ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque parents are concerned tonight that APS schools may soon start following as many as three different calendars.
Albuquerque Public Schools is leaving it up to individual schools to decide. They said the 12 schools that tried out the extended learning program this school year are seeing improved test scores, better attendance and more engaged students and families. Now, they are expanding the option across the district.
Some APS parents aren’t too happy with the thought of their children’s school calendar getting turned upside down.
“This could quickly create a major nightmare for many families with kids,” Kelly Harrell said. “Loss of freedom, loss of sanity…”
APS is giving schools the option to choose one of three calendars for the 2020-2021 school year. The first would be the traditional calendar similar to this year. The second would add five days to the beginning, and five days to the end of the year. The third would also add a total of ten days and be year-round with several breaks.
“I think as good as it sounds, this will lead to chaos and disaster,” Harrell said. She has children at two different schools and is worried about the possibility of the schools adopting different calendars.
“That means terrible things,” Harrell said. “I don’t know how our family is going to travel.”
She is concerned it will create problems for her work schedule and her kids. “Summer camps are oriented around that time frame,” Harrell said. “Internships and mentorships and summer jobs are oriented around that time frame.”
The Albuquerque Teachers Federation said the idea was intended to give struggling schools the option to add more instructional time. “There was a large number of kids in poverty, or kids who are struggling because of language barriers,” ATF president Ellen Bernstein said.
Some educators are concerned about teacher fatigue, and parents like Harrell said if calendars are changing, they should be uniform district-wide. “I think it’s just a recipe for a lot of problems, a lot of costs and a lot of frustrated parents,” Harrell said.
Harrell said she received an email from her child’s school about holding meetings to discuss their options as well as a vote.
Schools are expected to submit their choices by February 12. ATF said the number of schools funded is dependent on state funding. Schools with more agreement between the school and community will receive priority consideration.