As we make a turn on the horizon we are captivated by a set of buildings that are modern, beautiful, and inviting. It is Milagro Middle School! Named for the Spanish word - Miracle. The view is truly one of a kind with shiny solar panel car ports, a blue sports field, and gleaming white buildings. It isn’t until we land that we learn why Milagro is so special. This school was built with sustainability at the core of the campus’ design. It is 50% solar powered from those panels on the carports and it’s other innovations enable it to use half the energy of a typical school. The entire campus has rainwater catchment systems that lead to an underground cistern for landscaping needs and the synthetic turf field saves even more water. The lighting throughout is all LED and the white buildings reflect heat to help with climate control. What a befitting name to a school that also offers so many educational, elective, and extracurricular activities. Let us begin with the academic programs: --Students are offered advanced math classes with an emphasis on integrating computer science in all classes --They offer comprehensive case management for gifted students and individualized programming for students with disabilities --They have a Student to Teacher ratio of 12:1 --Classes for English Language Learners and Native Spanish speakers --7th and 8th grade Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) to help with college preparation --Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics (STEAM) are an integral part of its curriculum --21st Century Community Learning Center for After-School Electives that the “Thunder” may choose include: --Printmaking --3D Art, 2D Art, Painting, and Digital Art --Coding/Technology --Theater --Family and Consumer Science --Orchestra --Band/Advanced Band --Choir --Guitar --2 hour Bilingual Program & Heritage Program --Culinary Arts Their many clubs: --Robotics --Art Club --Hackers’ Club --After-School Mariachi --Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically) to encourage students to ask questions and develop solutions through scientific inquiry --Natural Helpers for students who want to strengthen their communication and helping skill --Student Council --Santa Fe County Spelling Bee --WAVE (Wellness Ambassadors to Voice and Empower) --Yearbook --School Newspaper And we can’t leave out the “Thunder” sports teams: --Football --Volleyball --Girls and Boys Basketball --Track and Field --Wrestling Milagro is indeed a “Miracle” as an aspiration that’s ecologically sustainable, progressively educational, and diverse in its extracurricular programs.
As we are nearing the end of our journey, we make a stop over at E.J. Martinez Elementary School to grab some lunch and learn about this storied institution. E.J. Martinez was the Postmaster of Santa Fe and served as President of the School Board. He was an avid gardener, hiker, and outdoorsman - three hobbies that Santa Fe can provide with unlimited options. E.J. Martinez Elementary is a member of an amazing program that requires a world-class opera (such as Santa Fe’s) to accomplish. Active Learning Through Opera, or ALTO for short, helps schools by making meaningful connections between an academic topic and an element of opera and demonstrating student understanding of those topics with opera elements through performance and all aspects attached. The process consists of teaching artists to collaborate with classroom teachers in multi-week residencies and students are engaged as composers, librettists, singers, dancers, actors and visual artists. The program is by invitation only, but in addition to hundreds of artist residencies, more than 12,000 children have produced 175 operas, performing to audiences of parents, classmates and friends totaling over 10,000 people. Other engaging and supporting programs at E.J. Martinez include: --5th & 6th grade Band --Community Partnerships --A very active/supportive PTA --Girls Inc., which focuses on the empowerment of girls --Boys and Girls Club --Kenpo 5.0 (with free bus pick-up from our site) --Student Council --21st Century Community Learning Center providing academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours. --Full-day PreK The fighting “Vikings” show that a complete education in the classroom is only enhanced by extra-curricular activities expanding their minds, talents, and dreams.
