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News from the Superintendent: April 20, 2009
April 19, 2009
Dear APS Community Member,
Let me start by thanking departments and schools for working with the budget office and finance department to get their budgets in last week. As I told school administrators in the meetings held with each level last week, it is our intention to keep all cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. APS departments deserve our gratitude for making the hard choices necessary to present the two scenarios of their budgets—one with 10 percent cuts and another with 15 percent cuts.
Although these are trying times for the school district, the hard work and dedication of all employees will help us to do our number one job of leading Albuquerque’s children.
Tomorrow I’m visiting East San Jose Elementary to take a look at the program started by the National Dance Institute. NDI has worked in partnership with APS for some time, and I appreciate their support in bringing in programs that enhance what schools are able to provide. NDI programs will help us engage students in fine arts while we continue to try to find a way to put music and art into elementary schools every year. I look forward to meeting their staff.
Public School Volunteer Week starts today. Just about every teacher and principal I know will tell you how important volunteers are at their schools. Schools couldn’t function without them. If you are a school volunteer, thank you so much. If you know a volunteer, be sure to thank him or her personally.
Earth Day is Wednesday, and I’m sure there will be observances all across the district. I look forward to hearing about the projects students do. I’m proud of our students for doing all they can to recycle and conserve energy.
Don’t forget Administrative Professionals’ Day on Wednesday as well. The people who support—or should I say run—our district and school offices deserve a huge ‘thank you’ for all they do.
Congratulations to Hoover, Kennedy and Desert Ridge middle schools, which finished first, second and third overall, respectively, in the Alternative Fuels Challenge on Saturday. I hear the cars were cleverly designed and everyone had a good time. Hands-on work in science is invaluable as we continue to engage students in meaningful educational experiences. Maybe one of them will develop a fuel cell that can power a full-sized car one day. That 37 teams from APS and middle schools around the state participated in the competition is remarkable.
Let me remind you that this Friday is part of the make-up for December’s snow day. Students will attend classes in the morning and staff will have professional development sessions in the afternoon. Thank you again for your cooperation in making this work.
Have a great week.
Winston Brooks, Superintendent
Albuquerque Public Schools