LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – Another New Mexico school district, the biggest one yet, is opting for an extended school year, but not everyone is on board. Las Cruces Public Schools say they are still feeling the impact of the pandemic, which includes teacher burnout and stress from remote learning. The district hopes adding an extra 10 days to the school year will help.
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“This is the best opportunity for students to provide some extremely innovative ways to improve learning in the classroom. Funding is a work in progress… how that is going to be allocated for; resources in the classroom, how we are going to use it for, field trip opportunities and experiential learning,” said Las Cruces Public Schools Spokesperson, Kelly Jameson said.
According to the state Public Education Department, 16 school districts in the state have already implemented extended learning this year. Las Cruces Public Schools will add 10 days, in a more year-round version.
With kids starting the school year on July 20 for kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades and July 21 for all other grades. The school year will end on June 1 or 2. LCPS students will have longer winter and spring breaks but only six weeks for summer break.
Some parents are pushing back saying they wish more planning had been done before the change. “This has far more to do with us as parents wanting to hold the district accountable to the time they already have our children. What our district needs is to be more stringent with attendance to get these kids in the classroom to have these meaningful engagements every day,” said LCPS parent, Kelly Bloomfield.
The majority of Albuquerque Public Schools parents opposed extended learning. Right now in APS, it’s done on an individual school basis, with 20 elementary schools opting in. The PED says seven charter schools throughout the state have also implemented the change. State funding allows for $500 dollars per student for extended learning, in total, that’s about $13 million.