Schools To Choose Calendars For 2020-2021

Information about Extended Learning Time Plans

 Schools have the choice of a traditional calendar or two extended learning plans that add 10 days to the 2020-2021 school year.

The two extended learning time (ELT) calendars add 10 days to the school year as well as additional hours for staff professional development:

  1. Extended Learning Plan A adds 5 days to the beginning and 5 days to the end of the school year.
  2. Extended Learning Plan B is a year-round calendar with several breaks throughout the

Schools will begin reviewing the three options when they return from winter break, seeking input from students, staff, families, and their communities. They will need to decide which calendar works best for them by mid-February.

Calendar Downloads

Why Extend the School Year?

 When lawmakers passed and the governor signed a bill earlier this year providing more public education funding, they specifically earmarked two initiatives for the state’s 89 school districts. One of those initiatives, the Extended Learning Time Program, adds 10 days of learning to the school year.

How Does Extended Learning Help Students? 

  • Research shows that more time in the classroom can boost student achievement and help students retain more of what they learn over the
  • More time in school means more access to resources including hot meals, counselors, nurses and social and community
  • Schools can personalize the school day to meet the needs of their students, incorporating innovation, enrichment, and extra
  • Extended learning plans include after-school programs for

Logistics: 

  • The 80 hours of required PD in the Extended School Year calendars will be divided up between 31.5 hours of PD that is already scheduled within the duty day (ie: the days at the beginning of the year) and an additional 48.5 hours scheduled throughout the year.

o All staff at ELT schools will be paid based on a 6.75 duty day, in order to avoid timesheets for the required additional PD time.

  • The schedule for 80-hours of professional development will be developed through the instructional council and is able to be used flexibly throughout the
  • For example, if a staff chooses to add 2 hours of PD one week, followed up by 6 hours of collaborative action research utilizing what they learned, that could equal 8 of the 80 hours over a month of
  • The Instructional Council at each site will be responsible for working with the staff in order to come to consensus about how the instructional and professional development time is designed.
  • The PD should be connected to the theme/purpose of the additional instructional days.
  • All employees who work at ELT schools are compensated for the additional days and hours at their regular rate of

Timeline:

(Please note that this is a fluid timeline that is subject to change.)

  • January 9th: Principals will meet and bring back a PowerPoint to present to staff. The instructional Council will work with the staff and community to brainstorm how the additional time could be best designed incorporating innovation, enrichment, and extra help. These are just a few examples to begin the conversation:
    • HS – Building community, upper grades mentoring younger students
    • ES – Whole school home visits
    • Activities that embed Social Emotional Learning, Culturally and Linguistically responsive instruction,
    • Creativity camps that include music, art, dance, cooperative play
    • Science focused project-based learning
    • Community gardening
    • Civics education and includes Community Service and Service Learning Projects, Beautification projects on school grounds (murals, gardens, etc.), School-wide Student Government, Culture projects, School Exchanges
    • MS – Review of previous year’s standards for successful transition
    • School-wide cross-curricular projects
  • January – Mid-February: Schools review calendar options through their Instructional Councils, parent organizations, staff meetings, and community meetings. Staff and families will vote for calendar options.
    • The preferred calendar option for each school site is based on a simple majority of those who vote (As per APS procedural directive a simple majority is 50%+1).
  • February 12th: schools will submit their choices on the ELTP

All APS schools are eligible to submit an Extended Learning Time Plan.

  • The number of sites funded is dependent on state
  • Sites with a greater consensus among staff and between staff and community will receive priority

Summer options: The programs listed below are available for schools on a traditional calendar and schools on Extended Learning Time Plan A.

  • Elementary K5 Plus
  • Elementary Summer Learning Adventure
  • Middle School Wild Adventure
  • High School Summer School

Note: APS is holding 3 voluntary meetings at the Berna Facio building for interested Instructional Councils. Monday, 1/13 from 8-9 or from 4-5 and Wednesday, 1/15 from 3-4.


Superintendent Survey Results: Survey Says...

Leadership matters. Leaders set a tone, provide vision, instill confidence, ensure stability, value progress, support employees, and manage systems. Educators flock to a school where there is excellent principal leadership, and they stay there. By the same token, we see high teacher and support staff turnover rates at schools where our voices are not honored and where there is no clear vision on how the school should move forward.

The same is true for the leadership of a school district superintendent. Our district’s leadership matters. Although the average tenure of urban superintendents is between 2.3 to 3.6 years and school employees generally outlast whoever is chosen to be the superintendent, a leader who works collaboratively with educators and demonstrates just and visionary leadership can make a positive change in the work we do.

