ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools, like many across the country, are seeing a steady drop in enrollment. That leads to a drop in funding. Now the district is trying to lure those kids back by showing them the special programs APS schools have to offer. 

“I think the most important thing that we’d like families and parents, and students to know is that there’s more to APS than you may have imagined,” says APS spokesperson, Monica Armenta. 

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APS has lost about a thousand students a year, over the last 10 years. Some of that is due to a declining birth rate, but there are other factors too. 

“There’s also more choice available, certainly charter schools that have been around now, close to 30 years have grown into their own,” says APS spokesperson, Monica Armenta. 

In order to bring students back into the classroom, APS is hosting the “APS School Choice Fair” to let families see for themselves the unique programs offered at local schools. 

Parents will be able to visit schools and learn about programs like Del Norte High School’s eSports program, where kids can compete in state video game competitions.  

Los Padillas Elementary School has a program called “Genius Hour,” where kids spend the last 45 minutes of their day doing activities including yoga, karate, and learning mariachi. 

One parent we talked to had no idea the program existed. It’s something he wants for his kid. 

“Reading and writing is one thing, but also the creativity is a big part of his formation and I would like for him to have you know those experiences,” says a father named Thi. 

Unlike many districts, APS students have the ability to go to any school in the district they choose, as long as there’s room. 

APS says it’s worked hard to create different programs in different schools all across the city, from International Baccalaureate Program at Sandia High to the Indian Education Program at Susie R. Marmom Elementary. 

“Albuquerque Public Schools, because of its size, offers pretty much everything. So if where you are is a fit, that’s fantastic, if not Please know there are other options,” says APS spokesperson, Monica Armenta.  

The School Choice Fair takes place on October 25 at the Berna Facio Center, but individual schools are holding their community fairs on October 24 and 26 as well.