One of the many advantages the Los Alamos community offers is access to a top-rated public school system, which is one of the main reasons we voted the city a Best Small Town four years in a row (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016). In addition, when it comes to post-secondary education, students don’t have to leave home to receive a degree or a certificate. Los Alamos is home to a branch community college campus of the University of New Mexico, the state’s flagship university.
Los Alamos Public Schools
Serving just over 3,500 students, the Los Alamos Public Schools system includes five elementary schools (Pinon Elementary, Mountain Elementary, Chamisa Elementary, Barranca Mesa Elementary and Aspen Elementary), one middle school (Los Alamos Middle School) and one high school (Los Alamos High School). LAPS was named the No. 1 public school district in the state by U.S. News & World Report in 2016, and GreatSchools, which is the leading national source of school information, gives LAPS a rating of 10 – the highest possible score.
With an enrollment of 1,093 students, LAHS also received high marks from U.S. News & World Report in 2016. The national magazine ranked the high school No. 4 in New Mexico based on its overall performance on state-required tests, including Advanced Placement tests, as well as its college-preparation efforts. The high school’s graduation rate – 87 percent – was also taken into account.
The accolades don’t end there for LAHS. For example, the New Mexico Public Education Department named it the No. 1 comprehensive public high school in the state, and due to its high number of AP courses, combined with students’ excellent scores on AP exams, LAHS has been included on the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll. Approximately 28 percent of LAHS students enroll in AP courses, and 84 percent of those students earn scores of three or higher on AP exams.
University of New Mexico-Los Alamos
With an enrollment of about 750 total students and an average class size of 11 students, the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos is known for giving its attendees individualized attention, offering “the type of hands-on learning usually available only at a private college, but at a community college price.”
The school’s associate of arts and science degree programs, available in fields like computer science, pre-business administration and studio art, are considered transfer programs because all or most of the required courses easily transfer to UNM and other four-year colleges and universities. Associate of applied science degrees are also available, as well as certificate programs.
In addition, UNM-Los Alamos provides community education and customized training courses, small business seminars through its Small Business Development Centers, adult basic education programs, and bachelor and graduate degree programs through UNM’s Distance Education Program.