APS board to vote on extending school year

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Public School board members are expected to vote on extending the school year Wednesday night.

The school board is proposing adding four extra school days for students, and even more for teachers. That change is to keep up with a new state law increasing the required number of learning hours for students, but the board’s plan goes further. 

It’s also calling for the school year to start earlier and end later than normal, which is allowing for longer winter and spring breaks.

APS leaders announced those proposed changes only three weeks ago, shortly after that new state law reached Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk.

Officials say they worked with the community to develop this plan after students rejected an idea to simply extend the current school day.

APS leaders believe the current proposal could make a serious impact on academic performance.

“We feel strongly that this proposed calendar meets the needs of our students and will help us meet the ambitious goals set by our school board, which include improving student outcomes,” said Dr. Channell Segura, chief of schools of Albuquerque Public School. 

“We feel we have the opportunity to be bold and to take steps that, while uncomfortable, have the potential to move the needle on student achievement,” said Scott Elder, superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools. 

The school board’s proposal also includes an early release for elementary and middle school student on Wednesdays, and more development time for teachers.

Officials say they’re also looking at later start times for high schoolers, but that is not part of tonight’s proposal.