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Posted: May 17, 2019

End of the School Year

In her final message of the 2018-2019 school year, Superintendent Reedy lists several accomplishments.

Like most of our students, teachers and families, I love summer and am more excited than ever about the end of this school year. But not for the reasons you may think. Yes, I am looking forward to a little time off, a slower pace, an opportunity to tackle some projects, a chance to regroup and re-energize.

But I am especially thrilled about where we as a school district have been this year, and where we are headed. As superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools, I am officially declaring the next few months the Season of Anticipation. What’s all the fuss about? Happy you asked.

This school year stands apart from others in recent memory. After too many years of cutting the budget and scaling back critical student programs, we are, thankfully, expanding course offerings again. Last summer APS was able to offer the free K-3 Plus summer program to about 5,000 students. This year, more than 6,000 students entering kindergarten through fifth grade will jump-start their school year by taking advantage of an extra 25-days of learning at their home schools. We love that learn, grow, play model.

It is truly inspiring to see a trend in motion: Families who want more educational opportunities for their children are stepping up to take advantage of their options.

Another example of this is the extended school year. Thanks to our governor and state lawmakers, students at several of our schools will spend an extra 10 days in school, and even more will participate in bridge and enrichment programs at schools across the district. Each school identified curriculum and programs of greatest interest and need to its students. I have seen the extended school year plans, and I am confident this will help catapult our students into new and higher levels of success.

Something else I’m acutely aware of right now is the can-do climate we are thriving in as educators. We have proven that grit, knowledge and resiliency go a long way. I know it is risky to publish  lists of  accomplishments because inevitably, and unintentionally, you miss important contributions,  but I’m going to go out on a limb and share some notable 2018-2019 school year successes:

  • For the third straight year, the graduation rate for Albuquerque Public Schools has improved to 72.9% for the Class of 2018.
  • Some 266 high school seniors and nearly 100 fifth and eighth graders earned their bilingual seal. And for the first time, one of our students earned her bilingual seal in Chinese!
  • APS stands out nationally with a U.S. Presidential Scholar from Eldorado High School and six National Merit Scholars.
  • The Early College Academy was named one of the top 5 high schools in New Mexico by US News & World Report.
  • For the first time in years, all public school employees are getting a much-deserved, decent-size raise.
  • A 900-page annual audit of our $1.3 billion budget found only two minor paperwork errors.
  • APS recently opened the doors to its ultramodern professional development center that our employees need and deserve.
  • The district saved more than $3 million and enhanced bandwidth capacity to all schools by introducing a new fiber optics project.
  • ranks APS as New Mexico’s leading school district.

Wow! With a foundation like this, I can only anticipate more amazing things to come.

On a personal note, any day now, my daughter is expected to deliver “Peanut,” the nickname for my first grandchild which came from a Reedy family Christmas ornament tradition.

Anticipation is everywhere! I will let you know more about Peanut as soon as I can. In the meantime, thank you for making this such a stellar year and for giving us all so much to look forward to in the year to come.  You made it all possible. Juntos podemos hacer todo. Together we can do it all!