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Posted: September 5, 2017

College & Career Skills Start Here

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy talks about one of her "Big 5" priorities, College and Career Readiness.

Students should begin preparing for college and careers the minute they walk into our schools.

Think about it. The basic skills children are taught in elementary school serve as the foundation for a lifetime of learning. They don’t learn to read just for the sake of reading. They read to expand their horizons. They don’t just solve math problems. They develop problem-solving skills. They don’t just do projects. They investigate, engage and explore real-world challenges.

That’s what college and career readiness is all about – making sure our students have the skills, and the passion, they need for successful and happy lives.

And like I said, that begins the minute they walk through our doors.

They get that at Governor Bent Elementary School. The marquee at the front of the school says it all: “College and Career Skills Start Here.”

The school is trimmed with college embellishments – from the 74 college pendants lining the cafeteria walls to the classrooms and offices decorated with diplomas and mascots to the gym that’s renamed The Pit. (They even had a visit from Lobo Louie on the first day of school).

It’s not just about college, though. The students are encouraged to dream big, to think about all of the possibilities the future holds. Each morning, students reading the announcements wrap up by sharing what they’re going to be when they grow up – scientists, makeup artists, animators and YouTubers (yep, that’s what one second grader said he wants to be). Then, they return to class to learn what it takes to make those dreams a reality.

What it takes is showing up, trying hard, taking risks, learning from your mistakes, asking questions.

Do that, and you’ll graduate from high school – that’s the message Principal Jonathan Saiz and his staff drill every day. Graduate from high school, and you’ll be able to go to college, or trade school, or into the military, or public service, or whatever else you might want to do.

Because they know that a high school diploma is key to college and career readiness, Governor Bent doesn’t refer to students as first or third or fifth graders. Instead, they’re the Class of 2029 or 2027 or 2025.

“We’re planting a seed,” Jonathan said. “Why do we learn to read and write? To prepare for our future.” A future of endless possibilities.

Governor Bent is just one example of how our schools are preparing students from day one for that promising future. It’s exciting to see the great work that’s happening in Albuquerque Public Schools.