There are amazing outspoken superintendents who have been willing to take a risk and exert ethical and moral leadership in the direction of public education. Joshua Starr, superintendent of public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, publicly criticized the “apparent national obsession” with standardized testing. Todd Gazda, superintendent of schools in Ludlow, Massachusetts, fought excessive and unnecessary “initiatives” that take away from instructional time and quality.  Thomas Scarice, the superintendent of Madison Public Schools in Connecticut, shed light on the injustice of tying teacher evaluation to high stakes testing, citing that it led to the destruction of sound pedagogical practices and had the potential to corrupt our classrooms as we felt compelled to teach to the test.

In our recent Superintendent Survey, ATF members were united in their desires for particular qualities in a leader for our district. (You can find a complete breakdown of survey results here.) Educators nearly unanimously had the following things to say (98-99% of respondents agreed with these statements).

Educators believe a next superintendent should:

  • Hold administrators accountable for a positive work-site culture.
  • Track staff turnover in the district, and at individual sites, and use that information to focus on retention strategies for every employee group.
  • Demand accountability for each and every APS department to have a service-to-schools (and employees) orientation, provide timely and accurate responses, and be respectful in their interactions.
  • Improve communication between district departments and improve the communication flow from district administration to practitioners and vice versa.
  • Ensure that there is a pervasive customer (i.e. employee) service orientation in each department and department personnel have an attitude that central office is there to support schools, not the other way around.
  • Support strong, site-based shared leadership, the creation of innovative schooling models, and teacher autonomy to use innovative methods and materials to engage students.
  • Address workload issues. (For some time, educators have described their workload as “unmanageable.” Many teachers report frustration about tasks that do not directly inform teaching and learning or improve outcomes for children.)
  • Promote and advocate for our district.
  • Focus on supportive and positive employee working conditions.
  • Provide schools with individualized supports and resources based on the unique needs of students.
  • Be a strong manager, or hire one.
  • Collaborate and innovate with the employees’ unions.
  • Execute proactive public relations.

Educators believe that the next superintendent should work to create a system of schools rather than a school system. In a system of schools, the central office and offshoots of the centralized administration know that they are there to support the employees who work every day with students. This is very different from the traditional “school system” where employees are viewed as being there to support the work of the district’s central office.

Our next superintendent will inherit a district in which we have a tradition of labor/ management collaboration at the district and the school level. Educators believe that the next superintendent must support the growth of school and classroom autonomy and innovation.

We, the APS certified educators, want a new superintendent who believes employees are not just people to manage, but professionals to collaborate with in order to best serve our students and our district.

We are worthy of a leader who:

  • speaks truth to power;
  • leads with heart;
  • has undeniable moral fiber;
  • is courageous;
  • dreams with us;
  • is more committed to doing what’s right than doing what is wrong in the right way.

One person can influence the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors of an entire district. The right superintendent will:

  • set a direction as they help us see possibilities instead of barriers;
  • enable us to visualize what we might achieve;
  • encourage and inspire us.

APS will hold public forums once candidates are selected. Stay informed and add your voice.

 

 

 


School Discipline Issues? ATF Discipline Workshop Is Here

Is Your School Discipline Broken?

In order to function effectively, schools must have clear policies and procedures that guide adults and students day-to-day. School-wide discipline policies are not only about fairness and expectations, they also establish guidelines to keep students and staff safe.

Creating a safe learning environment involves protecting students and staff from physical, emotional, and psychological harm. Students need to feel safe and secure at school in order to learn effectively.

While there is no fast way to eliminate all discipline-related problems, there are steps you can take to make your school's policies more effective and efficient.

It is evident that school discipline, especially at the mid-school level, is reaching a point of crisis. Schools across the district are experiencing many of the same issues. Educators are struggling to navigate what appears to be a new norm and asking for help. What can be done?

Join us in learning and sharing strategies to help improve your school’s discipline policy and practices by attending our School Discipline Workshop on Tuesday, January 28th at 4:30pm. RSVP here .

 

Restoring school-wide discipline is the first step

School culture and climate have a profound impact on students’  academic progress and their relationships with peers and adults. Each school should promote a positive school culture that provides students with a supportive environment in which to grow, both socially and academically.

Educators report the overuse of suspensions and a lack of follow-through in supporting teachers and staff as per our agreement and established school discipline policies. We will discuss how to enforce Article 21 of the Negotiated Agreement as the first step in moving forward.

