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Posted: November 2, 2018

News from the Superintendent

Peer Support

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy talks about the benefits of being a member of the Council of the Great City Schools.

There’s nothing like getting together with your peers to bounce off ideas, commiserate a bit and affirm the work you are doing. That’s what a couple of board members, co-workers and I did last week when we attended the annual Council of the Great City Schools conference.

The Council is a coalition of 70 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems including APS that provides opportunities to network, exchange ideas and solve problems in order to deliver the best possible education for the millions of students we collectively serve. We share ideas on improving curriculum, research and testing, finance, operations, personnel, technology, legislation, communications and more. 

As the largest school district in New Mexico representing a fourth of the state’s students, APS faces challenges that many smaller districts may not. Honestly, we probably have more in common with our counterparts in Anchorage, Dallas and El Paso than we do with Gadsden, Farmington or Texico.

That is confirmed every time I meet as a member of the Council’s executive committee with top educators from the country’s largest urban school districts including New York City, Denver, Austin, Portland and Philadelphia.

We grapple with a number of issues including mental health and suicide, technology, attendance, poverty and funding. At the annual conference, for example, we learned that between 55 and 60 percent of nation’s schools are Title I. In APS, that number is even greater – more than 70 percent of our schools serve mostly students whose families struggle to make ends meet. As the needs of these students and families escalate, funding at both the state and federal level has decreased, putting school districts like ours in a financial quagmire.

Accountability was another hot topic among our Great City School partners. As in New Mexico, our sister school districts notice that school grading reports often align with socioeconomic statistics and poverty. Schools identified as failing in these large urban districts must also submit plans for restructuring, redesign and turnaround. Each district talked about the importance of local control and community engagement as the heart of school turnaround. Some common themes heard in school turnaround design included positive school culture, wraparound services for students, smaller classes, community partnerships and more time for teacher collaboration and professional development.

We also come together to talk about ways to move towards a new reality of equity and intentional diversity. Like APS, schools in large urban school districts are continuously looking for ways to engage their families and communities to drive positive change in the schools.

I am sure you can appreciate the importance of peer support. Whether you are a teacher or principal, cafeteria or maintenance worker, you understand the value of having a sounding board, of getting advice from someone in a similar position, of receiving affirmation that you are on the right track.

That is the role the Council of the Great City Schools plays in my professional life and in the jobs of many leaders in Albuquerque Public Schools. I appreciate the support. I appreciate all of your support, too. It means the world to me.

News
Three APS Students Going to State Spelling Bee
More than 40 students participate in the districtwide bee held on Jan. 17.
Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
While schools are closed on Monday, Jan. 21, in commemoration of MLK Day, students can join the march in Albuquerque, volunteer and learn about the Civil Rights Movement.
Peanut
In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy shares some exciting personal news.
Art & Music Coming to All Elementary Schools
We're hiring 20 music and art teachers each year for the next five so that students will have both subjects every year in elementary school.
Outstanding Employees Announced
The first group of employees honored by the APS Employee Recognition Program includes an activities director, leadership instructor, redirector and specialist.
Events
Jan 21
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (schools closed)
Jan 21
Board of Education Finance Committee Meeting - Jan 21, 2019
Jan 23
San Idelfonso Pueblo Feast Day
Jan 23
Board Members Attend Economic Forum - Jan 23, 2019
Jan 23
Board of Education District Equity and Inclusion Committee Meeting - Jan 23, 2019
Jan 23
NCAA Information Night — Del Norte HS
Jan 24
Board Members Attend 50th Annual NM Governor's Prayer Breakfast - Jan 24, 2019
Jan 24
Board Members Attend APS Native American Open Community Forum - Jan 24, 2019