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Board of Education District and Community Relations Committee Meeting

Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 5:00 PM

Meeting Information and Documents:

  • Meeting Location:
    DeLayo Martin Community Board Room, Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex, 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE
  • Meeting Notice: Posted on April 21, 2014 at 6:15 PM
  • Agenda Packet: Posted on May 23, 2014 at 5:42 PM
  • Minutes
  • Calendar import: vCal iCal

Additional Details

District and Community Relations Committee Meeting



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5:00 PM

DeLayo Martin Community Room, Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex, 6400 Uptown Blvd.NE

Albuquerque, New Mexico



Call to Order



Roll Call



Adoption of the May 27, 2014, District and Community Relations Agenda and the Approval of the March 26, 2014, District and Community Relations Minutes (Discussion/Action)



Public Forum



Presentation on Comanche Elementary School Food Pantry (Discussion)
Presenter: Monica Armenta, executive director, Communications, Marvin Callahan, teacher, and Karin Medina, counselor, Comanche Elementary School



Introduction and Demonstration of the Albuquerque Public Schools Mobile Application (Discussion)
Presenter: Monica Armenta, executive director, Communications, Aaron Jaramillo, web manager, Web Team, and Maralyn Beck, social media strategist, Communications



Introduction of Albuquerque Public Schools' New Chief Operations Officer (Discussion)
Presenter: Monica Armenta, executive director, Communications



Next Steps for the District and Community Relations Committee (Discussion)
Presenter: Monica Armenta, executive director, Communications, and Kathy Korte, chairwoman, District and Community Relations Committee



Next District and Community Relations Committee Meeting



Wednesday, June 24, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., at the Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex in the DeLayo Martin Community Room.





Minutes of the District and Community Relations Committee Meeting

Board of Education

Albuquerque Public Schools


A District and Community Relations Committee meeting of the Board of Education (BOE) of Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) was held Tuesday, May 27, 2014, beginning at 5:00 p.m., in the DeLayo Martin Community Room, Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex, 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE.


I.          Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m.

  1. A. Roll Call

Present:  Dr. Analee Maestas, Lorenzo Garcia, Steven Michael Quezada (via telephone), and Dr. David Peercy

Absent:  Kathy Korte, Martin Esquivel, Dr. Don Duran

  1. B. Adoption of the May 27, 2014, District and Community Relations Committee Agenda and the Approval of the March 26, 2014, District and Community Relations Committee Meeting Minutes (Discussion/Action)

Board member David Peercy asked for a motion to adopt the agenda and approve the March 26, 2014, District and Community Relations Committee meeting minutes. Board member Lorenzo Garcia moved for approval; Dr. Analee Maestas seconded the motion; motion carried.


II.         Public Forum

There were no participants for public forum.


III.        Presentation on Comanche Elementary School Food Pantry (Discussion)

Communications Executive Director Monica Armenta introduced Marvin Callahan and Karin Medina.  Marvin Callahan, an APS teacher of 20 years, and Karin Medina, an APS counselor of five years, shared information about a food pantry program they began in the 2012/2013 school year to address a critical hunger issue that was affecting the learning ability of many of the students at Comanche Elementary School.  The school supplies about 25 families per week with a grocery bag that contains two breakfasts, two lunches, and two snacks, assembled by volunteers.  NBC correspondent Chelsea Clinton will file a national report on this initiative this summer.

Marvin Callahan shared that a poverty issue brought student need into the spotlight.  He noticed their hunger and how they were unable to communicate their needs to other adults.  After meeting several children from the same family he found that more than hunger was affecting their learning; their mother also was fighting cancer. This began the food pantry program.  Karin Medina shared that as a single mother of three she agreed with the need.  As the school counselor, she was concerned with confidentiality. It was mentioned that Comanche Elementary School is nestled in a manicured area, yet the 411 students attending include a 62 percent free and reduced lunch population.  This food pantry program will be the subject of a NBC news program.

Mr. Callahan stated that he started out helping the family by buying the boys haircuts, then some clothes.  Mr. Callahan then met with the school counselor.  Ms. Medina created a letter asking permission to send food home. It was stated that there was no advertising.  Mr. Callahan and Ms. Medina shared how they collect the food donations and how the volunteers distribute them in ways that are not too heavy for kindergarten students.  During winter and spring breaks, the families get a box of extra food to help them through the break.  Mr. Callahan shared that right before winter holiday 2013, he was worried that they might run out of food and would not be able to continue.  Mr. Callahan, having been a teacher, was familiar with asking for resources, so he appealed to a news personality to see if the station was interested in doing a story. On Monday morning, the co-anchor met with Ms. Medina and Mr. Callahan and filmed a story that aired that week.  A link also was placed on the KOB website.

