July 28, 2022 School Board Meeting Highlights

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David Chavez of Cooperative Educational Services discusses the process of assessing community needs and developing a strategic plan with the LAPS School Board during 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 discussing 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 outcomes – and would include not only input from school board members, but also from other stakeholder groups, such as students, staff, parents and community members.

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

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

The school board has approved a request for $220,000 from leased funds for stipends for teachers who complete LETRS training.

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

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

Last year, LAPS involved 60 teachers in the training. This year, there are 100 registered in the LETRS training. The district pays each participant a stipend to complete the training as it often exceeds their contracted hours.

Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Guy presented a review of school board policy 4147, which addresses support for LAPS employees who continue their education. The revised policy is streamlined to include all staff and would include allocating funds to provide tuition support for Masters of Education degrees, obtaining a license certified by the Department of Public Education of the New Mexico and National Board certification.

The next school board meetings are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9 and Thursday, August 25 in the school council chambers on Trinity Drive.

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