IMG_20140807_122352_315

Walatowa High Charter School Garden

Behind the school  there was only a wooden frame for an intended outdoor classroom. Now, if you look out of the Principal’s office window, there is a different view. The wooden frame is still there, but so is a wire fence surrounding two raised beds. Donated tires enclose potatoes and irises. Outside are two compost bins made of palettes. Prayer flags decorated by students on Earth Day hang from the beams and blow in the breeze. Or the wind. Or the rain.

We planted Jemez corn, Hopi corn, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, Jemez chile, banana  chile, okra, marigolds, irises. Up to  80% water has been saved compared to flood irrigation  through the utilization of ollos. These unglazed clay pots have been used in traditional farming practices in the Middle East and Central and South America.

Future dreams and plans include another raised bed area, a cold frame, greenhouse, rainwater harvest system, a seed bank.

Many thanks go to all those kind and enthusiastic people who donated the following to our garden project: Walatowa High Charter School students; Carlos Garcia, Gary Toya, Uriah Madalena .Raymond Jelus, Louise and Jeff Bradley, Jemez Sustainable Solutions, Markarand Karmarkar, Jaramillo’s Garage, Frances Strain, Doc and Susan Minter, Elston Yepa, Aspen Ridge Alpacas, Amma Center of NM.

In the harsh high altitude growing environment of compacted sand and clay, strong sun and wind, forceful downpours( or no rain) we are successfully growing edible flowers, grain, vegetables. During the following school year. Students will help and learn from  direct experience in the garden. The goal is that we will all come to feel a sense of belonging and sharing in the challenges and joys of creating a bio-intensive garden.

Prom

WHCS First Ever Prom 2014

National Honor Society (N.H.S) is spearheading Walatowa High Charter School’s first ever Prom. The first ever Prom coinsides with the 10th Anniversary of WHCS existance. Although NHS is providing the organization and leadership for the schools first prom, ultimately, the whole school will be involved. Currently, there are on going fund raising activities, such as a chocolate candy bar sale , and a bingo scheduled on Jan. 27, 2014 at the youth center.

IMG_0064

NHS 2013

National Honor Society has been in existence at Walatowa High Charter School since the 2004-05 school year.  This national scholastic organization is based on the pillars of Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character.  The first eligibility criteria that a student must meet in order to be considered for selection is their cumulative grade point average of 3.0, which is required by the national chapter.  However, Walatowa High Charter School requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.3.  Although the first eligibility for selection is Scholarship, the other pillars are also very important.

Scholarship means a commitment to learning.  A student is willing to spend hours in reading and study, knowing the lasting benefits of a cultivated mind.  Learning should continue even where formal education has ended, for education  ends only with the end of life.

Service means taking opportunities to help school and community without monetary compensation or recognition.

Leadership should exert a wholesome influence on the school.  A leader has self-confidence and will go forward when others hesitate.  The price of leadership is sacrifice – the willingness to yield one’s personal interests for the interest of others.

 

Character is the force within each individual which distinguishes that person from others.

 

Students are selected by the teachers based on how well they represent or model the four pillars of NHS.  Once students are selected by teachers,  they are formally inducted into NHS at a formal Induction Ceremony which is held early in May.