Board Member Dr. Analee Maestas thanked Mr. Callahan and Ms. Medina.  Discussion took place regarding city food programs for Comanche Elementary School parents.  Mr. Callahan stated that they did not qualify due to a higher than acceptable free and reduced lunch percentage.  Mr. Callahan also mentioned their homeless families.  Dr. Maestas suggested the dinner program, through CYFD, as a possible resource because it is offered without income eligibility requirements.  Siblings between three and 18 may eat at the school and it just requires someone that can fill out the paperwork.

Board Member Lorenzo Garcia thanked Mr. Callahan and Ms. Medina for their efforts and for taking the initiative.  Discussion took place regarding the disheartening portrayal of teachers on television.  Mr. Garcia asked about their experience working with national media.  Mr. Callahan and Ms. Medina recounted their nervous preparations and mentioned the secrecy that needed to surround Chelsea Clinton due to security issues.  The senior producer, Mary Murray, and staff were described as genuine people with their heart attuned to children.  Mr. Callahan and Ms. Medina described the crew as driven, exciting, but able to make the project easy.  Ms. Medina mentioned the efforts to make sure children without photo releases were not around the cameras.

Board Member Lorenzo Garcia asked how their efforts were translated into their evaluations.  Mr. Callahan believed the program was put in place before the evaluations, so it was not addressed.  Mr. Garcia mentioned that when teachers are giving this type of effort there should be some sort of credit included in the evaluation.  Mr. Callahan responded that he received a rating of minimally effective.  Ms. Medina stated that the entire first grade team received minimally effective.  Discussion took place regarding school ratings and the lack of consideration for students living in cars. Outrage was expressed when considering the number of kids in the state who are lacking basic needs.  Individual experiences were recounted about parents at the school not bringing their need forward in fear of losing their children.

Board Member Steven Michael Quezada commended the amazing teachers at Comanche Elementary School.  Mr. Quezada stated that he was embarrassed that obviously excellent teachers are subjected to the unfair evaluation system.  Mr. Quezada stated that he was emotional because he grew up in similar circumstances as these students.  Mr. Quezada also mentioned future work with the Begay golf tournament and the possibility of adding some help from a celebrity standpoint.

Discussion took place about when the piece would air.  Board Member Dr. David Peercy commented on the great program and mentioned that his neighborhood has been a donor.  Dr. Peercy apologized for the evaluation inadequacies and mentioned the board’s appreciation for everyone involved with the program.


IV.        Introduction and Demonstration of the Albuquerque Public Schools Mobile Application (Discussion)

Monica Armenta, executive director, Communications, introduced Aaron Jaramillo, web manager, Web Team, and Maralyn Beck, social media strategist, Communications, shared that APS now has a new mobile application for iPhone and Android devices that provides a way for the APS community to get information about the district and individual schools, a platform for marketing, and a revenue stream for the district via approved geolocated vendor coupons.  Ms. Beck stated that 61percent of adults have a smart phone.  The program that they have developed is available currently for IOS and the Android version is in process.  The developers are calling it “My School App” and the graphics used work well with the APS logo.  The information is pulled from what principals have on their websites.  Aaron Jaramillo stated that they are 12 schools shy of 100 percent participation, and that all schools should be included by July.

Ms. Beck explained that the application shows menus, events and activities.  These dates can be added to a calendar if using an iPhone.  The app also has notice possibilities for emergencies, etc.  The Jobs area of the APS website is also included.  This program is not costing the district any money; revenue sharing allows the district to collect 5 percent of coupons used.

Dr. Analee Maestas asked about Facebook and Twitter.  Discussion took place regarding public access and response to parents that contact the school via social media.  Ms. Beck responds to all comments sent to Albuquerque Public Schools.  Monica Armenta explained how the work being done is to communicate with families the way the families are currently communicating.  Control will be evasive; training and responsibility will be necessary. Having all 142 schools under the same umbrella is commendable and appreciation was expressed to Mr. Jaramillo.   Dr. Maestas asked about the liability to Albuquerque Public Schools.   Mrs. Armenta commented that the rules are being written on a daily basis all across the country; Albuquerque Public Schools is working on appropriate policy.  Dr. Maestas requested a presentation be brought to the board on social media.  Mrs. Armenta responded that she will work with Board Services Executive Director Brenda Yager on making that happen.

Dr. Analee Maestas asked how this new program is not costing the district money.  Ms. Beck explained the coupons involved and how Albuquerque Public Schools benefits.

Board Member Lorenzo Garcia commented that this effort is outstanding and that it makes more sense to be in the game than to let things happen randomly.

Board Member Steven Michael Quezada is excited to be able to communicate quicker with students and parents and the importance of monitoring security aspects.  Families will appreciate information provided in a manner they find usable, which is easier than searching for it. He thanked the team for their work.

