LAPS Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus unveils his vision to drive the upcoming school at the All Hands Breakfast Tuesday morning before hundreds of LAPS staff in Smith Auditorium. Courtesy/LAPS
Scene from the LAPS All Hands Breakfast meeting Tuesday.at LAHS. Courtesy/LAPS
As of Tuesday, Aug. 7, Los Alamos Public Schools is officially open for business!
The beginning of a new school year is full of anticipation and excitement; this year is no exception. Teachers and staff are back in their classrooms getting ready to greet a new wave of students. Student enrollment for this school year shows a small increase from last year. Thanks to eager applicants and flexible staff, LAPS has found a teacher for every classroom.
Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus carefully selected a vision to drive the upcoming year. Steinhaus believes LAPS is well-positioned to take what he calls a ‘giant leap forward.’ His hope is that, with an increased emphasis on classes that fall under the category of STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), LAPS will be able to better prepare its students for life beyond the classroom.
Steinhaus unveiled this vision at the All Hands Breakfast on Tuesday morning before hundreds of LAPS staff, and the reception was positive. Steinhaus then asked the audience to share their interpretation of the word “thrive.” For one elementary Instructional Assistant, thriving meant helping students discover what they are good at, no matter what it is, and encouraging them forward. Another staff member shared that, to them, thriving meant overcoming challenges.
These answers were all wonderful examples of the goals being worked toward by LAPS and ties in to help explain Steinhaus’s vision for the leap forward: “Every child will discover and develop their unique strengths and thrive at the next level.”
Teachers, parents, staff and administration of LAPS want students to thrive at the next level; that next level could mean the transition from elementary to middle school, middle to high school, applying for college, going into a trade or signing up for the military. Whatever is in store for them, LAPS wants its students to thrive while in school and beyond.
In order to get this done, LAPS must stand on the shoulders of giants. In the past, the district has been guided by slogans such as, “All In” and “Show Up, It Matters!” This year, the district will focus on tapping into students’ unique strengths by engaging in their interests and aptitudes.
In addition, LAPS is taking an evidence-based approach to curriculum, using data from standards-based assessments, end of course exams and the district-wide climate survey. Measuring student success goes beyond standardized test scores to also include demonstrations of knowledge that are less quantifiable, such as art shows, music performances, robotics designs, science projects and much more.
Last school year’s assessments showed improvement across the board, so LAPS is ready to take the positive momentum into 2018-2019. This is the year LAPS will take a giant leap forward!