El Colegio Charter School is free and open to all students regardless of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, gender, immigration status, sexual orientation or disability. El Colegio offers a comprehensive curriculum that is aligned to Minnesota’s graduation standards. We base our program on the value of a bilingual / bi-cultural education that is grounded in a cultural context, and on beliefs that students succeed when they are treated as individuals, that education is a discovery of self and that learning happens best through real world experiences. Our core competencies that are reflected in all curricula are:
- Effective Communication
- Culture and Creative Expression
- Resourcefulness and Leadership
Some specific aspects of our education program include:
El Colegio’s advisory system is an important tool for providing individualized attention and support for our students. Advisory groups meet bi weekly and consist of one adviser and approximately 18 students. Advisory is a time to set goals, build relationships, create learning plans, discuss life after graduation, assess progress, and engage in group discussions to allow students to express themselves and develop higher level thinking. Advisors meet with students individually at least once per quarter to discuss credits, goals, classes and progress towards graduation
College and Career Preparation
El Colegio is dedicated to helping students prepare for their lives after high school – college and careers. All El Colegio students attend a grade-level Career Planning Class that meets once per week. In these classes, students explore how their interests relate to career and college goals, complete job applications and resumes, learn about the college application process, and learn how to pay for college among other things.
El Colegio is collaborating with Minneapolis Community and Technical College to help ensure our students are more prepared for college. Students learn more about entrance into MCTC and take practice placement exams to see their level. Also, our teachers and MCTC staff meet to share ideas, learn more about the college expectations, and align curriculum to help students better transition to college.
Our “Muralistas” program is comprised of El Colegio students, supported by school staff and established local artists and muralists. In keeping with the ideologies of Art for the public realm, our murals have beautified the neighborhoods where they are located, and as a result have helped combat graffiti. As our students conceptualize, design and paint a mural, they develop community building skills when they present and articulate their ideas to local business and home owners. They also build technical skills and techniques, critical to understanding the process of creating Public Art.
El Colegio has collaborated with the Bancroft Neighborhood Association to fund and carry out murals in the neighborhood, and the program has received national recognition. In 2006 we received a grant from the National Crime Prevention Council, and we were awarded 2nd place in a national anti-graffiti competition organized by Keep America Beautiful, Inc. Our murals can be seen throughout the city on our building, neighboring garages, and businesses including Mississippi Market in St. Paul and CLUES in Minneapolis.
At El Colegio we believe that service to the community is an important part of a student’s growth and education. Our students are required to complete 25 hours or community service per year. This can be at the school site as well as with community organizations such as Sabathani Community Center, Second Harvest, Ebeneezer Retirement Home, Centro, Waite House, and Arc. Students also may do community service at their place of worship, the local parks or in their neighborhoods.