Posted: September 16, 2018

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Sept. 15-Oct. 15

Supt. Reedy and Mariachi musicians from Atrisco Heritage Academy.

National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the culture and history of more than 57 million people in the United States, nearly 18 percent of the nation's population.

In Albuquerque Public Schools, where two-thirds of the student population is Hispanic, connecting to cultural roots goes beyond the month-long celebration. It's reflected across the curriculum all year long.

Hispanic arts are incorporated into the curriculum, especially at the elementary school level, where students learn to create their own variations of retablos and to sing and dance to traditional Mexican dances and bilingual songs. Several APS schools have Mariachi programs, others offer Flamenco dance and guitar classes.

Several of our high schools now offer ethnic studies classes and groups that focus on the experiences and perspectives of people of color. 

And dual-language programs are on the rise across the district. In recognition of the importance of bilingualism and biliteracy, APS has developed a clear bilingual seal pathway in which students have the opportunity to acquire a district seal and a State of New Mexico Bilingualism and Biliteracy Seal in Spanish as well as Native American languages (Navajo and Zuni), and foreign languages (French and German) on their high school diploma.

Each winter, the district hosts the Festival de Bella Artes, a celebration of Hispanic music, dance and culture. This school year, the Festival will be held Jan. 29-Feb. 1. More than a thousand students from dozens of elementary, middle and high schools are expected to participate in workshops and performances, including two public performances at the end of the week.