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News from 2022-2023

Posted: January 10, 2023

APS Unveils Proposal to Repurpose Several Schools

No schools would be shuttered, layoffs not anticipated under current plan

An Albuquerque Public Schools committee has put forth a proposal to repurpose a handful of schools as part of a right-sizing effort now underway in the district.

APS has been dealing with declining enrollment for more than a decade, prompting the district to launch a process to figure out how its schools can best be used to serve its communities. Enrollment dropped from 89,163 students in 2012-2013 to 71,119 in the current school year. APS wouldn’t close schools under the plan, and there are no layoffs anticipated with the current proposal.

The recommendations were presented to school board members on Monday night. More meetings are planned to gather input. Several of the proposals would dovetail with the state’s efforts to provide universal pre-kindergarten to all 3- and 4-year-olds in the state.

Under the proposal:

Duranes Elementary, which has 140 students, would become an early childhood center. Students in that attendance area would go to Reginald Chavez and Cochiti elementary schools.

La Luz Elementary, which has 131 students, would also become an early childhood center. Students in that attendance area would move to MacArthur Elementary.

—The Kirtland Elementary property would be part of a land swap with Kirtland Air Force Base. The acquired 5-10 acres in the Maxwell housing development immediately north of Gibson Boulevard would be used for another early childhood center. Students in the Kirtland Elementary attendance area would move to Lowell and Whittier elementary schools. Kirtland Elementary has 164 students.

Los Padillas Elementary, which has 234 students, would be rebuilt as a K-8 school to accommodate both Polk Middle School and Los Padillas Elementary students. Polk Middle School, which has 269 students, would then be converted to an early childhood center with potential expansion for New Futures School for teen parents, among other possibilities.

Taft Middle School, which has 292 students, would be converted into a bilingual magnet school for continuation from Coronado Elementary School. Students in the Taft Middle School attendance area who don’t want to attend a bilingual magnet school would move to Taylor and Garfield middle schools.

The proposal also calls for facility upgrades at schools that would see an increase in enrollment due to the repurposing of neighboring schools.

Other options being considered include:

  • Turning Corrales Elementary into a K-8 school

  • Making Janet Kahn School of Integrated Arts a magnet K-8 school with no attendance boundary

  • Changing the boundaries for several West Side schools (Adobe Acres, Barcelona, Navajo, Rudolfo Anaya, Tierra Antigua and Sunset View elementary schools, James Monroe and Tony Hillerman middle schools, and Volcano Vista and Cibola high schools)

  • Creating a special education hub on the West Side

  • And developing an agricultural education pathway in the South Valley

A committee, made up of key APS administrators, came up with the proposal after spending months evaluating 88 elementary schools, 27 middle schools and two K-8 schools. Among the factors considered in identifying schools for repurposing were recent capital investments at each campus, how full or empty each school is, enrollment, financial viability, academic outcomes and proficiency and equity issues such as the percentage of students on free and reduced lunch, special education students, English language learners and Title 1.

If the plan is approved in its current form and funding for the various projects is earmarked, implementation would occur over the next several years.