Award Year: 2014

Mater Gardens Academy

9010 NW 178 Lane
Hialeah, FL, 33018-6548

(305) 512-9775

Ms. Lourdes Cristina Isla-Marrero, Principal at time of Nomination

Charter School


School Website


Meaningful achievement of academics facilitated by teachers, administrators, parents & the community, enabling students to become confident, self-directed & responsible lifelong learners.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 3%
  • Hispanic: 95%
  • Asian: 1%
  • ELL: 22%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
The school's Edible Garden Project was a collaboration among stakeholders.

The school's Edible Garden Project was a collaboration among stakeholders.

Mater Gardens Academy opened its doors in August 2006 as a K-8 charter school sponsored by Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Mater Gardens prides itself in providing high quality education. An emphasis is placed on developing relationships with families and community members. Parents are required to complete volunteer hours every year through school-wide family activities such as book fairs, school carnivals, and multicultural fests. Community partnerships are fostered with local universities to provide students with access to college readiness programs. Mater Gardens upholds core values that pave the way for student success: setting high expectations, valuing individuality, expecting accountability, and demonstrating respect, honesty, and integrity. The rigorous curriculum is aligned vertically and horizontally among the grade levels. Standards such as higher order reasoning and critical thinking are integral components of the program. Supplemental resources, such as data-driven technology programs, are used to reinforce the academic content. Students are provided with enriching educational opportunities, including the bilingual program, targeted tutoring programs, and after-school clubs focusing on art, books, robotics, music, and ecological awareness. Mater Gardens received the Florida School Recognition in 2008, sixth place in the county on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Science in 2011, and the Gold Award from Miami-Dade County Public Schools in 2006 and 2007 acknowledging excellent performance, and placed as one of the top 10 schools in Miami-Dade County in 2012 and 2013. Mater Gardens has been accredited by CASI since 2009 and as part of the Mater Academy, Inc. district by AdvancED since 2011.