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News from 2021-2022

Posted: April 22, 2022

U.S. Secretary of Education Visits APS

Secretary Miguel Cardona joined U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury on a tour of Atrisco Heritage Academy, where they learned more about the community school model and wrap-around services offered to students and families.

The tour included a community health center on campus, the school's family center, and a culinary arts class, where Secretary Cardona and Rep. Stansbury were treated to homemade enchiladas made in front of them by AHA students.

The visit also included a round table discussion with students and families about the benefits of community schools and ways public education can improve as the country emerges from the pandemic and funding is made available through the American Rescue Plan.

"We have an opportunity to make schools different than they were before, to try things differently," Secretary Cardona said.

Students and families talked about the support they receive from their school, including mental and physical health services, tutoring, food, clothing, school supplies, social services, and next-step planning. The high school even makes housing counselors available to families. 

Secretary Cardona said he appreciated the school's commitment to taking care of the whole child, the whole family. "Some students come to school where the focus is on academics but they are wondering where they will sleep at night," he said, noting that community schools like Atrisco Heritage Academy takes care of both academic and social needs, meeting students where they are. 

Secretary Cardona said he was taking notes during his conversation with students, families, and educators – as was his staff – and that they would return to Washington D.C. with homework to do. "Your feedback will drive the work at the Department of Education," he said.