Board member Dr. David Peercy commented that it was all very interesting and is looking forward to being kept up to date.


V.         Introduction of Albuquerque Public Schools’ new Chief Operations Officer (Discussion)

Ms. Armenta introduced Ruben Hendrickson, who has been deputy chief financial officer going on five years, and has now been selected as the new chief operations officer.  Mr. Hendrickson commented on the short time he has been working with Dr. Winter and how much he has learned.  Mr. Hendrickson is looking forward to the challenge and to the support from the board.  Dr. Analee Maestas asked about an overview of security in our district.  Dr. Maestas would like a big picture view of how we protect students.  Mr. Hendrickson mentioned that the new chief, Steve Gallegos, will accompany him to help with this overview.

Board Member Lorenzo Garcia thanked Mr. Hendrickson for accepting the position.  Mr. Garcia would like to see integrated planning to bring many people and departments together during the process.  Mr. Garcia would like to see consideration of transportation and security involved in planning, as well as concerns of gun safety and public health.

Board Member Steven Michael Quezada voiced his congratulations and mentioned that he had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Hendrickson.  Mr. Quezada commented that Mr. Hendrickson was great at his previous APS assignment and wondered who will be filling that position.  Mr. Quezada mentioned that Mr. Hendrickson’s background in finance will help with planning and the expenses involved.  Mr. Quezada offered his help if needed.

Dr. David Peercy wished Dr. Winter well and said he would be missed.  Discussion on security ideas from Sandia High School and concerns regarding maintenance and operations took place.


VI.        Next Steps for the District and Community Relations Committee (Discussion)

Ms. Armenta and board members discussed future plans and logistics for the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education District and Community Relations Committee.  Ms. Armenta brought up that Chairwoman Kathy Korte would like to increase community engagement by on-site quarterly meetings, including extending an invitation to key community business groups.  Chairwoman Korte has approved a letter that the Communications department developed to go out to community business groups requesting their participation. The first meeting would be in early August.  Discussion took place that this could be a more attractive venue for the community.

There was discussion about Chairwoman Korte’s desire to have more interaction with the community and whether the setting should be more like a forum or a meeting with formality.  Board members Dr. Peercy and Dr. Maestas reflected on past attempts to realize that goal.  Problems of maintaining a small agenda to allow for plenty of public comment time was mentioned.   Dr. Maestas requested that Board Services Executive Director Brenda Yager attempt to keep other items on the agendas to a minimum.

Board Member Lorenzo Garcia commented that the name of the committee had been changed in the past to include the community and the district. It was mentioned that the committee was set up for intentional interaction with the media and concern was expressed that the new system continue to fulfill that function.  Discussion ensued in regards to this being a place for a relationship with the media.  Mr. Garcia mentioned that the four meetings a year will be a lot of work.  Spanish language community members are also a significant concern.

Board Member Steven Michael Quezada agreed with the concerns covered in the discussion.

Community member Candelaria Patterson, a past president and education liaison for a west side coalition, was invited to comment. Ms. Patterson commented that APS is a big district to cover in terms of getting folks involved.  She invited all the board members to the West Side Coalition of Neighborhood Association’s meeting on June 10, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.  Dr. Peercy asked if she would send an invitation and/or give the information to Monica Armenta.  Ms. Patterson said that she would get the information to Ms. Armenta and that she would like a commitment from the board members.

Board member Dr. Peercy mentioned that we need to help the community to know that the schools belong to them.   How well the school does is how well the community does.

Dr. Peercy commented that it is important to be careful of the time for the staff.  Superintendent Brooks understands the importance of honoring the staff’s time and availability.  Dr. Peercy also commented that there will be multiple topics with limited time.  Dr. Peercy asked what will be done with the conversations, specifically, how APS will respond.  Dr. Peercy also asked how this new committee format would support APS goals and goal actions or if this would create new goals. He also asked if this would get more people involved.

Board Services Executive Director Brenda Yager mentioned that it would depend on the response to the letter.

Dr. Peercy asked if the letter could be sent to the board members. Monica Armenta will make sure the letter gets to the board members.

Dr. Analee Maestas wants the commitment that other agenda items will be kept out of these meetings.  If this is not adhered to, the meetings typically get tied up with other items and the community cannot engage.

Dr. Peercy commented that keeping the regularly scheduled District and Community Relations Committee meetings should allow these new quarterly meetings to remain focused on the community engagement that is desired.




VII.       Next District and Community Relations Committee Meeting

Dr. David Peercy announced that the next District and Community Relations Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., at the Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex in the DeLayo Martin Community Room.


VIII.      Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 6:­­20 p.m.



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