Superintendent

Posted: April 12, 2019

Seeking Input

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy encourages employees and the community to provide input on a proposal to increase the school year at some schools by 10 days.

I have never been one to make tough decisions in a vacuum. I value the advice, expertise, concerns, and wisdom of others. That was the case when I was a teacher and principal. And it is especially true now in my capacity as superintendent. 

Decisions made at every level of our profession, from the classroom to the office to the boardroom, impact the lives of many, and they need to be made with care, consideration and, of course, with input. 

That is why I have reached out twice now to the APS community for feedback on lengthening the school year. 

As you know by now, state funding just recently became available to extend the school year by 10 days at some – not all – of our schools. So which schools? And how do we take advantage of this opportunity to improve academic success without causing undue stress for families and staff? 

We have turned to you, our employees, and to the families of our students and the members of our community for guidance.

First, I asked you to share your thoughts by sending emails or filling out a comment box on our website. So far, we have heard from about 500 stakeholders who touched on a variety of topics from student focus to better use of time. 

Some asked if we could lengthen the school day instead of the school year. Unfortunately, the legislation doesn’t allow for that option.

Some wanted to know why the additional school days were added to the beginning of the school year instead of at the end. We didn’t have much time to develop a calendar, so we are using one already approved by the Board of Education for some of our schools. This calendar closely aligns with the traditional calendar with the same holidays, winter and spring breaks, graduation week. In the future, when we have more time, we hope to consider other options. 

Many who wrote to us are worried about how the longer school year will affect their plans for the summer – jobs, camps, vacations. Those are legitimate concerns that we will need to address as we proceed. 

We appreciate those who took the time to write us, but they represent only a fraction of the 15,000 employees and more than 80,000 students in APS. We felt we needed to reach more of our constituents. So, this week, we sent a simple survey to about 85,000 email addresses in an attempt to measure interest by school community.

Research shows that more time in the classroom can boost student achievement for some students. Who better to identify those students than their teachers, principals, librarians, nurses, neighbors and, of course, their families.

The deadline to complete the survey is Sunday. I know that isn’t much time, but our application to the state is due Monday!

If you haven’t take the time to answer the survey (it’s very short – just one question), I ask that you do so before Sunday at noon. And encourage the families you serve, your neighbors and your friends to do so as well. Your feedback matters. We need it to make the best decision for the students of Albuquerque Public Schools. 

Filed under: Core Schools