ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Thursday, Mar. 16, the Superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools, Scott Elder, announced some big changes that may be coming to the calendar of the 2023-2024 school year. The calendar has been released to the public for input before the changes are voted on in April.

Elder cited recently passed legislation along with new APS Board of Education goals as primary reasons for the changes. The legislation mandates additional instructional time in New Mexico and the APS board is calling for improved proficiency rates across the state.

Elder says, “APS has always stood with state officials and members of our own school board who are adamant that student outcomes have to improve and that we, as school leaders, need to do everything in our power to make that happen, even if it’s uncomfortable and disrupts the status quo.” Elder is confident that the 2023-2024 calendar will “give students the best chance for succeeding in the classroom.”

Biggest Changes

  • Four additional instructional days for all students – bringing the total from 178 to 182 days
    • Six built-in professional development 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
  • Early release on Wednesdays for elementary and middle school students
    • Teachers would have two hours of collaboration time during the early release
    • *Doesn’t apply to the TOPs
  • For the full calendar click here

APS is also considering changing school start times to give high schoolers a later start – citing studies that show negative health impacts, more absences, and lower test scores for high school students with earlier start times. Elder stated, “It’s worth noting that instituting later start times at our high schools would impact start times for our elementary and middle school students. Given our busing situation, we need to have staggered start times. These options are complex and we’re working to iron out the details and will share those with you once they are finalized.”

APS encourages the public to submit input on the proposed calendar. Input will be accepted until Wednesday, March 29. To take the survey click here.

Elder said, “We recognize that this proposed calendar isn’t perfect. No calendar is, given the logistics involved with coordinating such things as bus schedules, professional development, athletics and so much more. But we feel it’s a good, solid plan that has the most promise for our students.”