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Posted August 17, 2018

Don't We All

In her weekly message to employees, Supt. Reedy talks about how staff, students and families alike are hoping for a very good school year.

I spent some time Monday morning taking pictures of families whose children would be among the first to attend our newest school, Tres Volcanes Community Collaborative K-8 School.

What I saw on those faces smiling for the camera was excitement, maybe a little anxiety, and hope.

Excitement for all of the possibilities that lie ahead for every one of our nearly 84,000 students – from the kindergartener who walked into the classroom for the very first time to the seniors celebrating their final year of high school, and everyone in between.

I sensed the anxiety, too, especially among parents, grandparents and guardians who trust us to take good care of their children, to treat them with respect, to teach them with integrity, to create for them a safe and drama-free environment where they can thrive.

But mostly, I saw hope. Those students and their families want to believe that this will be a very good year.

Don’t we all.

I’m happy to report that we are off to a great start. Our schools are spic and span thanks to our hard-working maintenance crews. Upbeat, inspirational messages cover the walls and doors of classrooms, offices and hallways. Some were even written in chalk at school entrances. 

School staff warmly welcomes students and families each morning. School and district administration provide support and assistance to teachers and school staff each day.  

And the learning has begun in force.

Let’s keep up the momentum. We are in a good place, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t facing challenges including an annual drop in enrollment. We're not exactly sure why APS continues to lose about 1,000 students a year. I suspect there are a number of reasons for the decline.

What I do know is that we need to make our students, families and colleagues feel welcome. That’s a message for all of us, whether we work in City Center, the Lincoln Complex or at a school. First impressions matter.

This week, you knocked it out of the park. Thank you for that.

This will be a successful school year. How do I know? Because we’re in it together. You might say we’re One APS.

Just like we’re One Albuquerque.

And speaking of One Albuquerque, have you heard about the One ABQ Challenge? I spoke recently to Albuquerque’s First Lady Elizabeth Kistin Keller who told me about this challenge to connect youth and elders in our community. That sounds right up our alley!

Some project ideas:

  • Develop a project connecting students with seniors in a nearby nursing home
  • Mobilize neighbors of all ages for a yard project or repairs at a senior's home
  • Organize and document inter-generational storytelling
  • Hold a supply drive or fundraiser to support an organization that connects you and older generations.

My guess is a lot of you already are involved in community service projects like these. If you are, share them on social media using #ThisIsABQ. And thank you!

If you’re not, but you’ve been looking for a cross-generational project for your students, contact our Volunteer Program Manager Elizabeth Calhoon at 505-855-5267 or elizabeth.calhoon@aps.edu. You can also contact the Volunteers Coordinator for the Mayor’s office, Sofia Sanchez, at 505-768-3017 or smsanchez@cabq.gov

This particular challenge runs through August, but there will be another one in April. So start planning now and stay tuned for details! 

I won’t keep you any longer. I know how busy the first few days of school can be! I just wanted to congratulate you on a great start, wish you continued success and thank you for all you do.

I’ll be in touch.

Filed under:
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