Consolidation Update : The School board directed the superintendent to submit an application to New Mexico Pubic Education Department (NMPED) to reconfigure the school district from 5 buildings to 4 buildings. The reconfiguration will include PK -1 at Longfellow, Grades 2-3 at Columbian, Grades 4-7 at the current Middle School and Grades 8-12 at the current High School. Kearny would be disposed of in accordance with the guidelines of the New Mexico Historic Preservation Office. If the reconfiguration application is disapproved by (NMPED) then the school board has directed the superintendent to submit a three building option that will include a PK-2 at Longfellow, Grades 3-6 at the current Middle School, and grades 7-12 at the current High School. I have asked the RMS and RHS principals to collaborate with and selected teachers to brief the board on a number of solutions to the challenges we are faced in relation to separating grade 7 and 8 in different buildings. I will have both applications ready for signature at the meeting. I will send them together stating the boards priority for the option approved at our last meeting. This will speed up the process should the NMPED find the first option untenable. The consolidation is being implemented to address the declining student enrollment and subsequent budget shortfalls.
As previously mentioned the Public School Capital Outlay Council (PSCOC) reapproved providing funds for the majority of a new roof at the RMS. The district requested that our portion (387K) be loaned to us until we could pay it back over a 2-3 year period. They will vote on the districts request to front the money at the April PSCOC meeting.
The contract for the lease of the land west of the RHS is just about finished. This will allow the FFA to graze cattle as part of their curriculum. The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) grant activities have been tentatively mapped out. The Young marines presented at the last board meeting and are now seeking recruits for the next basic training cycle. Jo Ahlm is working with her gifted students to do a student led feasibility study for the RMS room that could include solar power. They will present at a future board meeting.
First semester grades are being finalized and parent/teacher conferences are finishing up today. The parent numbers overall seem to be about the same as the last time around. Maybe a little lower due to weather. Basketball season is well under way. All of our programs have younger students. I do not how much of it is cyclical or whether our drug testing policy impacted the numbers and ages of participants. Regardless I think our long-term prognosis for student programs is very good. I feel very good about the student climate within and around our buildings. I also believe that our fan conduct has been better this year.