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) is an approach to discipline that focuses on relationships rather than punishments. There are still consequences, but in RJP there is a real shift from the misbehavior = punishment model. The focus is on repairing harm done to the community and relationships, relevant consequences that further repairs damage, and practices that welcome the offender back into the community.

 


FUND OUR FUTURE 2020: Sign Up for ATF Action Alerts!

Help Make Sure We Fund the Schools Our Students Need & Deserve!

Research is clear; the states that have climbed in student achievement ranking did so by focusing on consistent funding over many years. We appreciate the efforts made last year in Public Education funding. This investment was a great start on the road to recovery after over ten years of severe cuts. Continued investments are necessary to ensure that NM can provide the Public Education all our students deserve. A “one and done” attitude must not prevail.

As ATF members, it is imperative that we stay informed and stay active during the 2020 NM Legislative Session. The 30-Day Session begins January 21st and ends February 20th. The short session will move at lightning speed. Important decisions will be made about your future and the future of public education in New Mexico. Lend your voice as we fight for:

  • Progress toward sufficient funding
  • Investments in programs from Early Childhood to Careers & College
  • Educator Raises
  • Targeted efforts on the recruitment and retention of all educators
  • School Safety and Security

Sign up here for legislative updates by email and text !

When we stand together, we win!

 


What Qualities Do APS Employees Need In a New Superintendent? Add Your Voice

Leadership matters. Leaders set a tone, provide vision, instill confidence, ensure stability, value progress, support employees, and manage systems. Educators flock to a school where there is excellent principal leadership, and they stay there. By the same token, we see high teacher and support staff turnover rates at schools where our voices are not honored and where there is no clear vision on how the school should move forward.

The same is true for the leadership of a school district superintendent. Our district’s leadership matters. Although the average tenure of urban superintendents is between 2.3 to 3.6 years and school employees generally outlast whoever is chosen to be the superintendent, a leader who works collaboratively with practitioners and who demonstrates just and visionary leadership can make a positive change in the work we do.

There are amazing outspoken superintendents who have been willing to take a risk and exert ethical and moral leadership in the direction of public education. Joshua Starr, superintendent of public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, publicly criticized the “apparent national obsession” with standardized testing. Todd Gazda, superintendent of schools in Ludlow, Massachusetts, fought excessive and unnecessary “reform initiatives” that take away from instructional time and quality. Thomas Scarice, the superintendent of Madison Public Schools in Connecticut, shed light on the injustice of tying teacher evaluation to high stakes testing, citing that it led to the destruction of sound pedagogical practices and had the potential to corrupt our classrooms as we felt compelled to teach to the test.

We are worthy of a leader who:

  • speaks truth to power.
  • leads with heart.
  • has undeniable moral fiber.
  • is courageous.
  • dreams with us.
  • is more committed to doing what’s right than doing what is wrong in the right way.

One person can influence the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors of an entire district. The right superintendent will:

  • set a direction as they help us see possibilities instead of barriers;
  • enable us to visualize what we might achieve;
  • encourage and inspire us

Add your voice to the discussion of what kind of superintendent APS needs. Let's amplify and speak directly to the APS Board of Education.

Take the ATF Superintendent survey.


Unions Work For All!

 Americans’ approval of unions is near a 50-year high… and there’s a good reason why:

                                                                                                 We are the resistance!

Public education and workers’ rights are under attack from self-interested billionaires, politicians, and charter schools who want to privatize our schools and take away our rights in the workplace. Fortunately for you, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation has your back.

PAYING UNION DUES IS NOT AN EXPENSE.  IT’S AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR CAREER, OUR COMMUNITY & EVERYONE’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

