s the hands-on Smart Lab, where you work on projects. There’s intensive Math and English classes, where the teacher guides lecture and discussion on those subjects. And then there’s the tech-based learning that happens in the Main Lab or at home on the computer.
Main Lab classes are offered on an Edgenuity platform, which means the lectures, reading, and quizzes are all online. But you don’t have to figure them out on your own, because you have teachers in the lab to help you.
There are always multiple teachers in the Main Lab helping kids with the material and answering questions. If you’re having a hard time understanding a lesson or don’t know what to do, you can ask a teacher to explain it to you again in a different way. They’ll go through the material with you until you understand.
There are also educational assistants (EAs) who can help with things like getting set up on the computer, providing headphones and paper, helping you understand instructions, or even just listening while you talk through a problem.
It’s a Small School with Lots of Room to Be Different
Being a small school makes SSLC a better place for making friends, too. Unlike a lot of bigger Albuquerque high schools, classrooms here aren’t divided by grade level, so students of all ages can work together and learn from each other. And since there are so few people on campus, there’s really not much room for cliques to form.
You’ll notice right away if you visit the campus that SSLC just feels different than other schools. There’s no school uniform. You can have blue hair or a mohawk. You can incorporate your interests and passions into your school projects. You can express yourself, and being unique is celebrated rather than stifled.
The Teachers Really Care
It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. Teachers at SSLC care about the kids they teach, and you can tell. Part of what makes the school so unique is that teachers feel more like partners in education. The way classes are structured allows for a lot more one-on-one instruction rather than being lectured at, and that gives your teachers a chance to really get to know you.
Is there something you know you want to do after graduation? Your teacher can help you lay the right foundation. Is there something you’re interested in learning more about? Your teacher can help you find a class in the catalog that fits. Having someone in your corner who actually pays attention to what you care about and helps you reach your goals is really special.
“That all sounds awesome,” you say when she’s done explaining.
“You should come see for yourself,” she tells you, and you think she’s right. You’re going to tell your parents all about it and make sure they call to schedule a visit to campus.