EMHS was recently named a National Blue Ribbon School, the highest designation awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. EMHS was the only high school in New Mexico to receive the honor in 2018. To read more about this designation, please click here.

What is a Charter School?

East Mountain High School is a charter school. A charter school is a public school developed by one or more parents, teachers or community members authorized by a local school board or the New Mexico Public Education Commission to provide an alternative educational setting to parents and students in the public school system. Charter schools provide an opportunity to create new, innovative and more flexible ways of educating children.

Charter schools must describe their goals and how they will meet them in their charter, a document which must be approved by a local or state board every five years. Charter schools are held accountable to meeting the goals set out in their charters. East Mountain High School’s fifth charter, governing the years 2020– 2025, was approved by Albuquerque Public Schools in 2019.

Charter schools are not restricted by district boundaries and admit students regardless of where they live. They are funded by tax-payer dollars in ways similar to how traditional district public schools are funded. Although they are independent, charter schools are not private schools and do not charge tuition.


As a small regional school, East Mountain High School uses best practices to engage students in curricular programs, involve students in the community, and prepare students for success after graduation, including college, career and citizenship.

Adopted September 2014


East Mountain High School is a model college-preparatory school that provides outstanding learning experiences which engage, challenge and inspire each individual to achieve excellence.

Adopted March 2010

“East Mountain has a very vigorous curriculum, but with several opportunities for students to delve into a topic they are interested in further. Students work closely with CNM so we are able to take several online classes or have a college class on campus, thus allowing us to receive dual and regular credit. Most students can almost finish their first year of college before they graduate.”Student, Class of 2015

At a Glance

  • Public charter school
  • Admissions is offered through a lottery process; there are no qualifying tests and no tuition to pay
  • Accredited by the New Mexico Public Education Department
  • Founded in 2000
  • Grades 9 – 12
  • Principal: Trey Smith


  • Current enrollment: no more than 400 students
  • Students of color: 32%
  • Students qualifying for free or reduced lunch: 21%
  • Student faculty ratio: 16:1 on average

Faculty and Staff

  • Total number of faculty and staff: 41
  • Total number of certified personnel: 29
  • Percentage holding a Master’s degree or higher: 69%
  • Number holding National Board Certification: 4
  • All EMHS Faculty are a Level 2 or higher, based on PEDs teacher licensure levels.
  • Dual Credit

    • Total number credits earned in 2017-2018: 1,591
    • Average number of college credits per student: 18.7
    • Percentage of students with AP pass rate: 60%

    Athletics and Activities

    • Athletics Offered: Soccer, Cross-Country, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Track & Field, Volleyball, Bowling, Golf
    • Activities Offered: MESA, Speech & Debate, National Honor Society, Interact Club, Student Council, Model United Nations, Youth in Government, SAGA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)