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The Middle School years are an exciting time of academic, physical, emotional, and social growth. Horizons are expanded and identity is explored. The Middle School environment needs to be supportive and understanding of this pivotal moment in a child’s transformation into a young adult, while providing challenging stimulation to learn, develop, and thrive.

Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences is an independent expeditionary learning school serving Preschool through 8th Grade. Our Seventh & Eighth Grade program supports the whole child, providing a sanctuary environment where kindness and respect are the context within which profound learning can take place. Our expeditionary learning curriculum engages students in interdisciplinary, in-depth, project-based study of compelling topics that are connected to real world learning.

We invite you to get to know our Middle School and to learn how we support students at this crucial moment in their development and prepare them for the challenges of high school and beyond.

Our Middle School is comprised of 24 Seventh grade students and 24 Eighth grade students, 4 core faculty, and 7 adjunct faculty.  Because our Seventh grade class is larger than our Sixth grade class, each year we are able to welcome students from all over Santa Fe to come experience the dynamic and transformative education at Arts & Sciences.

If you have questions at any time about the admissions process, please contact our Director of Admissions Elisa Boyles at 505-438-8585 or by email at You can apply online or request an Admissions Packet to be mailed to you.

Why Our Middle School?

Our Program is designed to nurture the Whole Child, addressing each student’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development as they navigate the early adolescent years.  Here’s a glimpse into how we do it:


  • Expeditionary learning:  An exceptional educational approach that emphasizes high achievement through active learning, character growth, service, and collaboration. Through extended “learning expeditions” students delve deeply into academic topics, meet experts from the greater community, do field work outside the school, and apply their learning in real-life projects. 


  • Sanctuary School: We believe in respecting, accepting, and including all members of our community, and offer a safe haven to our students and families.  Middle School students work to create a Class Constitution through in-depth discussions about the agreements they want to make with one another about how everyone is to be treated.  As one 7th grader put it, “at my old school the teachers said ‘no bullying’, but here, we say ‘no bullying’!”


  • Portfolio Presentations/Student-Led Conferences: Throughout the school year students reflect on their learning and compile samples of work that they feel exemplify their growth in academics and the arts.  At the end of the year, students present their portfolios to teachers and families.  This process helps them to cultivate self-reflection and communication skills, and to develop a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. 


  • Electives: As young adolescents, our Middle School students love having the opportunity to choose from a variety of electives each semester, empowering them to explore what most sparks their interests.  Offerings include Fine Arts, Drama, Music, Student Government, Coding, Literary Magazine, Robotics, Creative Writing, Business, and more.

  • Service Learning:  Opportunities for meaningful community service allow students to serve the school and the larger community. Currently middle school students work with younger students as buddies and mentors, with elders at the Kingston Residence, do preservation and restoration work at the Santa Fe River, and volunteer with Food Depot and community farms.

  • Crew/Advisory: During daily Crew time, students participate in interactive, community-building activities and discussions, which foster a culture of collaboration and compassion for self and others.  Advisors provide support for monitoring academic progress and overall student growth.


  • Mentorship Program: Based on their own passions and interests, 8th grade students are paired with community leaders and professionals. This program allows students to experience the value of mentorship and prepares them to seek and take advantage of mentorship opportunities in high school and beyond.


  • 8th Grade International Trip:  We take the global perspective one big step further: our 8th grade travels to Costa Rica, where they participate in homestays, do service work in orphanages or the rainforest, and learn to appreciate a foreign culture and language. (This trip is postponed this year).
Who We Are

General School Profile


  • Independent expeditionary learning school
  • Pre-School (age 3) through 8th Grade
  • Founded in 2000
  • 5 acre campus on the south side of Santa Fe
  • Total Enrollment: 135 students 
  • Total Full and Part-Time faculty: 22 teachers
  • Over 30% of students receive Financial Aid


