Issues Facing The School Board 


Campaigning for election to the Los Alamos Public School Board in District 4 (Barranca) has  been an interesting and informative experience. As I go door to door to meet my constituents or when I talk to parents and teachers at a school event, I typically get asked two big questions…”How are you going to keep our kids safe?” and “What will you do to keep our  schools open?”  

My short answer is that I support our current LAPS mask mandate. As a medical professional, I  also strongly encourage all who are eligible for the Covid vaccine to get one. Masking up while  indoors and getting the vaccine are two simple things most people can do to keep our students,  teachers, staff, and community safe. These actions will keep our students in school.  

There have also been many questions and conversations about traffic flow in and around  Barranca Mesa Elementary School and the safety of Barranca’s students as they walk to and  from school. As a result of these types of conversations, I asked the county to conduct a traffic  study of the area last spring. After this was completed, the county gave us some ideas on how  to keep the students safe. Since then, I have worked with the school administrators to  implement many of those ideas. For example, we now have an improved pick up and drop plan,  more signs asking drivers to be aware of the school zone, and crossing guards during pick up  and drop off. This is one of the many ways I am working to keep students safe. 

It’s no secret that we have a shortage of substitute teachers and support staff at BMES. While  the district works on recruiting and hiring more substitutes, I brainstormed with Barranca’s  principal about possible ways to help. We created a sign-up system and reached out to the  community for help. As a result, several of Barranca’s parents are now volunteering to help  with teachers’ duties during pick-up, drop-off, recesses, and lunch. 

I share these stories to show that I am an involved school board member. I am aware of these  types of issues related to Barranca because I have lived in the district for over 14 years. All five  of my children have either gone to or are currently attending Barranca. I know of and  understand the issues facing Barranca, as well as those of the middle and high schools, because  they are MY issues too. As your current school board president, I am able to create the change  and improvements necessary to help our kids stay safe, make sure they receive our  unconditional support for who they are as an individual, and to support our LAPS employees. In  this regard, I fully support Interim Superintendent Jennifer Guy’s recent statement, which  summed up our support for student and employees very eloquently. 

The other reason I share this with you is because I strongly feel that some of the other issues  that have been brought up during this campaign have been overtly political and a distraction to 

the day-to-day issues facing our community. In my view, these partisan disputes are not as  relevant to this position or the school district. If re-elected to the school board, I will continue  to be the voice of reason and focus on the two main issues that are most important to the  district right now: 1) Keeping our children safe and in school as we ride out this pandemic and  2) Hiring a new superintendent. I think we can all agree that these issues are non-partisan, non political, and of utmost importance. I thank you for your support!

Melanie Colgan
Candidate for District 4
Los Alamos Public Schools Board