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News from the Superintendent

Posted: November 1, 2019

Innovative and Inspirational

In her weekly message, Superintendent Reedy writes about innovative and inspirational teaching and learning.

Nicholas Porter, a grant recipient from Madison Middle School

Nicholas Porter, a grant recipient from Madison Middle School

As we flip the calendar to November, we enter a season of gratitude, that time of year when we reflect on all the good surrounding us.

I have so much to be thankful for. My small but growing family. My rewarding career that took me down roads I never imagined. My tenure as superintendent that has allowed me to lead an amazing team of dedicated educators, people like you who make a real difference in the lives of our students.

We certainly have lots of good things going on in Albuquerque Public Schools. Evidence of that became more clear recently when the APS Education Foundation announced the winners of its fall grants. Nearly 60 grants totaling just under a quarter of a million dollars went to innovative teachers, administrators and staff members who are coming up with new ways to engage and teach, inspire and influence, amaze and excite our students.

Let me tell you about a few of them.

  • Volcano Vista High School received $15,209.80 to create a technology-assisted Writing Process and Research Lab for senior English students to more efficiently use instructional time to complete writing assignments and research.
  • Wherry Elementary School is tackling attendance with its $19,656 Guhl Literacy grant. Their Rocket to Reading project awards students with free books when they are at school every day, on time, all day. This project will help the school reach its 90-Day Plan goal to increase student attendance by 2 percent.
  • With their $25,000 grant, North Star Elementary plans to build a computer science lending library for six Zone 4 schools. Through a partnership with Open Source Kids, the new library will allow elementary school teachers to bring computer science lessons to over 3,500 APS students. The project’s goal is to increase the number of teachers incorporating the newly adopted New Mexico computer science standards into classroom instruction as well as computer labs.
  • Cleveland Middle School received an Achieve Grant for $2,771.85 to help pay for #inspireGR8ness, a college and career symposium convention for the entire eighth-grade class showcasing traditional and nontraditional career paths.
  • Garfield Middle School plans to immerse students in genetics by using biotechnology tools to replicate and examine DNA. These studies will allow them to research a variety of questions about heredity while they explore an area of science that typically is reserved for high school AP Bio students.
  • James Monroe Middle School got money for a news studio so students can broadcast a daily morning news show created on YouTube.
  • Jimmy Carter Middle School will use a variety of apps to integrate music and technology in the classroom.
  • Marie Hughes Elementary School has come up with a fun and creative way for the entire school to develop skills, in the kitchen! Each classroom will have the opportunity to use cooking and food preparation to teach essential life skills, academics such as math and science, social skills, and real-life work skills.
  • The after-school Knitting Club at Matheson Park Elementary School teaches students to use knifty knitter looms to make baby and toddler hats that are donated to New Future's High School and newborn intensive care units at local hospitals. Over the past six years, students in the knitting club have donated more than 300 hats.
  • Special education students at Osuna Elementary School are using technology to improve their reading and communication skills. This includes virtual field trips, photography, read-aloud programs, highlighting and drawing tools for identifying main ideas and supporting details, and student recordings of themselves reading to improve fluency.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! The Foundation received more than a hundred grant proposals this time around. That amounts to lots of creative juices flowing through our schools. It also is reflective of the collective desire to meet students where they are to help them succeed.

Congratulations to the grant recipients, and to all of you who are innovative and inspirational. You make a difference.