About Santa Fe

Desert Academy

7300 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505


Mission & Vision
Desert Academy is dedicated to academic and personal excellence. We provide a quality college preparatory education in a diverse school community which values individuality and character, promotes self-confidence, and fosters global understanding.

Educational Philosophy
Desert Academy’s emphasis on the concurrent study of humanities, science, mathematics, physical education, and the arts provides continuity of scholarship and cultivates critical thinking skills. Through experiential learning, discussion, investigation, independent research, and writing across the curriculum, students gain competencies that will sustain a lifetime of learning. Students are encouraged to acknowledge their responsibility to themselves, their classmates, and the global community. Learning at Desert is not a means to an end, but rather a bridge to further engagement with the world at large and, as a result, a more meaningful and thoughtful life.

Desert Academy is a diverse community with a conviction that successful education develops basic human values such as respect and integrity. Our curriculum, advisory program, and school activities foster tolerance for differences in, but not limited to, gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic group and sexual orientation. We affirm that varying perspectives enrich the life of our school community and the world around us.

School Facts

  • Founded in 1994
  • Now occupy a beautiful, 26 acre campus on historic Old Santa Fe Trail
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) World School
  • The only school in New Mexico to offer both the Diploma Program and the Middle Years Program
  • Serving grades 6 through 12
  • Accredited by AdvancEd
  • Head of School, Terry Passalacqua, MA
  • Total enrollment: 197
  • 26% minority students
  • Average class size of 13
  • Student -teacher ratio of 8:1
  • 4 languages offered: Latin, Spanish, French, and Chinese
  • Vibrant international exchange program with students from at least six countries in Europe and Asia each year
  • Comprehensive, project based, student driven community service program in all grades
  • 24 sports teams (15 at varsity level) including: soccer, cross country, volleyball, basketball, swimming, golf, tennis, and track and field
  • Clubs include: Speech and Debate, Leos Service, Growing Up Thinking Computationally, Assistance Dogs of the West, Literary Journal, Model UN, National Honor and National Junior Honor Societies, Origami, Student Council, Outdoors and Sustainability, Yearbook, Dungeons & Dragons, and Garden Club
  • No-cut athletic policy
  • 2013- 2014 tuition: $17,225
  • $500,000 in Financial Aid awarded annually
  • 41% of our students receive some form of Financial Aid
  • 81% of annual budget of $2,800,000 is covered by tuition