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Superintendent's News

Posted: September 8, 2023

We Welcome Your Feedback on the New Strategic Plan

In his weekly message, Superintendent Scott Elder discusses the public rollout of Emerging Stronger.

Superintendent Scott Elder at the Emerging Stronger strategic plan summit.

Superintendent Scott Elder at the Emerging Stronger strategic plan summit.

We officially rolled out our Emerging Stronger strategic plan last week at a dinner at Albuquerque High and a summit at Berna Facio Professional Development Center.

We had a couple hundred students, family members, and others at the family and community celebration dinner and about 160 at the summit, a showing I’m proud of. We’ve been working on our new goals, guardrails, and strategic plan for the better part of a year, so having the opportunity to share that work with our families and community partners felt like an important milestone!

The great thing about this plan is it sets our priorities for the next five years. APS, like many other urban districts, has had a tendency to chase that silver bullet only to get frustrated and move on to the next shiny thing. We now have five-year goals that have been approved by the board and that are rooted in what our community said it wanted to see.

As you’ve already heard me say many times, this plan is aimed at improving outcomes for all of our students. It’s focused on four overarching five-year goals the Board of Education adopted: improving literacy and math proficiency rates, boosting college and career readiness, and helping our students develop the life skills they will need to be successful in life. The guardrails, which include such things as allocating resources equitably, represent the values we will cling to as we work toward achieving our goals.

The four strategic priorities we came up with are the roadmap we will use to achieve our goals. Those priorities include setting clear expectations, providing rigorous instruction, engaging our students, and instituting responsive and coordinated systems.

I invite you to take a few minutes to watch the video providing an overview of Emerging Stronger (we also have a Spanish version) and to visit the district website to find out more about the strategic plan and the work we’re undertaking. 

And I ask every APS employee to work with me and the board to make these four goals a reality.

The plan we came up with is based on the input we received from our students, parents, community members, and staff who attended listening sessions we held last year and who responded to surveys. As we unveiled the plan to the public last week, one of the messages we tried to drive home was that those listening sessions weren’t a one-and-done event. More listening sessions are planned, and we will let you know once the details are finalized. We want to engage with our community. We want feedback.

Much work went into our Emerging Stronger plan, but it’s important to know that the plan is not set in stone. It’s a living document that will need to be updated as our district moves through this five-year process and works to improve outcomes. If something isn’t working, we need to know about it so that we can pivot.

Finally, I’d like to take a moment and thank the APS leadership team who worked for the last year on our strategic plan. It was a lot of hours and a lot of effort. I’m confident that work will pay dividends for years to come!