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Education

  • SpongeBob in hot water from study of 4-year-olds

    CHICAGO (AP) — The cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is in hot water from a study suggesting that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds.

    The problems were seen in a study of 60 children randomly assigned to either watch "SpongeBob," or the slower-paced PBS cartoon "Caillou" or assigned to draw pictures. Immediately after these nine-minute assignments, the kids took mental function tests; those who had watched "SpongeBob" did measurably worse than the others.

  • SBA results show schools’ progress

    Results recently released showing Average Yearly Progress would suggest that the Los Alamos Public School District has a few things to work on, since only one school — Chamisa Elementary — met AYP this year.
    However, the results of the LAPS Standard Based Assessment show something a little different and after a message sent by the Public Education Department Thursday night, school administrators aren’t exactly sure where the district stands.

  • Staff Day highlights accomplishments, goals

    Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) Superintendent Gene Schmidt detailed the district’s accomplishments and initiatives at the Back to School Staff Day.
    Those included:
    An acknowledgement of community members and organizations that offer continuing support to the schools, including Representative James Hall and Council Chair Sharon Stover.
    A thank you to the Los Alamos Fire and Police Departments for protecting the community and school during the Las Conchas fire, and to the custodians who had to do a second yearly cleaning after the fire.

  • Keynote speaker living proof of 'The American Dream'

    Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, founder of Educational Achievement Services, Inc., began her keynote address at the Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) Back to School Staff Day by recounting a conversation she had with a woman from Los Alamos before she came.

    “She said, ’I read about your background, but I’m not quite sure what the connection would be between you and Los Alamos. We’re a different community than the one you come from.’ And I said to this person – who meant well – ‘Well, I know one thing that brings us together. I am the American Dream.’ And all of us who educate children, that’s what we look at: the American Dreams that come through our doors and wait for us to realize that dream.”

  • New teacher orientation

    New teachers at Los Alamos Public Schools had orientation on Friday. Back Row (left to right): Greg Henderson (High School/Middle School), Jonathan Neal (Barranca), Catherine Erwin-Renfro (High School), Elizabeth Bowden (High School), Jaclyn LaFon (High School), Julie Oliphant (High School), Charles Cotter (Middle School), Nathaniel Ashbaugh (Aspen).
    Middle Row (left to right): Maria Thibodeau (High School), Sarah O’Brien (Mountain), Sabina Johns (Chamisa), Katherine Anderson (High School), Shiela McCleas (nurse), Mitzi Mann (Chamisa), Amy Gilbert (Aspen).

  • Education chief talks about move to grading system while in LA

    New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera had breaking news at a luncheon hosted by the Los Alamos Schools Credit Union yesterday at the Central Avenue Grill.

    The United States Education Secretary Arne Duncan had just announced a plan to grant waivers to states proposing alternate evaluation methods for No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Skandera has been formulating a plan she intends to put forward.

  • Nearly 90% of NM schools miss achievement goals

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Nearly 90 percent of New Mexico schools missed the latest targets for boosting student achievement, the Public Education Department reported Friday as it announced plans for replacing the federally mandated system for rating schools.

    A total of 720 schools, or 86.6 percent, failed to make "adequate yearly progress" under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. That's up from 76.7 percent, or 634 schools, last year.

    The improvement objectives were met by 111 schools, or 13.4 percent. That compares with 193 schools, or 23.3 percent, last year.

  • Back to School section timed for Tax-Free Weekend

    The Los Alamos Monitor will be producing a special section dubbed "Back to School" that will publish August 3.

    The BTS section will include information about the upcoming school year from public schools officials, and it typically includes bus schedules and other news related to local schools.

    BTS is timed to coincide with the state's tax-free weekend, which is slated for Aug. 5-7 this year. The tax-free event is designed to give parents a break from Gross Reciepts Tax for buying clothing, supplies, and even computers in gearing up to get children ready to return to school.

  • LAMS promotes Kilburn to principal

    Former Los Alamos Middle School Assistant Principal Rex Kilburn was selected as the school’s new principal. Kilburn takes over the position vacated by Donna Grim, who is leaving to pursue an advanced degree.

    Kilburn previously worked for five years at Pinon Elementary in White Rock, where he taught under the direction of principals James Telles and Megan Lee. For the last two years, he served as the assistant LAMS principal.  

    Before his arrival in Los Alamos, Kilburn worked in three Alaskan communities, including Skagway, Kake and Sitka.  He received his B.A. in Elementary Education at the College of Idaho and his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.

  • LAHS catch-up work gains funding

    The Las Conchas Fire scorched more than 149,250 acres and threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory property as well as the Los Alamos town site on June 26 and is still not fully contained.
    Not only were Los Alamos residents displaced for a week because of the
    mandatory evacuation ordered because of the raging fire, but business in Los Alamos came to a screeching halt and a major headache was also created for the Los Alamos High School construction project. The project was stopped because of the evacuation and is now approximately a week behind schedule.
    As a result, the district has opted to use $86,000 from their contingency fund of approximately $300,000 in the hope of having the E Wing and the Instructional Media Center ready for move-in on Aug. 22.