                                                                                  10 Great Reasons to Join Your Union!

  1. The #1 Reason to join Albuquerque Teachers Federation (ATF) is Professional POWER over your career and in your workplace. Together, we can shape our own destinies and build a world-class education system.
  2. Your union stands for Professionalism! ATF is your professional organization just as the AMA represents the interests of doctors and the ABA represents attorneys. ATF provides free Professional Development to members taught by highly accomplished teachers, and our classes are specific to teacher needs. Our union created the New Teacher Mentor Program to support beginning teachers. Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.
  3. Your Union fights for EducatorAutonomy! Students and educators thrive when we have the Freedom to Teach, to be creative, and to make important professional decisions. When educators make their own curricular choices and follow their passions, students become inspired and we can better support their needs and interests. When teachers have a voice in their practice they stay in the profession.
  4. Your union fights for Democracy! We, the Educators, must make the important decisions in our classrooms, so why not shape the important decisions in our schools. ATF has fought for and won Instructional Councils that are the collaborative decision-making bodies at our schools and worksites.
  5. Your union fights for your Financial Security. This year, ATF negotiated pay raises for all certified educators which meant a $5-6K raise for almost everyone in our bargaining unit- even when these raises were not part of the mandated legislation. We will continue to fight for professional pay in the coming Legislative Session. We demand that essential support staff and experienced teachers receive equal raises. Note: Nationwideunion workers earn 27% more than their nonunion peers.
  6. Your union fights for Justice! Our teachers union has always been in the vanguard of social justice movements like public education for all, racial equality, LGBTQ rights, physical and mental health services for our students, equal pay for equal work, and the list goes on…
  7. Your union stands for Community! ATF defends public education for all because our public schools are the anchors of our communities. We know that access to a quality public education is a Civil and Human Right. No one is truly free when we’re worrying about where our next meal is coming from. That’s why your union takes this message to the broader society by supporting Community Schools where the basic needs of students and their families are met. We also support initiatives like earned sick leave for Albuquerque’s workers and increasing wages for all. Economic justice is social justice. When our students’ families thrive our classrooms reap the benefits.
  8. Your union stands for Solidarity! When thousands of us raise our voices together, we will be heard. ATF has fought to include counselors, nurses, social workers and therapists in the 3-Tier system by creating the Career Pathway Systemi n APS and ensuring those role groups receive the same raises the Legislature passes for teachers.
  9. Your union provides Representation! ATF employs trained staff to help teachers who are unduly targeted by administrators. Staff representatives are here to help you whether you have questions about your pay, your evaluation, or any contract issues.  ATF is your bargaining unit and we negotiate your contract.  This includes due process rights so that you cannot be fired for frivolous reasons.
  10. Your union fights for Our Future! What kind of world do you want to leave behind for your students and for your own children? How do you envision your own child’s work life? Your union stands for the future and the rights of those coming behind us! In the future, when you’re asked, “Which Side Were You On?” what will you say?

                                                                              Now is the time to stand up for your rights!

Join your union today and fight for a brighter future for all! Already a member? Get involved. Email dwayne@atfunion.org for more information.

 


A TALE OF 3 CALENDARS

A Tale of 3 Calendars

During the 2019 legislative session, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill funding an extended school year. This was done in late Spring after school budgets were due and there was little time to implement the initiative at the district level.

State funding for the Extended Learning Time Program (ELTP) still exists and the state is encouraging districts to use it. APS has submitted a grant proposal listing all elementary and middle schools as possible participants in an extended school year.  It is important to note that the grant proposal has been submitted, but not yet approved. At this time, we do not know if APS will receive these funds or how schools will be chosen to participate.

In anticipation of receiving funding for the extended school year, the APS calendar committee developed 3 calendars:

-       The traditional calendar (184 duty days)

  • The first day of school for high schools would be on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020.
  • The last day of school for high schools would be Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

-       A frontloaded calendar with 10 days added to the beginning of the traditional calendar year

  • The first day of school would be Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
  • The last day of school would be on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

-     A 5/5 calendar with five days added to the beginning and five days added at the end of the traditional calendar

  • The first day of school would be Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.
  • The last day of school would be Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

All breaks and holidays are the same for all proposed calendars, including fall, winter, and spring break.

We asked for members’ input on these calendar proposals and APS posted a Facebook survey to allow the community to weigh in. The feedback was clear: if we must participate in ELTP, we prefer the 5/5 calendar.

Most respondents had questions and comments. A common comment was, “Show me the research that suggests adding instructional time will help my students.” Other comments focused on whether or not the district would provide reasonable teaching conditions during the hottest part of the year, “How will I be able to teach in July without a functioning cooler?” We took your input to the calendar committee and we are awaiting new information.

Your union will continue to add our collective concerns to the debate.

