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News from the Superintendent

Posted: August 5, 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year

A message from Superintendent Raquel Reedy to APS employees.

All of the APS team is back at work today! If you are new to Albuquerque Public Schools, welcome! If you have been with us for a while, it’s good to have you back. If you worked through the summer or started a few weeks ago on an alternative or extended calendar, thanks for all you have done already this school year.

This is my 42nd year with APS. Can you believe it! I might be an old-timer with lots of experience, but I have to tell you, my heart and mind are racing like a newbie this year.

Something magical happened this summer. My only child gave birth to my first grandchild. All the emotions I felt years ago when I held my daughter for the first time came rushing back the moment I embraced my little Peanut, or Brynn, as the rest of the world will come to know her.

As I pondered my granddaughter’s future, I couldn’t help but think about the students in APS. What are we doing to guarantee that they get the best education possible, so they can go on to realize the very dreams we have for our own children and grandchildren?

Please take a moment to watch this video posted to YouTube by Save the Children.  

 

Powerful. And all too real. Children don’t have to live-in war-torn parts of the world to face violence, intolerance, and fear. This reality is one of our most significant challenges. Fortunately, empathy and dedication are parts of the APS signature.

Another part: Courage. Our employees aren't afraid to take risks on behalf of our students. I know you are ready to think bigger. Accomplish more. Deliver on the promise of student achievement, student success, student opportunity. 

Before we look to the new year, let’s take a moment to see where we’ve been. Together, we have done so much. 

We are seeing more students graduate and go on to pursue their goals on the college or career track. We need to celebrate our 73 percent graduation rate – a seven percent increase in four short years! That’s terrific. 

We have made closing the achievement gap a shared responsibility, and we see results. Our efforts to provide a more culturally relevant curriculum and ensure equitable participation in programs such as AVID, AP, IB and dual credit – not to mention our nationally sought-after bilingual seal program – are just a few of the strategies in place to eradicate the chasm between our demographic groups.

Parents continue to voice confidence in our schools through the annual Quality of Education Survey, with the vast majority saying they feel welcome at school, they think their children are safe at school and they believe their child’s school holds high expectations for academic achievement.

That’s your work. Feel good about it – I know I do.

At the District level, we are committed to making our schools the focus of our work. We have streamlined the budget so that more than 70 percent of all operational dollars go straight to schools.  

And we are not afraid to take risks if our students stand to benefit. It was a huge disappointment to lose the February bond/mill levy election, but we are not giving up. With your help, we will ask voters again in November to approve a capital projects bond and mill levy package. Same rate, better outcomes.

Better outcomes are what it is all about. Together, we can.

I know you are busy. There is so much to do in the first weeks of school, so I’m going to let you go for now. Next week, I will outline District goals for the 2019-2020 school year. What are your goals? Think about what you want to achieve over the next 10 months. We'll talk soon.

In the meantime, have a great week and a great start (or continuation) of the school year. 

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