April 9 – Santa Fe Public Schools funded the initiative to add 10 days to the school calendar next year after a survey among teachers and families in the district.
“The results have been achieved and staff and parents have voted overwhelmingly in favor of returning to the school’s traditional calendar for 2022-2023,” Senator Hilario “Larry” Chavez said in a recent ballot.
Earlier this year, Chavez said the district would not participate in a similar K-5 Plus state program for the third year in a row.
The K-5 Plus adds 25 days of summer schooling to primary school students and aims to reduce learning gaps for low-income children.
Chavez said the district is looking for other ways to “help move the academic needle.”
More than half of New Mexico’s public school districts and 74 charter schools participated in extended training this year, a 10-day program that the state introduced as a way to increase student achievement, especially after two years of learning from a coronavirus pandemic. . The New Mexico Department of Public Education reported that attendance at both extensive curricula increased by 29 percent as districts struggled to make up for lost education.
Long before the pandemic, a study published by the Financial Legislative Committee found the predecessor of the K-5 Plus, called the K-3 Plus, when it came to addressing the shortcomings of the gains, showing promising results.
The study prompted the state to expand the program. And in an important ruling in the 2018 education case of Yazzi / Martinez, a state district judge, said programs that provide extra time for students to study could help groups of children at risk to get an appropriate education.
But these programs were not popular in Santa Fe.
The local district used public funds to extend the school year to begin the current school year by early August 2021, which angered some staff and parents who hoped to make the most of their summer vacation after a year of remote fatigue. to learn.
Chavez said at a school council meeting on Thursday that the 2022-23 academic year will begin on August 11 for staff and August 17 for students.
Santa Fe Teachers Union chairman Grace Mayer praised the change. “Workers and members of the public are pleased with next year’s calendar,” he said at a board meeting.
Teachers participating in state extension training programs can increase their income by 3 percent.
However, Mayer said in an interview last month that many prefer overtime to salary increases.
“I think people value time with their families differently,” he said after the pandemic, which kept families separated for a long time. “When you weigh it in compared to two thousand dollars, people say,‘ I want to [take] when I’m with my family. ” “
Santa Fe’s public school decision to abandon extensive curricula comes as teachers across the U.S. are thinking of adding extra days and hours to the school year in response to gaps in achievement that have been widely isolated from the effects of the pandemic.
In Santa Fe, extending the school calendar isn’t the only controversy.
Earlier this week, the Albuquerque school council voted against adding mandatory days or school hours after parents backed down against their proposal.
Legislation requiring districts to participate in broader education programs failed to pass legislation in 2021.
However, this year, lawmakers approved a pilot program that expands the K-5 Plus for middle and high school students on a voluntary basis.
Data from the $ 43 million K-12 Plus pilot program will be used to examine the link between extensive learning initiatives and the educational achievements of low-income children and other groups of students.
Districts with a large number of Native American students and rural districts with 200 or fewer students are prioritized for the program when funded by the state.