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News from 2019-2020

Posted: January 14, 2020

Envision the Possibilities, then Vote for Your School Calendar

"Students, families, and staff are being empowered to choose an educational option that best serves their needs," said Superintendent Raquel Reedy.

APS families and staff are talking about how adding 10 additional instructional days to the school year might improve academic outcomes for students.

How could a school tailor the extra time to meet student needs? How could it incorporate remediation, innovation, enrichment, field trips, co-curricular activities, community partnerships, hands-on learning based on real-world problems?

And how could the school's staff benefit from the additional hours of professional development that comes along with the extended school year?   

That's what students, families, and staff are pondering during the next few weeks as they decide which calendar works best for them for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Schools are now reviewing three calendar options (two for comprehensive high schools). They are going over the options in their Instructional Councils, staff meetings, and community meetings. 

And then, they vote. Families and school staff have a say in which of the options they prefer. Majority wins.

Schools have until Feb. 12 to make a final decision. 

Contact your child’s school for more details on community meetings and when and where to vote. Final approval of the extended-year calendar is dependent on state funding.

Calendar Options

One is a Traditional Calendar that looks a lot like this year's traditional calendar.

The other two are extended learning plans that add 10 days to the school year as well as additional hours for staff professional development:

  1. Extended Learning Plan A adds 5 days to the beginning and 5 days to the end of the school year.
  2. Extended Learning Plan B is a year-round calendar with several breaks throughout the year (not an option for the 13 comprehensive high schools).

Calendar Downloads

Why Extend the School Year? 

When lawmakers passed, and the governor signed legislation earlier this year providing more public education funding, they specifically earmarked two initiatives for the state’s 89 school districts. One of those initiatives, the Extended Learning Time Program, adds 10 days of learning to the school year. 

This school year, about a dozen APS schools took advantage of the Extended Learning Time Program, adding 10 days to the beginning of the school year for some, if not all, of their students. Early results have been positive. The district's three former MRI schools, which added 10 days to their school year a couple of years ago, are seeing improved test scores, better attendance, and more engaged students and families. They are especially excited about the Genius Hour that allows students to explore their passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. 

Now, APS wants to provide more of its schools this opportunity to help improve academic success for students, including some of its most vulnerable.

"The bottom line is New Mexico lags behind the rest of the nation in education, and we now have a unique opportunity to contemplate ways to help our students be more successful," said APS Superintendent Reedy. "Imagine what we might be able to do if we had more time with our students. How might we better their lives while working to improve education for students in APS and across the state?"  

"We are so blessed right now to have financial support from the state, so we definitely want to embrace it," added Associate Superintendent Troy Hughes.