 

Calendar Proposal 1 Year At-A-Glance (ELTP-10 days up front)
Date Description
July 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 2020 Student registration, professional development days, and preparation days
July 29, 2020 First Day of School
Sept. 7 Labor Day 
Oct. 8-9 Fall Break 
Nov. 3 Election Day 
Nov. 11 Veterans Day
Nov. 23-24 Elementary & Middle School Conferences
Nov. 25-27 Thanksgiving Break
Dec. 21-Jan. 1, 2021 Winter Break
Jan. 4, 2021 Professional Development Day (staff only)
Jan. 5, 2021 First Day of the Second Semester
Jan. 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Feb. 15 President's Day
March 18-19 Elementary, Middle & High School Conferences 
March 22-26 Spring Break
April 2 Vernal Holiday
May 22, 2020 Last Day of School
May 31 Memorial Day
May 26-28 and June 1 Weather Make-Up Days
 

 

 

Calendar Proposal 2 Year At-A-Glance (ELTP 5 days before and 5 days after)
Date Description
July 29, 30, 31 and Aug. 3, 4, 2021 Student registration, professional development days, and preparation days
Aug. 5, 2021 First Day of School
Sept. 7 Labor Day 
Oct. 8-9 Fall Break 
Nov. 3 Election Day 
Nov. 11 Veterans Day
Nov. 23-24 Elementary & Middle School Conferences
Nov. 25-27 Thanksgiving Break
Dec. 21-Jan. 1, 2021 Winter Break
Jan. 4, 2021 Professional Development  (staff only)
Jan. 5, 2021 First Day of the Second Semester
Jan. 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Feb. 15 President's Day
March 18-19 Elementary, Middle & High School Conferences 
March 22-26 Spring Break
April 2 Vernal Holiday
May 31 Memorial Day
June 2, 2021 Last Day of School
June 3, 4, 5 and 7 Weather Make-Up Days

 

 

 

 


ATF COPE Celebrates Election Victories!

Thank you to all members who volunteered for phone banking and canvassing during the Board of Education and Bond/Mill Levy elections! Thank you to all our members who contribute to our Committee On Political Education (COPE). Initial polling results show that your hard work and contributions paid off.

Candidates endorsed by COPE, all of whom are pro-workers’ rights, pro-student, and pro-educator, fared well. In the District 1 School Board race, Yolanda Montoya-Cordova won re-election, garnering almost 72% of the votes cast. “Yolanda has shown herself to be a solid advocate for educators and students across APS, as well as a champion for her constituents,”  said ATF President Ellen Bernstein. "We congratulate her on this victory and we look forward to her advocacy for our public schools over the next four years."

Barbara Petersen, current Board member from District 4 and member of AFT-NM Retirees, retained her seat on the Board, winning handily with over 66% of the vote in a three-way race. "Barbara Petersen’s time on the School Board has established her as a true champion of public education and a defender of students’ and educators’ rights,” said ATF President Ellen Bernstein. “We are fortunate to have her as an advocate for our public schools. Her re-election is great news for APS. Barbara embodies the spirit of collaboration that our union seeks to continue with the district. When APS and ATF work together, we can provide the highest quality programs and policies for our students."

Recently-retired teacher and AFT-NM Retirees union member, Laurie Harris, won ATF’s endorsement in District 2 and ran a very high-energy campaign. Despite the tireless volunteerism of our members, she was unable to unseat incumbent Peggy Muller-Aragon. "We want to thank Laurie for representing educators and for her dedication throughout the campaign," said COPE Chair Sara Attleson. "We hope that she will be willing to throw her hat in the ring again in four years so that we can have a District 2 Board member who truly represents our members' and our students' best interests."

We are very pleased to announce that both of the Bond/Mill Levy Questions passed by wide margins. Our school district can now release funds to fix and improve our aging school buildings. Question 1, the Mill Levy, won approval from the electorate with over 63% voting "FOR" the measure. Question 2, the General Obligation Bond, fared even better with more than 68% of voters casting ballots "FOR" the measure.

ATF COPE hosted a well-attended Election Watch Party Tuesday night at O'Niell's on Central. The celebration was attended by candidates, Board members, the mayor, and the State House Majority Leader along with dozens of rank-and-file members and union leadership. We'd like to thank O'Niell's for hosting the gathering.

These electoral achievements show the power of our union's voice and what we can do when our members volunteer and choose to be masters of our own destinies in the political realm. These victories are only the beginning. We must begin to focus on the 2020 Legislative races so that we continue to build a Legislature that supports our public schools and workers' rights.

Our jobs as educators are undeniably political. Our Committee On Political Education is our vehicle for broadcasting teachers' voices on political matters. COPE utilizes members' voluntary contributions to support our phone banking and canvassing endeavors. We contact members and educate them on the issues and our endorsed candidates. We also focus on getting members and retired members elected.

Your small donation to COPE multiplied by similar contributions from our thousands of members really adds up. You can begin to help our efforts in 2020 now by joining ATF COPE or increasing your voluntary contribution here. Our regular COPE meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays each month at the ATF Office. If you'd like to get more involved, email dwayne@atfunion.org.

