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Posted: October 27, 2017

Urban-Suburban-Rural School District

Read Superintendent Reedy's weekly message.

Sandia High students show off their school at the 4th annual School Choice Fair.

Sandia High students show off their school at the 4th annual School Choice Fair.

Remember how I said we are an urban-suburban-rural school district? Boy, did that become apparent one day this week as I visited three schools in three Learning Zones.

We started the day at Helen Cordero, a primary school on the Southwest Mesa surrounded by single family homes in a sprawling part of town. It took us a half an hour to get to our second stop, Roosevelt Middle School nestled in the Sandia Mountains amid pine trees and unpaved roads. Our final stop of the day was Sandia High School located just minutes from the many restaurants, shops and businesses of Uptown.

Suburban. Rural. Urban. And all Albuquerque Public Schools.

The students at these three schools – and at schools across the district – are getting a quality education through a community effort that involves dedicated staff, engaged parents, supportive neighbors and plenty of creativity, ingenuity and hard work.

It’s an education that is responsive and personal, molded to fit the needs of each child. And it’s proof that we can be the largest school district in New Mexico – and one of the largest in the nation – and still provide a more personalized approach to education.

That’s what we’ve set out to do. That’s what we’re doing.

Of course, one way we’re doing this is through our Learning Zones or LZs. We kicked off this more intimate approach to education a few months ago, after getting lots of input from our stakeholders, and so far, so good.

Our associate superintendents and support staff are spending lots of time in schools observing, providing feedback and then helping where needed. Whether it's training, technology, special education, data collection and interpretation, behavior modification, attendance, family engagement – we’re there to support our schools, to help them be better so that our students can do better.

All the while, we still have the advantages of being a large school district – more resources, more choices and more opportunities as well as economies of scale.

Less than 5 cents of every operational dollar spent in APS goes to central administration and services – services like paying our bills, hiring qualified teachers and making sure all 15,000 employees get a paycheck every couple of weeks.  

Another 13 cents goes to the maintenance and operation of our schools – we have more than 13 million square feet of instructional space to take care of!

The rest of our operational budget – more than 80 cents on the dollar – goes to educating and supporting our students:  everything from teacher salaries to extracurricular activities to speech and physical therapy.

It’s all about providing the best learning opportunities for each of our 84,000 students, whether they live in the middle of the city, on the outskirts of town or in the neighborhoods in between.

Watch this video of the kindergarteners who greeted us in song at Helen Cordero. I bet you'll be singing this song all day!