News

Posted: April 10, 2019

APS Considers Longer School Year for Some Schools

The district is sending a survey to families and employees to gauge community interest.

On April 3, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation to fund the Extended Learning Time Program that lengthens the school year at some public schools across the state beginning this July.   

Albuquerque Public Schools wishes to take advantage of this opportunity to help improve the academic success for many students, including some of the most vulnerable. Research shows that more time in the classroom can boost student achievement, provide additional resources and help students retain more of what they learn over the summer.

Because statewide funding for the longer school year is limited, the district has the difficult task of deciding which APS schools will benefit most, which is why it is surveying families and employees to gauge community interest.

Not all APS school will have a longer school year. 

The Extended Learning Time Program

The Extended Learning Time Program funded by the state includes: 

  • 10 additional instructional days per school year 
  • After-school programs for students
  • 80-hours of professional development for the staff throughout the year including five at the beginning of the school year

What This Would Mean for APS 

For APS schools participating in the Extended Learning Time Program: 

  • Students will start school on July 29
  • Teachers and school staff will return to work on July 22 
  • The number of schools days for students would increase from 178 to 188.
  • The number of contract days for teachers would increase from 184 to 194. Employees would be compensated for the extra work days. This is in addition to the increase in teacher pay and 6 percent employee raises.
  • The last day of school for all APS schools would remain May 22, 2020.

Why This Calendar

APS didn't have much time to develop a calendar with 10 additional instructional days for the school year that starts in a few months, so it is considering a calendar already approved by the Board of Education that meets the state's criteria for this program. 

This calendar closely aligns with the traditional calendar with the same holidays, winter and spring breaks, graduation week and more.  

In the future, APS plans to consider other options for extending the school year for some of its schools, including adding days at the end of the year. 

Who Can Participate in the Extended Learning Time Program 

All New Mexico schools, through their districts, may apply for the funding, but preference will be given to schools that 

  • Serve a high percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals 
  • Have been designated in need of Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) or Comprehensive support and improvement (CSI). 

More Information on the Extended Learning Time Program 

  • There will be innovative and flexible ways in which the staff at each school can design and implement the after-school enrichment time for students.
  • The additional days will include all the services that the regular year includes such as transportation, secretarial staff, EAs, breakfast, and lunch. 
  • Some of the professional development for teachers and staff will be embedded in the calendar.
  • Some time for professional development may be added to the school day.

Public Input

In addition to the survey, Superintendent Raquel Reedy sent a letter to families and employees in early April letting the APS community know about the extended learning opportunity and seeking public input. What she heard included: 

  • Passionate feelings
  • Good arguments on both sides
  • Concerns about how this will be paid for
  • Worries about how this could impact vacations, summer activities, athletics, summer jobs, staff professional development 
  • Questions about options  

What Next?

APS families and employees have until noon Sunday, April 14, to complete a one-question survey.

Didn't get the survey? You can go here to answer the question.

The district must submit an application to the state Public Education Department on April 15. 

If the state approves the application, the district will inform schools that will be participating in the Extended Learning Time Program and will begin implementation including providing information and answers for families and staff.