Four NM schools need 'rigorous intervention,' PED says | KOB 4
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Four NM schools need 'rigorous intervention,' PED says

J.R. Oppenheim
December 05, 2017 06:59 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The New Mexico Public Education Department has placed four struggling New Mexico schools on a "more rigorous intervention" track, where one option could involve their closure.

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PED officials on Tuesday said the four schools are considered chronically failing. Hawthrone Elementary and Whittier Elementary in Albuquerque both received "F" grades for six straight years. Two other schools -- Los Padillas Elementary in Albuquerque and Dulce Elementary School in Dulce -- got "F" grades for five consecutive years.

In order to address the failing grades, PED says those schools have four options: close for good and send kids to neighboring schools, close and reopen as a charter school, provide new ways of learning such as a magnet school, or significantly restructure and redesign. This is required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, according to the department.

The Public Education Department billed this announcement as a "multi-million dollar support package aimed at improving struggling schools." PED officials also identified 86 schools in New Mexico that need comprehensive support and improvement, and 111 schools that require targeted support and improvement.

“School improvement is a courageous choice—and dozens of schools across the state, from Farmington to Gadsden to Belen to Alamogordo— have made the conscious decision to pull together and change practices for their students," Secretary-Designate Christopher Ruszkowski. "This work is not easy—but we’ve seen what’s possible for our students and schools when we partner and put kids first.  Our kids should not be trapped in failing schools."

MORE: PED's webpage on the Every Student Succeeds ACT plan

The state will receive $10 million in federal funding to help the schools, PED officials said.

In a letter addressed to the APS community, Superintendent Raquel Reedy promised transparency in this process. The district will gather input in to select the best possible option for the three school that need more rigorous intervention, she said. A plan of action will then be developed and presented to PED by the school year's end.

Regarding the schools in the comprehensive support category, Reedy said the district will look at changes to make students more successful. For those in the targeted support group, she said APS will find ways to improve student progress.

"Bottom line – all of our schools are working to improve, but some need more rigorous intervention and support, and we are committed to providing whatever they need so that they can do what is best for their students," Reedy said. "You play a role in this process as well by staying informed, providing input, asking questions and expressing concerns.

"Whether your school is labeled MRI, CSI, TSI or another acronym, what matters most is that we work together as a community to improve the academic success of all of our students."

Read the full text of Reedy's letter below: 

Dear APS Community,

Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to making sure our students get the best education possible. We want them to graduate from high school and go on to be successful in college, trade school, the military, the workplace and life. In order to reach this desired level of success for all of our students, we sometimes have to make adjustments to the way we approach teaching and learning.

That is exactly what is happening now at some of our schools.

Under the federal law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA, schools that have consistently received failing grades by the New Mexico Public Education Department based on such criteria as test scores, quality of education surveys and attendance are subject to more rigorous intervention. A handful of APS schools fall into this category. These schools face four options:

  • Significantly change the way the school runs (often referred to as a school redesign)
  • Convert into a charter school
  • Turn into a magnet school or  
  • Close.

While we hesitate to mention that final option because it can create fear and panic among our students, families and staff, we feel it is important to be as forthcoming as possible.

These few schools deemed by the state Public Education Department as in need of More Rigorous Intervention will spend the next few weeks seeking input from their community as they determine the best option for them. They will then develop a detailed plan of action for implementing change, which will be presented to the state by the end of the school year. If approved, the new plan will go into effect in the 2018-19 school year.  

We promise that this will be a transparent process involving all stakeholders so that when school starts next fall, you’ll know what to expect. No surprises.   

Other schools in the district have been identified by the state as in need of Comprehensive Support and Improvement. These schools will be looking at ways to make significant changes to their educational approach so that students are more successful.

And even more of our schools labeled by the state as needing Targeted Support and Improvement will work on ways to close the achievement gap and improve student progress.

Bottom line – all of our schools are working to improve, but some need more rigorous intervention and support, and we are committed to providing whatever they need so that they can do what is best for their students. You play a role in this process as well by staying informed, providing input, asking questions and expressing concerns.

Whether your school is labeled MRI, CSI, TSI or another acronym, what matters most is that we work together as a community to improve the academic success of all of our students.  

Sincerely,

Raquel Reedy, APS Superintendent

Credits

J.R. Oppenheim

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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