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Posted October 7, 2015

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New ‘Family School’ to be built on West Side

School of Choice seeking teachers for new site in 2017

A new family school is planned for Albuquerque’s West Side in the fall of 2017.

Currently with a location adjacent to McKinley Mid-School, Desert Willow Family School offers a half-day of in-school instruction and a half-day of home-based education for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

“To prepare teachers to work in the new West Side family school, Desert Willow will offer professional development for current APS teachers who might be interested in teaching at the new location,” said Desert Willow Principal Gael Keyes. “During the 2015-16 school year, interested teachers will be able to observe classes at Desert Willow a half-day each month, followed by a half-day of paid training one Saturday morning per month.”

A substitute teacher will be provided by the district for teachers who participate in the half-day observations, Keyes added, noting that the east side location also is expanding and so more teachers will be needed next year too.

Family school has developed its own unique curricula that encourages collaboration with parents and allows students to learn in multi-age, self-contained classrooms.

“To replicate the program requires extensive teacher preparation,” Keyes said.

She noted that the school will work with a small cohort of student teachers from the University of New Mexico in both undergraduate and graduate teaching programs. “It is hoped that putting together a combination of new teachers with veteran teachers will provide a pool to open the new family school in 2017,” Keyes added.

Current teachers interested in learning about this opportunity should contact Keyes by e-mail at keyes@aps.edu. An informational meeting and interviews will be conducted to select candidates for the training.

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