Pueblo of Acoma celebrates opening of “new” elementary school

ICT editorial team

Pueblo prepares for school transfer from Bureau of Indian Education

News Release

Pueblo of Acoma

ACOMA PUEBLO, N.M. – June 29, 2018 — The Pueblo of Acoma will take full control of its elementary school from the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) on July 1, transforming the school into a student-centered facility focused on tribal language and culture.

The 200-student Sky City Community School, which opened in 1975 for about 400 students, will be renamed Haak’u Community Academy and will focus on two goals developed out of community input. The goals include increasing academic achievement through STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – and incorporating a rigorous, cultural-relevant curriculum based on Acoma language, history and culture.

“With the school under the tribe’s control, we will build a program that is solid and comprehensive to meet the needs of our community,” Gov. Kurt Riley said. “We can improve and preserve the quality of life for tribal members through education.”

“The priority will be to change the culture and goals of the school in partnership with local programs and the community to support academic achievement and social emotional learning,” said Gil Sanchez, Haak’u Principal.

In the past two years, the Acoma Transition Advisory Committee made up of several community members has worked to advise and plan the transition, conduct community assessments and facilitate community meetings, making it possible to complete the BIE Grant School application.

Acoma is among five Pueblos in New Mexico that have taken over operations from the BIE. Santa Clara Pueblo was the last community to take over its elementary from the BIE in 2016.

Several positions are still open at the new Haak’u Community Academy. Visit the Pueblo of Acoma’s Human Resources page at puebloofacoma.org for more information or to fill out an application.

The Pueblo Tribal Leadership and the Acoma Department of Education will have a school dedication and luncheon starting at 10:00 a.m., Monday, July 2, 2018, at Haak’u Community Academy, 44 Pinsbaari Drive, just east of the Acoma Tribal Building.

For more information about the Pueblo of Acoma, go to puebloofacoma.org,


Press Pool