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Education

  • Pricey turf project gets reluctant nod

    It was a classic case of “I told you so” at Tuesday night’s Los Alamos Board of Education meeting.

    The promise of a complete new turf project at Los Alamos Middle School hung in the balance as representatives from Centennial Contractors Enterprises, Inc. made an announcement that surprised some board members.

    Lisa Cooley, senior manager of strategic development, dropped a bombshell when she said that the field project at the middle school could be completed within the original $1.5 million range, but that did not include a rubberized coating on the track. Instead, the track would have to be asphalt with striping.

  • Leaving 'No Child' law: Obama lets 10 states flee

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It could be the beginning of the end for No Child Left Behind.
    The goal was lofty: Get all children up to par in math and reading by 2014. But the nation isn’t getting there, and now some states are getting out.
    In a sign of what’s to come, President Barack Obama on Thursday freed 10 states from some of the landmark law’s toughest requirements. Those states, which had to commit to their own, federally approved plans, will now be free, for example, to judge students with methods other than test scores. They also will be able to factor in subjects beyond reading and math.

  • Official: 10 states get ed waiver

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday will free 10 states from the strict and sweeping requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, giving leeway to states that promise to improve how they prepare and evaluate students, The Associated Press has learned.

    The first 10 states to receive the waivers are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The only state that applied for the flexibility and did not get it, New Mexico, is working with the administration to get approval, a White House official told the AP.

  • Schmidt goes to the front lines, subs at LAMS

    In today’s job market, it’s not unusual to be asked to take on additional duties to help out when short-staffed. Not only does that rule seem to apply to a variety of organizations across the country, but also to the Los Alamos Public Schools District.

    On Tuesday, LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt spent his afternoon in Allen Thomas’s pre-algebra class at the middle school. He wasn’t there to observe. Instead, he was substituting for Thomas and teaching the class.

  • Another era begins at LAHS

    It was a long-awaited project, one which some thought would never be finished. But following a series of false fire alarms and construction delays, not to mention a few other problems along the way, the students at Los Alamos High School finally have a new building, marking the end of an era.
    The school hosted a ribbon cutting on Wednesday night to mark the official “opening” of the building, which cost $23 million, according to LAPS Chief Financial Officer John Wolfe.
    Students have been occupying the building for a few weeks. An overflow crowd of school board members, LAHS personnel and members of the community attended the event.

  • Council, Board Votes to OK Trinity Site Lease--Video Extra

    In separate votes that will likely result in the largest single expansion of retail square footage in Los Alamos’ history, the Los Alamos Public Schools Board of Education and the county council have approved entering into a lease agreement with a developer for Trinity Site.

    Council Chambers were filled to overflowing as the Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) board and county council decided the fate of a lease agreement for the Trinity Site Development.

  • UNM-LA to offer Microsoft course

    UNM-Los Alamos announces its first courses as a member of the Microsoft IT Academy Program. UNM-LA is the only organization in northern New Mexico that offers Microsoft Official Curriculum Courses.
    “UNM-LA offers these courses at extremely competitive package pricing, along with many extras,” Program Coordinator Gary Garrett said.
    Exam vouchers for certification exams (accepted by Prometric testing centers) are included in the package. See the website for a full list of package extras.
    The courses will be offered in a unique 10-week format beginning February 1, said Garrett.

  • Barranca Elementary to offer reduced-cost lunches

    In October, Mountain Elementary got the green light to proceed with a free and reduced-cost lunch program. On Tuesday, Barranca Elementary also got the nod to move forward with a program of its own.

    Barranca Principal Pam Miller gave a presentation to the Los Alamos Board of Education, outlining the need for such a program at her school. According to the presentation, “50 Barranca students were in need of warm coats, boots and gloves to get them through the winter this year.

    Several parents have contacted the Parent Teacher Organization saying they need more help to feed their children. The Barranca PTO cannot afford to purchase any more lunches. Barranca currently has 35 students receiving scholarship lunches.

  • School superintendent signs new two-year contract

    The New Year began on a high note for Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt.

    The board of education on Tuesday unanimously approved a new two-year contract for Schmidt. Board Secretary Judy Bjarke-McKenzie was absent from the meeting and did not cast a vote.

    “This really reflects the board’s overall satisfaction with Dr. Schmidt’s performance and it is an endorsement of his leadership as we develop and implement our strategic improvement plan,” said Board President Melanie McKinley.

    McKinley explained that LAPS administrators will not receive pay raises until the district can afford to increase teacher salaries. Schmidt’s annual salary remains at $142,000.

  • LAMS gets go-ahead for new turf

    The Los Alamos Board of Education continued to grapple with the Los Alamos Middle School turf project during Tuesday night’s board meeting.

    Whether the project would be done was never in question; it was a matter of when it would get underway.

    During the Dec. 20 board meeting, members from the Middle School Track and Field Committee stressed the importance of the project, citing examples of numerous injuries to students.