• Group sheds light on school salaries

    Employee salaries of 32 New Mexico school districts are now available online.

    And it’s not the work of state government’s Sunshine Portal, but rather that of the Albuquerque-based Rio Grande Foundation.

    Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing said the non-profit organization requested the data from 40 school districts with populations exceeding 1,000 through the state’s public records law. Eight, however, failed to comply with the law’s 15-day timeframe. Those school districts include Alamogordo, Cobre, Las Vegas, Lovington, Ruidoso, Silver City, and two northern New Mexico school districts: Taos and Pojoaque.

  • Bus loop decision goes around in circles

    The Los Alamos High School bus loop issue will go back to the drawing board.

    Tuesday night, board members voted unanimously to reopen an investigation on the loop after hearing public comments and being unable to reach a unanimous decision.

    Before the meeting two options were on the table. One would have a bus loop running in front of the Instructional Media Center, which would have cut into the green space that’s currently there. The second option was a redesign of the Duane Smith parking lot.

    In December, the board voted 4-1 to approve the bus loop option that would position it in front of the IMC, which carries a price tag of $155,000. At that time, Board Vice President Kevin Honnell voted against it.

  • School board mulls high school bus loop

    The Los Alamos Board of Education will meet in a special session at 5:30 p.m. today in the Speech Theater at Los Alamos High School. The only item on the agenda is the high school bus loop.

    The public is invited to attend the meeting and comment on plans for a new bus loop at LAHS. The Board will use this opportunity to inform the public on the latest proposal to construct a bus loop at the high school.

    Pros and cons of two different proposals — one of which is a new access off Diamond Drive and the other involves a reconfiguration of the Smith lot.

  • Santa Fe school board ousts superintendent

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Santa Fe school board has ousted Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the board voted late Monday to end Gutierrez's contract before it was scheduled to expire June 2013.

    The move followed a closed-door session that lasted more than two hours.

    Last spring, Gutierrez came under fire from new board members after Lynn Vanderlinden, the district's director of assessment and accountability, released a questionable report detailing increases in student proficiency.

    Critics said Gutierrez asked Vanderlinden to rig the report to play up increases without taking into account data on students whose proficiency actually decreased.

  • Board OKs upgrades to LAPS HQ

    The Los Alamos Public Schools Board of Education has approved moving ahead with a $400,000 round of improvements to the district’s administrative headquarters.

    Jim Graf of Van H. Gilbert Architect PC shared renderings with improvements of the administrative office at 2075 Trinity Dr.

    Plans include handicapped-accessible spaces and modifications to the parking lot grade.

    In addition, the building will be made more user-friendly, with a clearly marked entrance and a break room for employees. The project will carry an estimated cost of $400,000.

    Following a timeline discussion, board members decided that the project should be tackled quickly. It will come back for a formal vote at a future meeting.

  • VIDEO: Officials discuss LANS investments in education

    This video outlines how LANS, LLC provides financial and technical support to improve the lives of New Mexico's students through the University of New Mexico, Los Alamos.

  • 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.