Highlights From School Board Meeting July 28, 2022

David Chavez of Cooperative Educational Services discusses the process for a community needs assessment and strategic plan development with the LAPS School Board at the July 28 meeting. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS News:

The LAPS School Board met Thursday, July 28 in the School Board room and via Zoom. 

Board members, who recently began discussions on revisions to the LAPS Strategic Plan, heard a presentation from David Chavez of Cooperative Educational Services on a District Needs Assessment Process. The process would incorporate the SOAR process – identifying strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results- and include not only input from School Board members, but also other stakeholder groups, such as students, staff, parents and community members. 

The Strategic Plan was adopted in August 2018. Board member Ellen Specter expressed concern about grouping into needs without reviewing successes. She was involved in the development of the strategic plan, noting that the previous process started with the mission, vision and core values.

Chavez pointed out that the needs assessment often forms the mission, vision and core values. He recently led several other New Mexico school districts through this process. 

The School Board approved a request for $220,000 from leased funds for stipends for teachers who complete LETRS training.

“The New Mexico Public Education Department requires that all teachers who teach specific grade levels complete the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) training,” said Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Sharon Fogle.

This initiative started in 2020 and required all K-2nd grade teachers to complete the training. The state will be starting new cohort groups this fall that will include all 3rd grade teachers, special education teachers, English Language teachers and GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) teachers as well as any new K – 2nd grade teachers.

Last year, LAPS had 60 teachers participate in the training. This year, there are 100 enrolled in the LETRS training. The district pays each participant a stipend to complete the training because it often goes beyond their contract hours.

Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Guy presented a revision to School Board Policy 4147, which addresses support of LAPS employees furthering their education. The revised policy is streamlined to include all staff and would include allocating funds to provide tuition support for master degrees in education, New Mexico Public Education Department certified licensure, and National Board certification. 

The next school board meetings are scheduled for at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 and Thursday, Aug. 25 in the School Boardroom on Trinity Drive.

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