Join us. Get involved! When we work together, we win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


VOTE “FOR” OUR SCHOOLS

Collapsing roofs, outdated technology, students ready to learn a trade without the tools to do so, music classes with fewer instruments than students, antiquated security measures, children suffering the sweltering August heat without air conditioning: these are but a few of the woes that plague our educators and students across the APS District. They all share the same remedy: voting “FOR” the two Bond/Mill Levy questions. These are the types of urgent, basic repairs that our public schools can accomplish with help of Bernalillo County and Corrales voters.

You don’t have to be a genius to answer the Bond/Mill Levy questions correctly. You don’t even need to study for the quiz. It’s simple. Question 1 asks voters to continue the current Public Schools Capital Improvements Mill Levy of $2 tax for every $1,000 of taxable value on property. Question 2 asks voters if it’s okay to release money that has already been collected: Releasing these funds will mean NO Tax Increase!

 To be clear: Question 1 asks us to continue with the current mill levy built into our existing property taxes. Question 2 releases money that’s already been collected so we can use it.

Vote “For” Our Schools.Teachers need access to printed and copied materials to carry out their lesson plans and $1.5 million from the Bond/Mill Levy monies will be devoted to these needs. $28 million of these monies will update technology needs in our schools. This is key to providing a 21stcentury education. Schools will get a say in what technology infrastructure improvements they need. $1.8 million is earmarked for hands-on science equipment. Furthermore, the current Capital Outlay Plan will provide $1 million for the purchase of equipment and tools for students who are participating in Career and Technical Education programs (formerly called vocational education). We know that many students have career interests that do not necessarily require a college diploma. We can help these students build solid foundations for rewarding and high-paying careers in a variety of trades by simply releasing the tax money we already pay.

Jobs, jobs, jobs! APS construction and renovation projects are an investment in our community. Passing the APS Bond/Mill Levy will create hundreds of local jobs in the construction trades. In fact, over the last 8 years, 60%-73% of the commercial building permits issued in the greater metro area have been for projects funded by Bond/Mill Levy votes approved in the past (according to CMP, City of ABQ, and Bernalillo County zoning).

We have the opportunity to create our own economic stimulus right here in Bernalillo County. Answering “For” on two simple questions will infuse our local economy with over $104 million of maintenance and renovation jobs over the next 6 years. Over $96 million will be released to upgrade schools built over 40 years ago. Long overdue renovations will take place at Lavaland ES, Navajo ES, Janet Kahn ES, Monte Vista ES, Jackson MS, and Rio Grande HS. $18 million will be invested in transportation updates in the East Mountains, South Valley, and the Westside.

School maintenance is of the utmost importance to our students’ health. Construction jobs created by the passage of these measures will allow us to fix leaking roofs, repair air conditioning, and replace ancient water pipes that threaten our students with high lead levels. The money will pay for basic necessities like extermination services to combat vermin in our buildings. We will have $10 million to ensure that our schools are accessible to all learners as we strive to make all buildings wheelchair accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). $4.5 million will be spent on up-to-date security systems like swipers that will limit access to our campuses to those who potentially intend harm to our students.

We know that well-balanced education is not only about the 3 R’s. We need to educate the whole child. That’s why the new Capital Outlay Plan calls for a $7.3 million investment in Music and Fine Arts Education so that students are well-rounded citizens who can use the arts to enhance the quality of their lives. A $4.8 million investment in new PE equipment will help to keep our youth healthy by building exercise and diet habits. Our sports programs will benefit from $3 million of spending on turf for our soccer, baseball, and football fields. Providing students these after school opportunities helps them make informed and healthy choices. The purchase of turf will decrease energy and water demands at our schools, saving money and our environment in the long run. Capital funds are also used to replenish our school libraries with new books.

Share these talking points with your friends, family, colleagues and community. You also have the opportunity to voice your opinions publicly as APS will hold Open House Conversations across the city to discuss the Bond/Mill Levy and other important issues at Harrison Middle School September 30th 5:30-7pm, and James Monroe Middle School October 7th 5:30-7pm. Come out and join the discussion.

Voting has never been easier with Absentee Voting beginning October 8th. Early Voting runs from October 19th until November 2nd and Election Day is November 5th. Bernco.gov has posted a complete listing of voting sites and the complete ballot questions.

For more information, visit the Bond/Mill Levy Election (APS Capital Master Plan) page.

