• 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.

  • LA schools get high marks from state

    The state’s first school report cards were released Tuesday and Los Alamos schools have scored well overall.

    However, in looking at individual areas in need of improvement, a number of schools in the district got F’s in terms of helping the lowest performing students make progress. Aspen, Barranca, Chamisa, Piñon, and Los Alamos Middle School got failing grades in terms of helping poor performing students get a leg up on studies.

  • UNM-LA board adopts new strategic plan

    A new year usually signals change of some sort. On Monday night, the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos made a big change when the board approved a new strategic plan, mission, vision and goals.

    Board members, Stephen Boerigter, Linda Hull, Micheline Devaurs and Nelson Hoffman voted unanimously to approve the plan. Board member Ron Dolin was absent. Campus Resources Director Lisa Clough presented the agenda item to board members and asked that they approve it.

  • Mountain Lions get into the holiday spirit

    Building on the tradition that it is better to give than to receive, the fifth and sixth graders at Mountain Elementary held a read-a-thon to raise money for LA Cares. Reading for three hours on Dec. 21, the last day before winter break, the students raised $2,710.68. Principal Gerry Washburn credited teachers Mary Ethyl Plotner and Bernadette Morrow for spearheading the fundraising project. Principal Washburn noted, “We are proud of the students at Mountain and this is another example of the students and staff’s commitment to the community and fostering an atmosphere of kindness and concern for others.”  Washburn also wanted to recognize the two students who raised the most money in each grade, sixth-grader Victoria Naranjo and fifth grader Landon Burke.

  • Posters Help Students Remember PBS

    Los Alamos Public School kicks off 2012 with some new posters to help students remember the district-wide policy called PBS.
    PBS or Positive Behavior Support, has translated to students as be safe, be responsible, be respectful.
    The simple phrase allows schools and districts to build multi-leveled systems to handle both academic and behavior supports to assist students throughout their academic journey.
    The efforts began in 2010 with a collaboration between the Los Alamos Public Schools and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, to offer training and resources to LAPS staff.
    The LAPS team worked to develop a timeline and strategies, while maintaining consistency in PBS language, district-wide.

  • LAHS Open House

    Los Alamos High School students and parents attended an open house Wednesday morning, where they were able to tour the new building, get schedules and find classrooms. Representatives from Josten’s and Summit Foods were also there. Classes resume Thursday after winter break.

  • Board grapples with track and field fix

    Uneven surfaces and overall deterioration of the grounds has middle school officials calling for funding to fix the problems and prevent further injuries to student athletes.

    Gopher holes that pose dangers, injured knees and twisted ankles are a few of the claims made by Los Alamos Middle School coaches about the track and field hazards at LAMS during Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

    A handful of coaches from cross-country, track and football, attended the meeting to voice their concern about the current conditions and encourage board members to consider options for a new turf project.

  • LAHS construction back on track

    Los Alamos Public Schools students and staff start winter break Thursday, but the work continues for construction crews at Los Alamos High School.

    During Tuesday night’s school board meeting at LAHS, David Wharram, the owner’s representative for Gerald Martin, gave members an update on the project. He said on Nov. 21, two classrooms, the commons area, family and consumer science and the administration space were completed.

    “The occupation of these areas is five weeks ahead of the original schedule. The remaining classrooms in the new building will become available at the beginning of the new year,” according to Wharram’s report.

  • LAPS Board plans to review Super’s contract

    The Los Alamos Public Schools Board of Education has scheduled a rare Sunday afternoon executive session to review the superintendent’s evaluation and contract.

    The executive session, which is closed to the public, will take place at 4 p.m. Dec. 18 at 209 Navajo in Los Alamos. An Internet search of the address for the meeting indicates the location is the private residence of school board member Kevin Honnell.

    The superintendent, Dr. Gene Schmidt, has been superintendent of the district since July 2009.
    Schmidt   currently earns $142,300 a year which ranks his compensation in the top 10 among the highest paid school chiefs in the state, according to information on the New Mexico Public Education Department website.