BY JENNIFER GUY
Los Alamos Public Schools
The Governor has signed House Bill 130 into law. This law requires that all NM Schools have 1140 hours of student contact hours a year. Currently, schools are required to have 990 hours at the elementary level and 1080 hours at the secondary level. In order to be prepared for the possible passage of this bill, Los Alamos Public Schools have been working with a calendar committee made up of staff, parents, and community members to develop possible options for ways to add this time. The Los Alamos School Board has not made a decision about the school calendar yet. The board is considering options that best align with the vision to promote academic success, social emotional wellbeing, and academic responsibility for 100% of LAPS students.
The committee has primarily looked at three options:
- a 180 day calendar similar to this year with longer school days
- a traditional calendar that adds the additional days needed
- a balanced school year calendar that spreads breaks over the course of the year.
Based on feedback received on the initial survey, the three calendar options that were shared last week will be revised. The next steps are to continue to get feedback from stakeholders, hold calendar committee meetings, staff meetings, and a community meeting. We will work with teachers to get feedback from students. We will share revisions and provide more opportunity for review. The community meeting will be held on Monday, March 20 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. through zoom. The first part of the meeting will focus on the school budget and the second part will be to discuss the calendar. The board will have calendar options on the agenda on Thursday, March 23 at the School Board meeting.
We understand that this important decision impacts the whole community. We are required to meet state deadlines for the submission of our budget and calendar. These must be approved by the School Board by April 18, 2023. We will continue to do our best to get feedback so the board can make an informed decision that supports students and complies with the law.