 


APS/ATF Joint Memo On Evaluation Changes

MEMORANDUM

 

September 2019

 

To:     All APS teachers and principals

From:     Todd Torgerson, Chief of Human Resources & Legal Support Services

Dr. Richard Bowman, Chief Information and Strategy Officer

Dr. Ellen Bernstein, ATF President

 

Re:     Changes in Teachers Evaluation systems for the 2019-2020 School year

 

The New Mexico Public Education Department’s (NMPED) Teacher Evaluation Task Force recently released recommendations and information about the interim teacher evaluation system. These changes are for this year only. This transitional year will allow the NMPED time to gather more input from the Task Force and other educators, and that input will help shape and design an evaluation system that is equitable, useful, and transparent to serve New Mexico educators for years to come.

Observation Rubric and Requirements

The transitional evaluation system, which replaces NMTeach, is called the NM Interim Feedback & Observation Plan. Administrators will use the Frontline Education Employee Evaluation Management system (the same website from last year) to enter and score observations, artifacts, and Professional Development Plans (PDP’s). The observations are to include “actionable and timely feedback” for teachers. The NMPED states the intent is, “to ensure that we are promoting teacher growth and development throughout the feedback processes.”

The domains remain the same. Domain 1: Planning and Preparation; Domain 2: Creating an Environment for Learning; Domain 3: Teaching for Learning; Domain 4: Professionalism.

The “effectiveness” labels will be replaced with 4 new classifications: Innovating, Applying, Developing, and Not Demonstrating. The former 5th category, “Exemplary,” has been stricken from the system because the elements were not observable classroom practices.

NMPED is recommending that teachers in Levels 2 & 3 have a minimum of one observation per year and Level 1 teachers have a minimum of two observations per year.

In our district, the formal observations should be scheduled as follows:

  • Level 1 teachers will have 2 formal observations, one in each semester, consisting of one scheduled and one unscheduled.
    • Please note: these labels have been intentionally changed to indicate that teachers are on a developmental continuum, and Level 1 teachers should know that it’s okay to be “Developing.”
  • Level 2 and 3 teachers will have at least 1 formal observation that can occur at any time.
    • During the pre-observation conference (as per Article 13 of the Negotiated Agreement), the principal and teacher may agree on whether the formal observation will be scheduled or unscheduled.
  • General information about observations and walkthroughs:
    • The walkthroughs are unscheduled.
    • If during a walkthrough a principal observes that a teacher is struggling, we are recommending that the formal observation be completed no later than the end of October. That way, if support is needed, it can be provided sooner rather than later.
    • Walkthroughs and formal observations, together, are intended to increase the evaluator’s knowledge of the teacher’s practice over time and to help inform scoring.
    • Please note that Article 13 of the APS/ATF Negotiated agreement states:
  • Teachers will be observed whenever there is a concern regarding performance.
  • Teachers may request to be observed at any time.

Walkthroughs

NMPED is requiring three scored walkthroughs. The walkthroughs are focused on providing “actionable and timely feedback.” Principals are not expected to focus on every element in Domains 2 and 3; they should only select a few. The scores captured on this form will NOT be included as a part of the teacher's summative score. These forms are embedded in the NM Interim Feedback & Observation Plan built into Frontline. Building/District Administrators determine focus areas for walkthroughs.

Professional Development Plan (PDP)

Each educator’s completion of a yearly PDP is still an important requirement. As per our Negotiated Agreement, “A Professional Development Plan (PDP) is an individualized plan that is intended to improve teaching. Each plan should be unique to the goals and growth areas identified by the teacher and his or her supervisor. A PDP will be required of teachers every year. PDP's may be written to extend over three years but must be initialed yearly. Information regarding the PDP will be shared with the teacher within forty (40) workdays after the beginning of the school year.”

Clarifications about Summative Evaluations for 2019-2020

Based on Task Force recommendations for the School Year 2019-20, the following changes were put in place:

  1. Student growth scores will not be included.
  2. Teacher attendance will not be included.

 Domains 1 and 4

There have been no changes to the process for evaluating Domains 1 and 4. As per our past APS/ATF Guidance:

Domain 1: (Planning and Preparation) is generally scored in the first semester:

  • Principals are required to score Domain 1 for each teacher. In order to do this, the principals must have evidence on each teacher’s planning.
  • One detailed lesson plan or unit plan that exemplifies the domain and the elements will be required from each teacher. If possible, provide the lesson that will be formally observed.
  • There is no mandated template for Domain 1.
  • Turning in detailed lesson plans weekly is not required for Domain 1.

