EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- The National Center for Urban School Transformation honored the Northwest Early College High School in the Canutillo Independent School District as one of its 2023 America’s Best Schools Wednesday, May 10.

“Northwest Early College continues to shine at the national level by using the core principles of our District in access to high-quality education for all students, despite their background,” said Canutillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz. “This campus is proof positive that exemplary academic achievement is possible by any student, not just those with access to financial wealth.”

The Center recognized only eight schools this year. The Northwest Early College was the only one in the El Paso area to receive this award.

In their presentation, judges noted that despite having no academic criteria for admission, all students at Northwest graduate high school have earned an Associate of Arts degree.

Additionally, all core subjects are taught at the PreAP, Advanced Placement, dual credit or dual enrollment level in partnership with either El Paso Community College or the University of Texas at El Paso.

Some other honors the school has received include the following:

  • An A rating from the Texas Education Agency with distinctions in science, social studies, closing the gap and postsecondary readiness.
  • National Blue-Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Computer Science Principles Female Diversity Award from Advanced Placement (AP).
  • Accelerating Women’s Success and Mastery in Computer Science Honor Roll.
  • Four National Board-Certified Teachers out of the 19 faculty members, the highest rate in the region.
  • Top 3 Schools in El Paso by the U.S. News & World Report.

The Center bases the award on low-income eligibility, non-selective admissions process, high rates of academic proficiency for every racial/ethnic student group, evidence of high achievement for students with disabilities, high attendance rates, evidence of high achievement for English learners, low rates of out-of-school suspensions, low rates of teacher absences, percentages of students earning college credit and graduation rates.

Northwest Principal Frank Clark said the selection process involved an extensive visit, with judges interviewing staff and students about achievement and culture at the school.

“I am beyond proud to be able to say that Northwest is one of America’s Best Schools and that the work we’re doing in Canutillo ISD is transforming lives,” Clark said.