We provide a variety of services including media relations, crisis management, internal and external communications and content for APS.edu.
6400 Uptown Blvd. NE
Suite 630 East
Albuquerque 87110 Map
What We Do
The primary purpose of the Albuquerque Public Schools Communications Office is to support our schools, our departments, and the district as a whole by serving as a vital point of contact between APS and the community.
The Communications Office helps manage crisis situations; responds to media inquiries; explains complex issues to parents and the community; communicates district directives and policies to employees; facilitates access to public records; and notifies the public in cases of emergency. By taking on these responsibilities, we free teachers and administrators to focus on academics and student achievement.
The office consists of the custodian of public records, two communications/media relations specialists and an administrative assistant. They are led by an executive director who manages the office, serves on the superintendent’s executive leadership team, oversees content on the main pages of APS.edu, works in partnership with the APS Education Foundation, and manages the district’s school-to-home communications tool.
Examples of the work done by the Communications Office:
When crises arise on campuses and district facilities, the Communications Office is there to help. This means being on site at affected schools, advising administrators, briefing staff, handling the media, sending out emergency notifications, drafting letters for parents, and posting lockdown and shelter-in-place information on the APS website.
The Communications Office helps schools and district offices provide information to their communities on complicated or controversial issues by developing and sharing easy-to-understand presentations and materials, most of which are posted to the APS website.
The Communications Office promotes parental involvement and keeps the community informed about what’s going on in its schools. Some of our outreach efforts include:
- Managing a school-to-home communications system that notifies parents in the case of emergencies such as lockdowns, school closures due to inclement weather and attendance issues.
- Producing and distributing a weekly electronic newsletter, APS News, with more than 50,000 subscribers. Topics include school and district news, celebrations, students of the week, featured events, media coverage and articles and tips for families.
- Responding to e-mails submitted through the APS website.
- Producing a yearly district wall calendar in partnership with Albuquerque the Magazine at no cost to the district.
- Communicating complicated information through video by recording, producing and posting informational videos that cover topics throughout the district, like student-led conferences, summer school, and interactive whiteboards. See the full video library >>
- Maintaining social media connections including Facebook and Twitter (@ABQschools).
- Providing updates on the Legislative agenda and session.
- Messaging and marketing the district through a money-making partnership with Clear Channel on electronic billboards at four locations: Cibola High School, Eldorado High School, Del Norte High School and Wilson Stadium.
- Collaborating with a variety of public and private partners such as the city of Albuquerque, the U.S. Department of Education, Kirtland Air Force Base, Explora Museum and Fidelity Investments.
- Providing information on Board of Education elections, including candidate profiles, financial disclosures and times, dates and locations of forums.
As the largest school district in the state with 90,000 students and 140 schools, APS is under constant and intense media scrutiny. The Communications Office handles hundreds of media requests each month, freeing teachers and administrators to focus on educating students. We also monitor media coverage and pitch stories to media outlets that provide helpful information to parents, students and the community.
The Communications Office keeps the district’s 11,500 employees up-to-date on a variety of topics through a weekly electronic employee newsletter called Perspective as well as the APS website's Employees page. Topics include benefits and salary news, employee discounts, retirements, honors and recognitions including Teacher of the Month.
The Communications Office serves as the state-required Custodian of Records providing, upon request, such items as student transcripts and comprehensive records, employee salaries and history, program information, budget information and police reports. The Office also makes sure that information protected by privacy laws is not disclosed to the public.
Probably the most significant contribution the Communications Office has made to transparency is the district website, which provides information to parents and the general public. The Office has worked with the APS Web Team on posting budget information, messages from the superintendent, legislative updates,employee contact information and the latest APS News.
The Communications Office assists the APS Education Foundation – a non-profit organization established for promoting private support of the district and its students. Some projects we’ve worked on together on include
- The Horizon Campaign, a campaign to obtain $1 million in private funding from the community.
- A is for Art! auction, which raised money for the APS art programs, and celebrated the talent of student artists.
- Selfless Seniors, in partnership with Albuquerque photographer Frank Frost, which recognizes high school seniors who give back to their community.
Eldorado student Justine Solan worked with the APS Web Team on creating a page that provides information on student photos, permissions and website images.
February 9, 2012
Great things happen at APS every day.
January 17, 2011
APS has many things to be proud of from 2009.
December 17, 2009