The flute trio of music teachers, from right, Deanna Teague, Valerie Collins and Megan Tholen played several numbers to open the School Board meeting held last Tuesday. Photo Courtesy LAPS
Los Alamos High School students Kevin Bojorquez and Callie Goda read letters citing their views on HB 126 which would change graduation requirements. Photo Courtesy LAPS
LAPS NEWS RELEASE
The LAPS School Board met on Tuesday, March 14 in the School Boardroom. Here’s a recap:
As part of Music in Our Schools month, the meeting opened with three songs performed by the flute trio of music teachers Deanna Teague, Valerie Collins and Megan Tholen. Los Alamos High School band director Zane Meek acknowledged the importance of music for all students, and recognized all music teachers in the district including Jacob Lucero, Valerie Collins, Megan Tholen, Galina Austin, and Nic Montoya-Valdez; orchestra teachers Jeremy Bleich and Michelle Rosette; and band teachers Ryan Finn and Deanna Teague.
School Board President Antonio Jaurigue recognized the district’s art teachers as part of Youth Art Month. They include Britt Williams, Kristi Carr, Andrea Lynch, Jessica Ross, Stephanie Rittner, Elizabeth Fisher, Claire Stewart, Mary Grace, Elisabeth Lovejoy and Dottie Lopez.
Acting Superintendent Jennifer Guy and Dr. Sharon Fogle, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, gave a presentation regarding school calendar options for 2023-2024. The recently passed HB 130 requires a minimum of 180 days and increases the number of student contact hours for all students to 1,140. This also includes 60 hours of professional time at the elementary level and 30 hours at the secondary level. The concept of a balanced school year was part of the presentation since this is a new idea for the district. Acting Superintendent Guy asked for some guidance from the School Board as the development of the school calendar continues.
Acting Superintendent Guy also gave an update on attendance and presented data on absence rates at schools in the district. Research shows that chronic absenteeism impacts student achievement and student well-being. She emphasized that addressing chronic absences is not about encouraging sick students to come to school.
Supports and resources are currently in place at all school sites to support attendance. The district is focused on preventative, proactive measures and effective intervention to ensure that 100% of students attend school regularly. There is also frequent and effective communication with parents and staff about attendance.
School Board members accepted the nominations for the 2023 New Mexico School Board Association Excellence in Student Achievement Awards. President Jaurigue and School Board member Sondra Wyman were on the selection committee. Award recipients will be announced at a School Board meeting in May.
School board members approved the capital appropriation to purchase a school bus. Additional funds through the New Mexico Public Education Department fund 27178 Capital Appropriation Project contract made it possible for the district to purchase a new school bus to replace a bus which is being taken out of service.
As part of a legislative update, Los Alamos High School students Kevin Bojorquez and Callie Goda read letters citing their views on HB 126 which would change graduation requirements.
To view the March 14, 2023 School Board meeting recording, go to https://www.laschools.net/school-board/meetings/2023-03-14.
The next School Board meeting will be on Thursday, March 23 at 5:30 pm at Mountain Elementary School.