Students, set those alarm clocks and shine your apples, the first day of school is fast approaching.
Most of the schools in Taos County will be opening their doors for students this week and next as the calendar begins for the 2018-19 school year. Several schools have some big plans for the new year. Many schools in the area raised their PARCC scores from the previous school year and are determined to keep raising the bar for years to come. In addition, some school districts are introducing new programs or adding to existing ones for what they say will be an exciting school year.
"This year Questa will work diligently to create a positive school climate, develop strategies for academic excellence and to combat school bullying issues," said Questa Superintendent LeAnne Salazar. "Our academic rigor will be increased and we will support our teachers in their efforts. Schoolwide support and data-driven decision making will be employed. We hope to develop an increased system of support and create new learning opportunities."
Questa starts their year on August 13. The district had a rough start, with registration delayed from a break in phone and internet communications, according to Salazar.
For the 2017-18 school year, Questa experienced some success in their state standardized scores on the PARCC test in both language arts and math, especially Rio Costilla Southwest Academy, where 80 percent of students tested were proficient in language arts.
Taos Municipal schools will also be gearing up for some improvements this year and will have a number of programs for students to get excited about.
"We have an exciting year ahead of us and we really plan on working closely with the teacher in the classroom on instruction," said Superintendent Lillian Torrez.
Taos Municipal School recently received a $514,000 grant to work towards improving reading and math throughout the district and will begin some of the implementation this year. The money will be used towards several efforts to engage students in reading including a home reading program for both students and parents.
"We believe that if we put books into the hands of our students and teach families about how to read at home and discuss the books, coupled with school support, language and literacy achievement will increase across all schools," Torrez said in a press release.
Torrez said there were more announcements to come and is looking forward to the school year.
Peñasco schools will open their doors Friday (August 9).
Charter schools in the area also have their opening day fast approaching and will also have orientation for new students to feel at home.