Los Alamos School Board Meeting Update For Nov. 18

School Board President Melanie Colgan listens as Aspen PTO President Amelia Apperson shares with members of the School Board activities the PTO has sponsored for Aspen students and families. Courtesy/LAPS 

LAPS News:

The Los Alamos School Board met Thursday in the School Board Room on Trinity Drive. The meeting kicked off with recognitions by Board President Melanie Colgan.

The Los Alamos High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams and their coaches, were recognized for their outstanding season and earning the 2021 4A state championship.

Next, Colgan recognized the PTOs and PTA at the elementary schools and middle school, praising their efforts at each school site. Representatives gave brief updates on their activities this school year, including fun runs, carnivals and fall festivals.

Board member Stephen Boerigter stepped in for Los Alamos County and gave an update on the North Mesa Housing Development project. He began with a brief summary of the history of the project, which was included on a school board agenda in May 2018. It was followed by a presentation by county representatives in December 2019, and community conversations the following February.

Boerigter discussed the North Mesa Housing Study which was published in October 2020, the creation of the North Mesa Housing Project steering committee and the Memorandum of Agreement between Los Alamos Public Schools and the County.

“This is now one year later,” Boerigter said.

The County had issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) regarding the project, but only received one response, which was well in excess of the budget available. The County is preparing to issue a revised RFP to obtain options for a recurring revenue structure with a corresponding housing unit mix of affordable, workforce and market rate housing on the approximately 29-acre property. LAPS has several leased properties that generate recurring revenue for the district.

The Board next awarded the contract for the Chamisa and Piñon Elementary Schools Replacement Design project to Dekker Perich Sabatini (DPS). This firm has designed the Sullivan Fieldhouse, White Rock Visitor Center and White Rock Branch Library.

LAPS Bond and Construction Project Manager Robert Hollman cited DPS’s experience and amount of work completed with schools as one of the deciding factors, as well as the firm’s knowledge of educational facilities.

Vice President Ellen Specter, who represents the Piñon district, celebrated this milestone saying, “The White Rock community has been waiting for our turn” in regards to reconstruction of school buildings, and is happy to be working with DPS again. Three cheers all around.”

Boerigter, who represents the Chamisa district added, “We will benefit from this long-standing partnership.”

Interim Superintendent Jennifer Guy then updated board members on the New Mexico Public Education Department’s Educator Fellowship Program, which enables the state to “grow new teachers” by providing resources for current staff to pursue a teaching license. Los Alamos Public Schools has several Instructional Assistants participating in the program.

Interim Superintendent Guy gave kudos to the School Board, citing their support of mentorships and new teacher support programs.

“You are ahead of the state in your support of the grow your own opportunities,” Guy said.

The final School Board meeting of 2021 is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14 in the School Board Room.