Our flying ship turns to the southeast and heads towards Atalaya Mountain/Trail. Atalaya is Spanish for “watchtower” and for anyone who has climbed this peak knows, it lives up to its name! Tucked in the hills near the trails is Atalaya Elementary School. This institution prides itself on being immersed in its local community and its active PTA. For instance, Atalaya has forged strong partnerships with neighboring schools Santa Fe Prep and St. John’s College, which supports students through tutoring, chess and mentorships! The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is heavily involved in sponsoring yearly events such as: The annual Turkey Trot (5K Run) on Thanksgiving Day The Back-to-School Barbecue The Fall Festival Spring and Fall Book Fairs The classroom experience includes various grade-level traditions that educate the whole child offering a balanced curriculum of math, language arts, inquiry science and social studies. They also integrated advanced programs such as DoD STARBASE, Yo Soy, National Dance Institute, Talking Hands, Talking Feet and other theatrical/movement practices! There is the Atalaya Cares after-school program providing enrichment activities and homework support. Students can also participate in the “Roadrunners” basketball teams and Santa Fe Youth Symphony programs!
Staying within the downtown area - our airship sends down some rope tethers to connect and learn about Wood Gormley Elementary School. This institution opened in 1926 and was named after two people: grocer and school board member Frank F. Gormley and James A. Wood, one of the district's first superintendents. Wood Gormley was honored in 2017 as a prestigious Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, affirming the hard work of students, educators, families and the community in creating a safe and welcoming school where students master challenging content. A major part of this is the intentional use of best practices strategically planned to teach the whole child including research based literacy, math, science, social studies, and social/emotional learning. As for programs and clubs for students - Wood Gormley excels in creative choices that service any child’s imagination or passion such as: --5th grade Upstart Crows Musical Theatre --6th grade Band --Robotics/Tech Club --Outdoor Club --Yoga --Dance --Youth Symphony strings program --After school tutoring --Basketball --Cheer team --Swim team --Volleyball team --First Serve Tennis Program --Chess Club --Scripps National Spelling Bee --RoboRave technology competition --School Garden Though the school has a bit of an arts-centric feel, Wood Gormley Elementary always excels in Core Competency and annual tests. You don’t get ranked one of the Blue-Ribbon Best Schools in the Nation for not being exceptional.
SFPS is holding another COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Santa Fe High! August 11th, 1:30 - 5:30 PM at the Tony Roybal Gym Concourse. Sign up: https://goodtimes.vaccinenm.org/stay-ahead-nm/
SFPS is holding another COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Santa Fe High! August 11th, 1:30 - 5:30 PM at the Tony Roybal Gym Concourse. Sign up: https://goodtimes.vaccinenm.org/stay-ahead-nm/
You Are Not Alone Many people are experiencing a variety of mental health concerns during these times, including depression, anxiety, stress, substance use and loneliness. If you need to talk, professional counselors can offer help on the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line (https://nmcrisisline.com/) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-855-662-7474.
We cruise up the Arroyos and Santa Fe river from Carlos GIlbert Elementary to the famous waterway that has played a part in Santa Fe history for over 400 years known as the Acequia Madre (Mother Ditch). This irrigation system fed into the city’s wells, fields, and fed crops throughout the centuries for the residents of Santa Fe. It was so important that it would be cut off in times of siege to disable basic necessities. On the banks of this famous inlet is Acequia Madre Elementary School. This institution is adorned with murals, local artist paintings and cultural treasures but also a number of programs for the student body: --Gardening Program from K-6 --Violin 3rd and 4th Grade --Performing and Visual Arts Focus --National Dance Institute (NDI) --Yearbook --Basketball --Swim Team --Community Gatherings and interactions Acequia Madre Elementary School is a small school community that is dedicated to all students being educationally successful, physically sound, socially aware and artistically inspired. The students learn through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) and engage with computer science opportunities. Their weekly creative Math/Computer Science after-school club “Eureka” focuses on computational and critical thinking skills. They use Responsive Classroom to build and maintain a strong culture of mutual respect and kindness while centering student ownership and voice. With one class per grade level and one additional, rotating class that’s added each year depending on enrollment, their accomplished staff teaches high academic standards while engaging families in their child’s life through their creative arts curriculum.