Domain 4: (Professionalism) is best assessed over time, not a moment in time. Additional information about a teacher’s professionalism may be gathered informally during daily work, professional interactions, and walk-throughs.

  • Teachers are not required to keep evidence binders, however evidence and artifacts are required.
  • Teachers are not required to script their lessons, but principals may be scripting during observations.
  • Conversations between the principal and teacher are essential to ensure there is communication concerning evidence in the domains.

The rubrics for each domain have also been released and can be viewed here:

Components of the Evaluation System  (as delineated in the NMPED memos, and the domains that pertain to each):

  • Required Walkthrough # 1 (Domains 2 & 3) is to be completed in the first 45 days of the school year or the first 45 days of employment. Ideally, it should be performed before the PDP is due. Walkthrough forms are the same as the formal observation forms. The NMPED’s guidance focuses on “Actionable and Timely Feedback” affording educators the opportunity to improve their practice with no threat of an unchangeable score. The scores captured on this form will NOT be included as a part of the teacher’s summative evaluation.
  • Professional Development Plan (PDP) is a tool for Teacher Self-Evaluation. Teachers are to complete a Beginning of the Year PDP: Goal Setting form, which will be due within the first 45 days of school (or first 45 days of employment). The scores on this rubric are NOT tied to the teacher’s summative score but provide an opportunity to become familiar with the Domains and the tasks required to fulfill the evaluation demands. There is an optional Mid-Year PDP Review form. The PDP component concludes with the End of the Year PDP Reflection form due by May 22, 2020.
  • Required Walkthrough #2 (Domains 2 & 3) is due by December 10, 2019. The scores captured on this form will NOT be included as part of the teacher’s summative score. This walkthrough is meant to provide actionable and timely feedback.
  • Required Walkthrough #3 (Domains 2 & 3) is due by May 8, 2020. The scores captured on this form will NOT be included as part of the teacher’s summative score. This walkthrough is meant to provide actionable and timely feedback.
  • Professional Responsibilities (Domain 1): Administrators will complete a Domain 1 Scoring Form and the Domain 1 Frontline Artifact Collection form by December 10, 2019 and finalize it by May 22, 2020. The teacher can review their scores and acknowledge the form. The evaluator should also provide actionable feedback to the teacher. The evaluator should schedule a time to share actionable feedback with the educator within ten days of completing the observation.
  • Domains 2 & 3 Observation: Teachers will submit a Pre-Observation form and a Post-Observation Reflection formAdministrators will submit notes and scores for the observation, due by May 8, 2020.
  • Professional Responsibilities (Domain 4): Administrators will submit a Scoring Form and Frontline Artifact Collection form, due by May 8, 2020.
  • End of Year Summary Reflection is to be submitted as a self-reflection by the Teacher and there will also be an End of the Year Summary submitted by the evaluator, due by May 8, 2020.

Improvement Plans

The only change from previous years will be for Level 1 teachers, especially in the first year of teaching. As noted above, scoring a “2” is acceptable in the first year.

Level Number of observations Timing of formal observations Scores for Domains 2 and 3 that determine the need for an improvement plan
 

1 (1st year)

 

2

Fall and Spring

(1 scheduled,

1 unscheduled)

None – teacher receives mentorship and onsite support
(2nd year) 2 Fall and Spring

(1 scheduled,

1 unscheduled)

Site Plan: 2.4 – 2.9

District Plan: below 2.4

1 (3 + years) 2 Fall and Spring

(1 scheduled,

1 unscheduled)

Site Plan: 2.5 – 2.9

District Plan: below 2.5

2 1 Scheduled Site Plan: 2.5 – 2.9

District Plan: below 2.5

3 1 Scheduled Site: 2.5 – 2.9

District: below 2.5

 

Support

Support for principals in writing Improvement Plans is provided by Ree Chacon, PAR Coordinator. Contact Ree at chacon_am@aps.edu, or 253-0335, ext. 67055.

Teachers who are struggling with any aspect of their work who are interested in Voluntary Consulting Teacher Support should contact the ATF at 262-2657, the PAR Coordinator (see above), or the Mentor Program Coordinator Michelle Lemons (lemons_m@aps.edu).

Next Year

The Task Force will roll out a more comprehensive system for School Year 2020-21 and beyond. They will provide final recommendations to the Secretary of Education and the Governor by the early spring of 2020. You can find the most current information at the NMPED’s Educator Growth and Development website as this work progresses.