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Superintendent's News

Posted: April 22, 2022

Home Stretch

In his weekly message to employees, Supt. Elder writes about comfortably familiar end-of-year traditions.

From the video "Earth Day Techtivities" by APS EdTech

From the video "Earth Day Techtivities" by APS EdTech

We’re in the home stretch.

It’s been a historic school year that began with unknowns and took a few unexpected turns but is, thankfully, winding down with a sense of normalcy. It’s so wonderful to see Albuquerque Public Schools students, staff, and families engaged in end-of-year traditions, too many of which were canceled, modified, or virtualized because of the pandemic. Prom, game days, promotions, field trips, competitions, presentations, performances, graduation. All back to normal. 

Our lives – and those of our students and their families – have changed over the past two years as we experienced health, safety, and cybersecurity threats, racial unrest, demographic shifts, critical staff shortages, and budgetary challenges. Much of this school year, like last year, looked different from before the pandemic. But these last few weeks have felt comfortably familiar, even as they blend the old with the new. It’s inspiring to see how our schools and offices are incorporating lessons learned to enhance education, services, and traditions.

Take the annual Metro Youth Art Exhibit as an example. This spring, you could stroll through the exhibit, just like old times, and admire the work of our talented middle and high school students. But no worries if you missed it. The Fine Arts Department filled a Google drive with images from the show and created a YouTube video featuring the winners.

Online registration is another second-semester ritual that has evolved in recent years. As usual, our schools provide technical support for families that need help with the process. But we also held a virtual school fair in late March, where families asked questions and gathered information from the comfort of their homes.

Our familiarity with technology spawned by the pandemic has improved communications at all levels. We continue to see better participation in parent/teacher conferences thanks to the option of meeting virtually.

We are also sharing more resources with families, including APS: Families Connected videos in multiple languages on everything from testing anxiety to checking attendance and grades to developing routines.

More resources and learning opportunities are available for teachers and staff, too, thanks to APS Educational Technology. Did you catch EdTech’s recent videos on Pi Day and Earth Day “techtivities?” Have a Google question? EdTech has Google answers! Check out their Google FAQs and trainings. These are valuable tools because – let’s face it – Google isn’t going away anytime soon.

As we wrap up these final weeks of an unforgettable school year, let’s remember it for the challenges we overcame, the lessons we learned, and the strength we gained through perseverance. Enjoy the final weeks of school!