Our Middle School at a Glance


  • Total students enrolled in Middle School: 46 (23 per grade for 7th & 8th)
  • Full and part-time Middle School Faculty: 11
  • Faculty to Student ratio for Middle School Program:  less than 1:5
  • Culturally and socioeconomically diverse student body 
  • National standards integrated into expeditionary learning curriculum
  • Challenging academic curriculum focused on high school preparation 
  • Assessments: Expeditionary learning portfolios as well as traditional grading system with quarterly and semester report cards
  • Annual 8th Grade International Service Learning Trip to Costa Rica (Postponed this year)
  • Course Offerings for Middle School: English, History, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Science, Drama, Fine Arts, Music, Moving Images, Spanish, ASL (American Sign Language), Physical Education, Student Government, Literary Magazine, Coding, Robotics, Mentorships, Community Service, Life Skills, Leadership
  • After School Enrichment Program offers individual music lessons including voice, piano, violin, cello, ukulele, and guitar, as well as Homework Club, Dungeons & Dragons, Drama, Animation, Art, Math Club, Rhythm Club, and additional enrichment classes each semester (Some of these are being offered via Zoom this year)
  • 2020-2021 School Year: September 8th-June 10th; School Day: 8:40am-4:10pm 

(Our typical School Year is from late August-Late May, School Day 8:10am – 3:25pm, with after school options until 5:30pm)

Where They Go From Here

High Schools


Arts & Sciences graduates are most often accepted to the high school of their choice, and have excelled at all public, public charter, and private schools in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  In recent years the majority of our graduates have attended New Mexico School for the Arts, Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe Prep, Desert Academy, and The MASTERS Program.  Our graduates have also been accepted at prestigious boarding schools across the country, including United World College, Phillips Exeter Academy, George School, Principia School, and Idyllwild Arts Academy, Oxbow School, and study abroad programs all over the world.  Many of our students receive substantial financial aid and merit scholarships when they are available, and often pursue honors, AP, and other advanced courses of study.  


Colleges and Universities

Arts & Sciences graduates have been accepted to a wide variety of colleges and universities, including:

University of Arizona 

College of the Atlantic

Bard College

Bates College

Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University

Berklee College of Music

Brown University

Chapman University

College of the Atlantic

Colorado College  

Columbia College Chicago

Connecticut College

Cornish College of the Arts

Drew University

Eugene Lang Liberal Arts

Flagler College

Hampshire College

Haverford College

Lawrence University

Lewis and Clark College

Maryland Institute College for the Arts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

McGill University

Naropa College

New Mexico State University

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Northern Michigan University

New York University

Ohio University

Parsons School of Design

Peace Corps Africa

Portland State University

Sarah Lawrence College

Savannah College of Art & Design

Seattle University

Skidmore College

Stanford University

Swarthmore College

Trinity College

United World College

Univ. of Colorado – Denver 

Univ. of Wisconsin – Madison

University of New Mexico

University of Puget Sound

University of San Francisco

University of Washington

Wesleyan University

Western Washington University

Scholarships, Honors and Awards

Arts & Sciences graduates have been the proud recipients of many special scholarships, honors and awards, including the following: Malone Family Foundation Scholarship, Renaissance Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, Bronze LANL Scholarship, William and Gertrude Scholarship, Frye Family Foundation Award, Sussman Miller Scholarship, Ohana Scholarship, National Honor Society Award, Century Bank Super Scholar Award, Denver School for the Arts Scholarship, Davis Scholarship, Gold Key Scholastic Art and Writing Award, Simons Scholarship, Santa Fe JIN Scholarship, New England Young Writers Workshop Acceptance, Silver Key Scholastic Art and Writing Award, Leopold Writing Program Award, Frances Sheng Prize for Excellence, Jessup Prize for Excellence in the Arts, Broadway Dance Center acceptance,  Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars Award, Denver Harvey Park NA Scholarship, Questbridge College Preparatory Award.

Application Deadlines

Early Admissions Application Deadline: November 17, 2023
Regular Admissions Application Deadline:  February 16, 2024

Financial Aid Deadline

Our school is committed to diversity, and we provide need-based financial aid.  Each year, 30-40% of our families receive financial aid.

Prospective Families:
Financial Aid application is due with your Middle School Admissions Application

Currently Enrolled Families: 
Financial Aid application deadline for the 2024-2025 school year is February 16, 2024. The Financial Aid Committee will consider all of the requests and notify applicants for financial aid in March, 2024.