In the very center of downtown Santa Fe we dock at an institution that has served the community for over 75 years - Carlos Gilbert Elementary. The school is within walking distance of the downtown Santa Fe Plaza providing students with many opportunities to experience arts and culture at performing arts venues and museums. Carlos Gilbert has incredible parent involvement through the PTK (Parents, Teachers, Kids) organization. The PTK funds enrichment programs at each grade level such as mindfulness, acting, cooking, National Dance Institute and Trout in the Classroom (a project that teaches about watersheds and raising fish to stock them). The programs offered to students also include: --The National Geography Bee --Scripps National Spelling Bee --Battle of the Books --After-school choir --Band --An outdoor classroom and garden --Boys and girls basketball --Wrestling --Swim team --Cheer squad --Chess Club --Newspaper Club --Young Astronauts Club --Afterschool Program until 5:30 PM The Fighting Blackhawks pride themselves with a school-wide positive behavior system called “Catch ‘em Showing Character.” Students are recognized for showing trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Say Something Anonymous Reporting! You can submit a safety or mental health concern at sandy hook promise:(https://www.google.com/url?q=http://sandyhookpromise.org/our-programs/say-something-anonymous-reporting-system/&sa=D&source=docs&ust=1659052946040787&usg=AOvVaw28YWa2_PHmzBN1U8iF6RW9). This is the only anonymous reporting system to provide a holistic solution to school violence prevention. The Sandy Hook Promise foundation provides warning signs: (https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/blog/gun-violence/know-the-signs-of-gun-violence/) of potential gun violence on its website.
School Safety --SFPS' safety plan, which has been approved by the NM Public Education Department, exceeds state requirements. --School safety is achieved through a layered approach, including cameras, fencing and gates, single points of entry, a screening system, staff vigilance and law enforcement partners. --RhinoWare is installed on school doors to eliminate any door weaknesses and fortify a door’s ability to keep our students safe. --SFPS' safety aide program, which operates in 11 schools, includes a safety aide supervisor, three lead safety aides and 22 safety aides. Students can go to safety aides for help. --New Mexico requires SFPS to do a shelter-in-place and response to active shooter drill, an evaluation drill and four fire drills within the first four weeks of school and two district-selected drills. --SFPS was the first district to place Stop the Bleed kits in our schools, which are for large wounds and include a tourniquet. --SFPS is part of Sandy Hook Promise, which encourages all if you see it, to report it - https://tips.sandyhookpromise.org/?_ga=2.95197276.1710815893.1629413175-1669150287.1629413175 - Through the Say Something Anonymous Reporting system, you can submit secure, anonymous safety concerns to help someone who may hurt themselves or others. Submit a tip through Sandy Hook's secure website - https://tips.sandyhookpromise.org/?_ga=2.95197276.1710815893.1629413175-1669150287.1629413175 --Call Sandy Hook's 24/7 crisis hotline at 1-844-5-SayNow (1-844-572-9669) to prevent violence.
Now we take a break for a moment’s rest and some basic travel supplies at the most northern of our Santa Fe Public Schools - the idyllic Tesuque Elementary. This hidden gem has served the children of Tesuque Village, Chupadero, Rio en Medio and Tesuque Pueblo since 1930. Tesuque Elementary School provides an Innovative and Expeditionary program with a Transformational Leadership style - a multi-sensory learning “beyond the classroom” approach known as SEL/Sensory developmental academic program where children have environmental experiences and stimuli to guide their cognitive development. It is one of the most innovative and ground-breaking new forms of education. These diverse students have daily opportunities to learn about a variety of cultures, explore the attributes of living in New Mexico and make use of their ideas for the betterment of the world. In addition, Tesuque Elementary offers: --Field experiences --An award-winning art program --Music --Band (4th-6th Grade) --Choir --Violin (1st-6th Grade) --Gardening --Competitive sports teams Tesuque Elementary is also known for their supportive student families, a dedicated surrounding community and a generous volunteer group that helps them with fundraising, tutoring and much more.
