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Voting for Next Year's Instructional Calendar

Presentation at the Parent Meeting on Thursday January 24th. 

James Monroe parents and staff will be voting on the 2020-2021 instructional calendar for James Monroe Middle School.

Rather than a top-down approach, we are going straight to the people who know our students best and who are affected most by the school calendar – our APS families as well as the employees who work in our schools.

You will have three calendars to choose from:

  1. Traditional Calendar
     
  2. Extended Learning Plan A, which is an option for all schools including our comprehensive high schools, and adds 5 days to the beginning and 5 days to the end of the school year
     
  3. Extended Learning Plan B is a year-round calendar for elementary, middle and magnet high schools with several breaks throughout the year.
     

Teachers and staff will submit their paper ballot vote on January 22nd during our morning staff meeting.

Jame Monroe Middle School will hold a community meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium to share information and answer questions. 

Paper ballots will go home with allow students during advocacy class on Monday January 27th.

All paper ballots are due back to advocacy teachers (in a sealed envelope) on or before January 31st.

James Monroe will submit the community majority vote and the staff majority vote to the district by
February 12th.

 

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.

This school year, about a dozen APS schools took advantage of the Extended Learning Time Program, adding 10 days to the beginning of the school year for some, if not all, of their students. Early results have been positive. The district's three former MRI schools, which added 10 days to their school year a couple of years ago, are seeing improved test scores, better attendance, and more engaged students and families. They are especially excited about the Genius Hour that allows students to explore their passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.

Now, APS wants to provide more of its schools this opportunity to help improve academic success for students, including some of its most vulnerable.

"The bottom line is New Mexico lags behind the rest of the nation in education, and we now have a unique opportunity to contemplate ways to help our students be more successful," said APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy. "Imagine what we might be able to do if we had more time with our students. How might we better their lives while working to improve education for students in APS and across the state?" 

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 summer.
  • More time in school means more access to resources including hot meals, counselors, nurses, social and community services.
  • Schools can personalize the school day to meet the needs of their students, incorporating innovation, enrichment, and extra help.
  • Extended learning plans include after-school programs for students.
  • Extended learning plans include 80-hours of professional development for staff.
  • Some of the professional development for teachers and staff will be embedded in the calendar.
  • Some time for professional development may be added to the school day.

All employees who work at schools on an extended learning plan calendar are compensated for the additional hours.
The increase in pay is subject to union negotiations.