APS board approves 2023-2024 school calendar

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The school year is getting longer, starting earlier, and ending later in Albuquerque. 

“It’s not going to be a perfect year, but I think the one we have is our best foot forward to start with this next school year,” said APS School Board President Yolanda Montoya-Cordova. “It doesn’t mean that this is going to be in perpetuity, we’re going to also look into see what happens with this next year, we can always come back.” 

The Albuquerque school board approved the new calendar on a 5-1 vote during a meeting Wednesday night. 

The new calendar adds four days to the school year and moves up the start date by a whole week. Longer breaks during the school year also pushed the end of the school year back by nearly a week. 

Here’s the key dates:

  • First Day: Aug. 3 
  • Teachers Return: July 31 
  • Last Day: May 31 
  • Last Day (TOPS schools): June 10 

The new school calendar increases the total number of school days from 178 to 182. The extra days account for a required increase in learning hours approved by state lawmakers in March. 

The school board says the new calendar provides 1,140 learning hours for all students K-12 – that equals out to six and a half hours of instruction per day. 

S officials revealed Wednesday that is a significant increase for elementary school students. The mandated increase in learning time is meant to hopefully address declining academic performance among New Mexico students. 

“We have a district where 80% of our kids cannot do math, and 70% of our kids cannot read,” said APS School Board Member Courtney Jackson.  “I think we just need to remember that, right? Like, we’re at the bottom. Our kids need to be in school more.” 

Besides learning time – the new calendar will move all schools to a quarterly grading cycle with the fall semester ending before winter break. 

The new calendar also includes longer breaks during the school year to address fatigue and mental well-being: 

  • Labor Day – 2 Days 
  • Fall Break – 2 Days 
  • Thanksgiving Break – 1 Week 
  • Winter Break – 2 ½ Weeks 
  • Spring Break – 2 Weeks 

The new calendar also includes more prep-time for teachers. There’s seven professional development days built in for elementary and middle school teachers – students would have those days off. 

The original version of the calendar proposed an early release on Wednesdays for elementary and middle school students. That initiative was meant to give teachers two hours of extra prep time per week. 

Many parents and teachers spoke out against the proposed early release, arguing it would disrupt learning and childcare routines. The board heard those concerns and decided not to move forward with the proposal. 

For the modified 2023-2024 APS school year calendar, click here.