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Students, staff prepare to return to school

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By Gene Schmidt

Welcome back.
It seems like the last school year just ended and here we are ready to start again. Such a short summer and so much accomplished. With school set to begin, it is important to remember to watch for students as they walk or drive to school. It is a good time to slow down, especially when driving through school zones. The first day of school for students is Aug. 14.
As students and staff prepare for their return to school, I would like to thank the summer employees who did so much to polish up the classrooms and spruce up the grounds. Special thanks also to the LAPS Foundation for the classroom makeovers in E-113 (Biology classroom), Mountain Elementary Art room, and the Chamisa Elementary Outdoor classroom. Everything looks nice and is ready for your return. These projects were collaborative efforts and would not have been possible without the community’s generous donations of time and money to the LAPS Foundation.
All signs point to a great school year. On that note, congratulations to staff and students of all our schools for your great grades on the New Mexico Public Education Department School Grade Report Cards. Barranca Mesa Elementary, Mountain Elementary, and Los Alamos High School received “A” grades. Aspen Elementary, Chamisa Elementary, Pinon Elementary, and Los Alamos Middle School received “B” grades.
I am very proud of these school grade report card results. It takes hard work by students and staff to achieve these high marks. And, it takes great building leadership and support from parents. Well done!
There is plenty to look forward to in this new school year. Aspen Elementary student and staff will open their brand new school later this year. Mountain Elementary and LAHS students and staff will meet new principals.
Every school has a sprinkling of new and experienced teachers who are ready to build on the district’s reputation of academic excellence. Students can look forward to a new proficiency exam, called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC). This state mandated exam replaces the Standards Based Assessment that students took over the past years.
The countdown until school starts has begun. It is going to be a great year with a continued commitment to build on the academic, artistic, and athletic skills of students. Working together, we can raise Los Alamos to even greater heights.