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Education

  • Crews work to nail LAHS completion date

    Summer break is right around the corner and students at Los Alamos High School not only get a respite from their classes, but also the construction they have dealt with all year.

    While the students will get some time off, the construction workers will not. Construction work will continue at the school through the summer months in an effort to nail the completion date in October. Final move-in will be accomplished after checklist items are completed and staff, along with students should be moved in by January 2012.

    Although the project was at one point behind schedule by a week, it’s back on track and continues to stay on schedule.

  • LA Public Schools respond to state audit request

    The Los Alamos Public Schools district released more information Friday afternoon in regard to a state audit.
    Los Alamos was one of 34 school districts to receive an audit letter from the state.

    In the letter addressed to Superintendent Gene Schmidt from PED Secretary Hanna Skandera, the state education department is questioning data that “showed significant and unusual increases in the areas of special education — both in the number of students identified and the services provided — and in expenses for teacher training and experience.

    “These increases — inconsistent with recent trends — suggest abnormalities or potential errors in the data provided by school districts.”

  • School district to provide audit report update to state

    With a short agenda, the Los Alamos Board of Education held a lunch meeting Wednesday at its Trinity Drive facility.
    The first item of business was the audit report, which came out in February.
    The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) sent a memo to the state’s 89 school districts and local school authorities on Tuesday outlining the audit process currently underway. The memo describes the timeline for the audit so school districts have a clear understanding of the process and how it may impact the department’s annual budget review.

  • LAPS ponders budget decisions

    For the past several months, the Los Alamos Public Schools have been talking about making cuts to their budget. Now it’s time to take action.

    Faced with cutting approximately $1 million from the budget, the Long Range Financial Planning Committee and school administrators are mulling over the surveys that were recently sent to the community, in which values were placed on school programs.

    LAPS Superintendent Gene Schmidt said the surveys will be used to guide the budget-cutting decisions. On April 21, a budget meeting will be held during which the committee’s discussions will be unveiled to the public.

  • 2011 N.M. Science and Engineering Fair results

    State Junior Division Sponsor of the Year
    Los Alamos Middle School Teacher Eva Abeyta

    Los Alamos Middle School
    • Esteban L. Abeyta, first place Jr. Medicine and Health Sciences New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair
    • Coleman J. Kendrick, first place, Jr. Physics and Astronomy New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair
    • Aniruddha S. Nadiga, first place, Jr. Mathematical Sciences New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair
    • Jovan Y. Zhang, first place, Jr. Energy “Art: Dewey Decimal” Transportation
    • Sarah E. Schirato, second place, Jr. Earth “Art: Dewey Decimal” Planetary Sciences New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair

  • Belt-tightening continues for LAPS

    Education leaders from around the state spent the latter part of the week at a conference in Albuquerque, hoping to gain an understanding of exactly how much they are expected to trim from their budgets.
    During the legislative session, Gov. Susana Martinez said districts could expect to make a 1.5 percent reduction in their budgets, however, Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera recently announced that the unit value used in school funding is down by 3.4 percent, $126.20 per student, rather than the 1.5 percent Martinez talked about.
    Districts already were anticipating cuts because of a halt in federal stimulus dollars and lower state funding. Now they are faced with having to make even deeper cuts.

  • County could rescue UNM-LA

    Conversation briefly stopped when County Councilor Mike Wismer walked into Monday night’s special meeting between UNM-Los Alamos Advisory Board members and college administrators.

    A 12-percent tuition increase, an online course fee hike and a proposed operating budget that will dip into college reserves were on the table.

    “I just have two questions,” Wismer informed the board after listening to the issues. “Will you be coming to the county for a request of funds for FY 2011-2012 and are you contemplating a mil levy?”

    UNM-LA Executive Director Cedric Page told Wismer that he has met with the county administrator and discussed a policy that the county might adopt to support education in the community.

  • LAPS looks at land deals

    With an already tight budget and $600,000 less coming from state funding, Los Alamos Public Schools is looking for ways to find money.

    The district currently owns property at 288 DP Road, known as parcel A-15. On Jan. 11, 2006, the federal government transferred the land to the LAPS district and though the land has been vacant, there may be a possibility that the district could soon see rental dollars coming in for that property.

    In December 2010, the school district submitted a rezoning application for the property, asking that it be changed from F-L (federal land) zoning to M-2 (Heavy Industrial) zoning. That request was granted and the land now has an M-2 zoning.

  • Governor signs education transparency bills

    ALBUQUERQUE— Gov. Susana Martinez on Wednesday signed into law legislation aimed at increasing transparency among New Mexico’s public school districts and strengthening oversight of charter schools.
    Among the four bills signed by the governor during a ceremony at Albuquerque’s Sandia High School was a measure that requires financial information about school districts and charter schools to be posted on a government website known as the “sunshine portal.”

  • Martinez signs school grading system legislation

    Los Alamos School Superintendent Eugene Schmidt finds Gov. Susana Martinez’s latest education legislation to be “intriguing.”
    On Tuesday, Martinez signed Senate Bill 427 into law, creating an A-F school grading system for New Mexico’s schools.
    The measure, sponsored by Sen. Vernon Asbill (R-Carlsbad) and Rep. Dennis Roch (R-Texico) received bipartisan support throughout the legislative process.
    “I had the opportunity to speak with Senator Asbill during the legislative session. In addition, several school board members and members of my administrative team met with Secretary of Education Skandera to discuss this bill while session was ongoing,” Schmidt said.