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News from the Superintendent

Posted: April 17, 2020

Stepping Up To The Challenge

In her weekly message to employees, Superintendent Reedy writes about implementing the APS Continuous Learning Plan.

Learning at home

Learning at home

One thing about educators, when you give us a challenge, we step up.

That’s just how we roll in public education, whether dealing with a child who struggles to read, a school that floods in a snowstorm, a family that suddenly loses their home, or a global pandemic.

That can-do, must-do attitude has been front and center ever since we closed our doors a month ago to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. It has become even more evident as we rolled out continuous learning plans at all of our schools this week.

Our first shuttered weeks during this public health crisis were spent meeting basic needs. We’ve provided more than half a million grab and go meals for students, checked out thousands of laptops to families that don’t have a computer at home, made sure employees got paid on time, kept our schools safe and secure.

 And we planned. The APS leadership team worked countless hours and days developing a roadmap for continued teaching and learning. The mission of Albuquerque Public Schools hasn’t changed, but the execution looks like nothing we have ever experienced before.

That didn’t slow us down; it just fueled our imagination, our determination, our grit. There were lots to consider during this process: equity, culture, language, poverty, special needs, technology, stress, anxiety. The list goes on and on. As we developed the APS Continuous Learning Plan, several objectives became clear. Throughout the remainder of this school year (and perhaps beyond), we as a district have committed to:

  • Focus on essential learning
  • Emphasize relationships and connectivity
  • Prioritize social and emotional wellness equally to academic engagement
  • Recognize that decisions must support all students
  • Establish a consistent and agreed-upon framework of expectations, communication models, and practices that all stakeholders share and can participate in
  • Provide support and training 
  • Be flexible 
  • Encourage patience and support

This week (and even before then) the plan went into effect. Through the brilliance of technology, we met with students and families, assigned and reviewed assignments, read books, played music, shared announcements, celebrated spirit weeks, solved problems, created, performed, questioned, learned.

I have been excited, impressed, and touched by all of the hard work that has gone into the continued support of our students in these unprecedented times. But, honestly, I haven’t been surprised. I knew you’d come to the plate swinging. Teachers want to teach. Counselors want to counsel. Food servers want to serve food. Maintenance employees want to maintain schools. That’s what we do. It’s in our DNA.

I thank you for that. I know this hasn’t been easy, but you keep proving that you are ready, able and willing to do what's best for our students. That fills my heart.