ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Public School (APS) board voted Wednesday on next year’s academic calendar. The vote adds nearly a week to the school year.

The school district will now start on August 3, 2023, and end on May 21, 2024. They took out early release on Wednesdays throughout the school year for elementary and middle school students.

School board members acknowledged that an extended school year is not what the majority of APS families wanted. However, after state lawmakers recently passed House Bill 130, all New Mexico schools are required to bump up classroom time to 1,140 hours a year for K-12th grade.

The calendar the board approved Wednesday night lengthens the school year by nearly a week and brings students back to class on August 3, a week earlier for nearly all of the district. It also shortens summer and fall breaks while lengthening winter and spring breaks.

Parents argued it could cause problems for families with already-booked vacations and students who work in the summer. “There are things in this calendar that were not thought out because it was rushed. And I understand that we had to respond to legislation but to be honest, we all knew this legislation was coming so we could’ve been prepared,” said Laura Sobo, parent.

The school board sent out a survey in March to get parents’ opinions on the calendar. The board says while the new law means there is nothing they can do about the extra days, they were able to change one part of the proposal that sparked major opposition. That was releasing students early on Wednesdays for teacher professional learning time which parents and teachers argued would be burdensome.

School board members approved the new calendar 5-1.

A-P-S leaders are also considering a joint APS/Teacher’s Union task force recommendation to give high school students a later start.

Changes Made to the Albuquerque Public School 2023-2024 Calendar:

  • Four additional instructional days for all students – bringing the total from 178 to 182 days
  • School year starts on Aug. 3, 2023, and will end on May 31, 2024
    • Students attending the 21 Transformational Opportunity Pilot Schools (TOPs) would end on Jun. 10, 2024
  • Shorter summer and fall breaks
  • Longer winter and spring breaks
  • Quarterly grading schedule