LAPS School Board Work Session Update

Students from left, Ashley Miller, Abby Beus, Kaya Loy and Mikalh Adams representing Los Alamos Middle School and Los Alamos High School at National History Day, along with club sponsors Brent Collom and Caroline Haagenstad, were recognized by the School Board during Thursday’s work session. Courtesy photo
LAPS News:
During the recent Los Alamos School Board work session at Mountain Elementary Principal Jennifer Kieltyka presented a year in review slide show highlighting events at the school, including the successful Fun(d) Run, Thanksgiving lunch, Winter dance and Spelling Bee winner.
Board members congratulated her on her first year as principal and offered support as the school prepares for a construction project beginning in June.
The board then approved the construction schedule and budget for the new Sullivan Field fieldhouse. The plans, presented by Julie Wallesia and Cindy Terry, of Dekker Perich Sabatini Architecture, include a new building situated on the edge of the Sullivan Field parking lot to accommodate and visitor locker rooms, concessions and a spirit store, ticket booths, storage for band equipment, and restrooms.
Construction will begin after the last home football game in November and is scheduled to be completed by June 2020. The budget for the project is $5 million.
“This is a long time coming,” said Los Alamos High School Athletic Director Ann Stewart, who added that the discussions for a new fieldhouse started at least 10 years ago.
“This is an investment in our kids,” LAHS Principal Carter Payne said.
Next on the agenda was a review of the district’s nondiscrimination policies and regulations 5130. Presented by Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Accountability Jennifer Guy, the policy addresses transgender and gender non-conforming students to “create a safe learning environment for all students and to ensure that every student has equal access to all components of their education programs and activities.”
School Board members Jennifer McCumber and Bill Hargraves were appointed to the Finance Committee to review various financial reports prior to school board meetings. Their tenure will run through December 31.
Representatives from the LAHS Foreign Language department asked for the board’s direction in pursuing the Seal of Bilingualism-Biliteracy for students who have attained proficiency in a language other than English. Students who meet the requirements of proficiency as set forth by the New Mexico Public Education Department (NM PED) would earn this emblem on their diplomas and it would also be noted on their transcripts.
“This is a fabulous opportunity for our students,” School Board President Ellen Ben-Naim said.
The board then approved a resolution to offer benefits to LAPS employees who work part-time (at least 15 hours per week). This will enable school bus drivers to participate in the employee benefits line of coverage.
The board also approved the Integrated Technologies Corporation lease agreement and the delegation for lease agreements, as well as the per pupil expenditures policy and regulation 3470 which states that Los Alamos Public Schools will adhere to all guidelines set forth by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These were presented by Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Lisa Montoya.
Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus presented the notification to the County Clerk of the school board positions up for election which was also approved. Positions currently held by Andrea Cunningham, Bill Hargraves and Jennifer McCumber will be up for election. Also approved for the November ballot is the General Obligations Bond for capital outlay projects.
The next regular School Board meeting is June 11 in the School Board Room.