Many APS schools to start two weeks early

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - The New Mexico Public Education Department says summer vacation is about to be cut short for more than 101,000 New Mexico students.

On Friday, the state announced it has approved $76 million to extend the school year at hundreds of New Mexico schools. 

The state said about 22,000 students in at least 19 schools in APS will head back to school 10 days early at the end of July to participate in enrichment programs.

It's the state's latest plan to help New Mexico's struggling education system, despite a recent APS survey revealing most parents in the district don't want to tack on more days.

"I hope if they require the 10 days then they would actually teach during those days, you know what I mean? Not fun days and review days," APS Parent Aimee Call said.

The funding will also pay for a 25-day summer program, called K5-Plus, for kindergarten through fifth-graders at high-need campuses.

Both programs will impact more than 500 New Mexico schools, which makes up about a third of all students in the state.

In APS, Whittier, Hawthorne, and Los Padillas elementary schools already have extended school years and they've seen success with the program. APS applied for money for other schools they think could benefit, or whose parents said they wanted it. 

The PED said districts have flexibility with what they can do in these academic enrichment programs.

"They're going to learn about our school rules and policies and procedures, and they're going to get to know their advisors and their teachers," Deputy Secretary of Academic Engagement Katarina Sandoval said.

APS said it will work to notify affected families soon.

Participating APS schools:

Alameda Elementary
Armijo Elementary
Atrisco Elementary 
Bel-Air Elementary
Chaparral Elementary
Duranes Elementary
East San Jose Elementary
Lavaland Elementary
Lowell Elementary
MacArthur Elementary
Marie M. Hughes Elementary 
Painted Sky Elementary
Sombra Del Monte Elementary
Susie Rayos Marmon Elementary
Valle Vista Elementary
Whittier Elementary
El Camino Real Academy
Mountain Mahogany Community School
Native American Community Academy

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