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News from 2021-2022

Posted: March 24, 2022

Operation Connect: Let Us Help You Find the Right Fit

As families start thinking about 2022-2023, they are invited to explore the many opportunities APS schools offer students.

What makes APS a great fit for your student? The short and sweet answer is that New Mexico’s largest school district has the most resources available to meet the diverse needs and interests of students and their families. There is something for everyone from Pre-K and college credit to athletics, advanced placement, vocational training, and the arts.

 Whether your child is returning next year, is new to the district (welcome!), or is re-erolling after being away for a while (welcome back!), we are here to help you register. Get more information about our registration events:

Open Registration at Schools 
  • March 30 through April 8 
  • All APS schools will be available and ready to support families in the registration process.

Berna Facio Enrollment Clinic

  • Saturday, April 2
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • In rooms 101A and 101B at the Berna Facio Professional Development Complex, 3315 Louisiana Blvd NE.

City Center Enrollment Clinic 

  • Monday, April 11 through Thursday, April 14
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • In the Rio Bonito Room at City Center (APS administration building), 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE.


Did you know APS has Pre-K for 4-year-olds? This free program provides kids with a head start on building communication skills, learning how to get along with others, and making discoveries about the wider world. “In Pre-K, we come together in joyful play to learn from each other and with each other,” says Mary Farrelly, Director of the Early Childhood Office. While kids enrolled in Pre-K have fun with engaging and purposeful activities, the time at school allows parents and guardians valuable time for work and errands. 

Pre-K is especially beneficial in language development. The majority of the program’s public education-licensed teachers have bilingual or ESL (English as a Second Language) endorsements. These are all great reasons to have kids in Pre-K, plus recent findings show that New Mexico students who participate in Pre-K programs are less likely to be held back a grade and more likely to graduate high school—especially among lower-income and English-learning students. “We see this as an opportunity, a springboard, into greater things for the future,” Farrelly adds. 

Elementary Programs 

After Pre-K, APS elementary schools have a wide variety of classes and programs to serve students and families. Hawthorne Elementary is one of many APS schools with a Dual Language program that provides equal education in English and Spanish, so students are empowered with a skill that unlocks many opportunities later in life. Hawthorne is also one of several elementary schools that offer Genius Hour classes where students get to choose their subjects and pursue interests like engineering, computer coding, broadcast journalism, chess, running, dance, and more. 

As with many schools in APS, Hawthorne has a parent liaison to help meet the unique needs of students and families. “Our students are sometimes having problems just making it to our doors,” says Assistant Principal Mary Salazar, “So, it’s super important to have that person on staff who really is there just to support the parents and help them navigate the systems that will help them be successful, and in turn help the students be successful.”

High School Choices 

Meeting the growing and diversifying needs of students is high on APS’s list of priorities, and high school students now have more choices and opportunities than ever. Responsive principals like Del Norte’s Edward Bortot create classes that keep students engaged and in school. “We’re moving forward, and we’re open-minded in the sense that we’re adding new electives all the time based on student interest,” he says. Del Norte students can now take Film Criticism in place of English 12, look at how historical events and music influenced one another decade by decade in the History of Rock and Roll, or be physically active in a skateboarding class. 

Del Norte also has one of the largest esports teams in the district, which took 3rd and 4th place in state championships last year. Several students from the esports team have earned substantial college scholarships for coding and computer science. Del Norte has all the traditional sports offerings, too, and is currently the defending state AAAA basketball champion and home of state champ and several placers in wrestling. There are also plenty of Advanced Placement and college prep opportunities.

Indian Education 

APS is home to a large Native American population, and our Indian Education Department supports more than 100 American Indian/Alaska Native tribes, providing specially designed programs for eligible students through culturally relevant teaching methods and materials. “As a district, we’re looking to expand opportunities for Native students,” says Philip Farson, Indian Education Interim Senior Director. “We have options for students who are struggling, and we have options for students that incentivize them to learn more about their culture and language.”


Bilingualism begins in our Pre-K program and extends all the way through high school, with the potential to graduate with the State Seal of Bilingualism-Biliteracy in Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, French, or German. “You can imagine the opportunities that being certified bilingual and bi-literate affords our students in the global workforce,” says Jessica Villalobos, Senior Director of Language and Cultural Equity Department. “We know that speaking a second language is to their advantage, but more than anything, it’s an affirmation of language and culture, and students take a lot of pride in that.”

Choice Checks

With so many options and programs available to meet the diverse goals, desires, and needs of students and their families, APS is a great choice in education. College prep, advanced placement, and college credit tracks are available without the high cost of private schools, and there are career pathways that can fast-track students into skilled workforce positions directly from high school. The Operation Connect Virtual Event on March 29 is a great opportunity for parents and students to learn from the comfort of their homes about the abundant choices APS offers and get questions answered directly by staff in real-time. For those who can’t make it to the virtual event, in-person events will be coming up in March and April to support families in the registration process. Enroll your student in APS today to start building a brighter future.