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News from 2023-2024

Posted: September 1, 2023

Hundreds Attend Events Celebrating Rollout of New Strategic Plan

Emerging Stronger plan will serve as roadmap for improving outcomes for all APS students.

Albuquerque Public Schools officials formally unveiled the district's five-year Emerging Stronger strategic plan this week to an audience that included families, students, nonprofit leaders, educators, and many other community stakeholders.

The plan lays out four strategic priorities that will serve as a roadmap toward achieving the literacy, math, college and career readiness, and life skills goals the Board of Education approved earlier this year after gathering community input. The goals center on improving outcomes for all students.

Roughly 200 students, family members, and others attended the family and community celebration dinner at Albuquerque High on Tuesday night, and about 160 attended Wednesday’s summit at Berna Facio Professional Development Center where the plan was officially launched.

Superintendent Scott Elder praised the fact that the district now has goals that it can devote its attention to achieving over the next five years.

“APS, like many other urban districts, had a tendency over the last number of years to chase that silver bullet. The next shiny thing would come along, and we would say, ‘Oh, that’s what’s going to fix us. That’s what’s going to do it,’” he said at the summit, noting that people would inevitably get frustrated when they didn’t see immediate results and move on to the next thing. Having a five-year plan, he said, lets everyone in the district know that this is going to be the focus.

The four strategic priorities are:

  • Setting clear expectations, which is making sure everyone at APS is on the same page, knows what the district is aiming for, and what their role is in achieving academic success for all students.
  • Providing rigorous instruction, which means ensuring students are being taught at grade level with high-quality materials and that principals support this work. It also means being consistent in how students are graded across the district and improving how students with disabilities are served.
  • Having engaged students, empowering them to participate in decisions that affect them, and doing everything possible to ensure schools are safe and that students feel welcome and challenged. This includes addressing their social and emotional health and providing them with stimulating academic and extracurricular opportunities that meet their individual needs.
  • Instituting responsive and coordinated systems, which means that everything done at APS – from preparing budgets and communicating to how technology is deployed – needs to be rooted in the needs of students.

The board and administration have been setting up a system to track and regularly report on the progress the district is making on the goals.

Board President Yolanda Montoya-Cordova stressed that while these are five-year goals, the public will get regular status reports on whether the district is on track to meet the goals.

“We’re going to have honest conversations about what’s working and what’s not working and stop pretending,” Montoya-Cordova said.

She and other board members stressed that the board and district would be going back out to the community to solicit input.

Retired businessman David Foster, who moved to Albuquerque in 2005, praised the district for putting forth a plan to improve student outcomes.

“I would very much like to applaud the Board of Education for setting these very clear and decisive goals,” he said, calling the work transformative.