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Leadership Albuquerque Group Pitches in at Dolores Gonzales Elementary
Input for website will have a lasting effect on parent/community engagement.
May 15, 2012
The new Dolores Gonzales Elementary School website.
The "Blue Team" from Leadership Albuquerque: Luis Campos, Bill Daily, Eva Fomalont, Nicole Villareal, and Linda Coleman.
As participants in Leadership Albuquerque, they wanted to develop their leadership skills and explore civic issues. They found the connection between a school and the families it serves.
In a true “team” effort, the Leadership Albuquerque “Blue Team” and the APS Web Team completed a project that will serve Dolores Gonzales Elementary and its community for a long time to come.
A brand-new Dolores Gonzales website launched May 7, part of a district-wide project to create new school sites that mesh with APS.edu. The Dolores Gonzales site is APS’ 15th new site, but the first designed with the help of an outside team.
“I love our new website,” Principal Lori Stuit said. “It is vibrant, easy to navigate and will be a wonderful tool for our parents and community.”
The five-member Blue Team, one of whom has a child at the school, wanted to create a sustainable project as part of their Leadership Albuquerque work. They started with a survey about how parents interact with the school. Results showed that the school itself is the primary source parents use to find out what’s happening. However, parents indicated they were willing to use electronic means, if they were available.
The Blue Team conducted its survey in both English and Spanish and received a similar number of responses in each. Dolores Gonzales has a thriving dual-language program, in part because a significant number of its students learn English as a second language. So, the Blue Team and Web Team added Google Translate to the site, so that Spanish-speaking parents also can get information from it.
With about 450 students, Dolores Gonzales is a tight community. It has an active PTA and a busy parent room, where parents can work on computers or get together to plan events for the school. The new website highlights those strengths, and enhances them by serving as a resource to find helpful family programs and resources. It also offers an easy way to find school forms and contact information. Future plans include sites for each teacher and a smart phone app tailored to the school.
“People (can) see that when folks work together, the students benefit,” said Luis Campos, the Blue Team’s leader.
Stuit has nothing but praise for the blue team as well as the web team.
“They worked hard, were persistent, creative and very efficient,” Stuit said. “They asked good questions, brought together resources and hit the ground running.”
Leadership Albuquerque is an eight-month program that brings together emerging leaders from across the community to participate in the projects and interactions that result in a shared vision for the greater Albuquerque community.