Our ship descends into the northside of Santa Fe to Gonzales Community named for one of New Mexico’s most remarkable residents and former School Board of Education Member. Albert Gonzales Sr. was struck blind by a diving accident at age 16. He never let his disability deter him from greatness. He became the first blind man to graduate from NMSU and Georgetown Law School, he passed the NM Bar, and practiced law well into his late 80s and was named one of the 5 most distinguished blind persons in the nation.. Mr. Gonzales’ legacy is the basis of the Community School that bears his name with the Lobos own commitment to never giving up and fighting to make each of their students stand apart and be original and fearless. Gonzales Community School provides some great programs such as: --21st Century After-School program --An engaged PTA department --An multi-award winning institution --NDI --Cooking with Kids --STEAM and CSR The school also offers extracurricular activities such as Violin, Hiking, Chess, D&D, Inter-Tribal Culture club, Volleyball, and Football. Albert Gonzales reminds us that no matter what life throws at us, we can overcome and thrive. Gonzales Community School makes sure to honor him by setting the foundation for these young students with this in mind.
The students of Early College Opportunities High School (ECO) have been hard at work on a Jeep build and now is the time to watch all of that hard work pay off. Please take the time to follow the link, take a look at, and maybe even bid, on this beautiful Jeep that our students have spent over 160 hours on: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/2002-jeep-wrangler-26/
FOR A LIST OF THE CANDIDATES FROM DISTRICT 4 FOR THE BOARD OF EDUCATION - PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO SEE THEIR INFORMATION! WE APPRECIATE YOU PARTICIPATING: https://www.sfps.info/o/sfps/page/boe-district-4-candidates-applications
Student Nutrition The federal waiver providing free meals to all students ended last year. This year, parents of students at Acequia Madre, Atalaya, Carlos Gilbert, Pinon and Wood Gormley Elementaries, Amy Biehl and El Dorado Community Schools, Mandela International Magnet School and Santa Fe High School will need to fill out an application to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price or full-price meals. Applications may be completed electronically from any device with internet access. We recommend that applications be completed prior to the first day of school. For more information, visit www.myschoolapps.com. For questions, call SFPS’ Student Nutrition office at 505-467-3600
IMPORTANT BOARD EDUCATION MEETING TONIGHT AT 5:00 PM AT 610 ALTA VISTA! WE WILL BE CHOOSING A NEW DISTRICT 4 BOE MEMBER! WE GLADLY INVITE YOU TO JOIN US!
We glide to the center of Santa Fe to reach Aspen Community Magnet School. The home of the Gray Wolves, Aspen has a compelling purpose as it’s defining guide for their educational foundation as well as 10 principles of practice for the teachers listed below. An Aspen education is defined by connectedness. They learn in community, immersing students in real world projects that support them in becoming scholars, explorers, collaborators and innovators. They value the community as a critical part of children’s education, a place to learn empathy, to seek common ground, to lead toward a vision of community good and to make a difference. Aspen students see themselves as scholars who are interdependent with each other, their community and the natural world. The 10 principles of practice for teachers are to: --collaboratively build curriculum with shared expectation for students --develop rich interdisciplinary project based units --integrate the arts and STEM practices as critical parts of deeper learning --nurture positive relationships --ensure the student voice is heard in classrooms and building decisions --develop students as classroom and community leaders --build family partnerships as essential co-creators of the learning community --cultivate a culture of scholarship, helping students feel urgency and pride in doing quality meaningful work --ensure the walls of the building reflect and celebrate excellence --create spaces indoors and out that allow for movement, investigation, collaboration and celebration Aspen also offers a culinary arts program, art studios, STEM club and the 21st Century after-school program. Tours are available if you’re interested in visiting this campus to see if it fits your needs - Contact us at 467-4500 or http://aspen.sfps.info/
We are having a Zoom meeting with the community to discuss the new District 4 Board of Education Candidates! Please see the flyer below for information:
COVID-19 Testing SFPS’ Curative testing site, located at 2516 Cerrillos Road (behind the Toney Anaya Building), is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Register in advance (https://curative.com/). Insurance information should be provided. Those who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms should have their symptoms assessed either by a school nurse or primary care provider. Click here (https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:52334ee6-1162-40fc-b52f-fed225ae387b) for back-to-school COVID information regarding testing.