Recapping the 2018 Legislative Session

Fred, Kristina, Othiamba, and Susan

THINK NEW MEXICO

Think New Mexico’s legislation to encourage school districts and charter schools to maximize the percentage of their budgets that they spend in the classroom was introduced by a terrific team of bipartisan sponsors, led by Representative Larry Larrañaga (R-Albuquerque), ranking Republican on the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, and Representative Bobby Gonzales (D-Taos), a retired school superintendent. House Bill 180 also aimed to make it easier to get more dollars to the classroom by reducing unnecessary administrative paperwork. (Read our guest editorial about the bill.)

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Native Student Success Vital to New Mexico’s Future: We Must Do Better

By Representative Derrick Lente, (D-Sandia Pueblo)

Rep. Derrick Lente

Although New Mexico has the fourth largest Native American population in the country, services for Native students remain significantly low. Across the state, Native students continue to fall behind and lack the necessary resources to succeed.

Last year, the legislature passed my bill to ensure Native students have the support to succeed with bipartisan support, but Governor Martinez vetoed it.

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The Next Step Plan for Cougar Graduates 2017-2018 Walatowa High Charter School Gear UP Senior Information

Document developed by G. Toya, WHCS Consultant, F. Garcia WHCS Gear Up Coordinator, G Minthorn, WHCS Instructor and Dr. A. Wilkinson-WHCS Executive Director.

The Next Step Plan is a personal, written plan that is developed by each student at the end of grades 8–11 and during the senior year (grade 12). The purpose of the plan is to target the student’s postsecondary interests and set forth the studies he or she will complete during high school in order to be on track for graduation. The student reviews and updates his or her NSP annually, and each year’s plan must explain any differences from the previous year. Quarterly meetings will be scheduled in August, December and May.

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Some Improvement and Some Decline in Child Well-Being as High Rates of Child Poverty Persist

Sharon Kayne, Communications Director

NEW MEXICO VOICES FOR CHILDREN

Several indicators of child well-being are showing improvement in New Mexico, but a persistently high rate of children living in poverty continues to cast a pall over the state. That is the overall conclusion in the 2017 New Mexico KIDS COUNT Data Book, released today at 10am at the Roundhouse by New Mexico Voices for Children to coincide with the start of the legislative session.

The theme of this year’s report is “At a Crossroads: Choosing the Path to Child Well-being in New Mexico” to reflect unprecedented changes at the federal level as well as the fact that this year New Mexico voters will elect a new governor because the current one is term-limited.

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Stars and Mysteries in the Nature Center Planetarium This Weekend

Sandra West

NATURE CENTER PLANETARIUM

On Friday, December 1st at 7 PM, Paul Arendt will project the December night sky on the Los Alamos Nature Center planetarium dome and introduce neighboring galaxy, planets, and other celestial objects visible without telescopes. Then, the fascinating planetarium film Mysteries of the Unseen World will play in the planetarium on December 2nd and 3rd at 2 PM. These planetarium programs take place at the Los Alamos Nature Center and are made possible thanks to the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).

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Ranger Ethan Ortega is now the Historic Site Instructional Coordinator

By Matthew J. Barbour, Regional Manager

 CORONADO & JEMEZ HISTORIC SITES

After an exhaustive search, New Mexico Historic Sites is pleased to announce that one of its own, Ranger Ethan Ortega, has been selected as the new Instructional Coordinator. He replaces Instructional Coordinator Sharon Walker who departed Coronado Historic Site on June 15. During her relatively brief two-year tenure, Ms. Walker visited over 50 public schools and published 11 lesson plans utilizing Common Core State Standards for literacy.

The role, as envisioned for Mr. Ortega, is quite a bit different from the one Ms. Walker held. He will not only service Coronado Historic Site, but the entire Northern Region of New Mexico Historic Sites. It will include duties both at Jemez and Los Luceros (situated in Acalde, New Mexico). Mr. Ortega will work in tandem with Jemez Instructional Coordinator Marlon Magdalena on public outreach and digital media promoting the sites. However, Coordinator Ortega’s primary role –at least initially- will be on re-imagining the exhibits at Jemez Historic Site.

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PEEC Receives Outstanding Environmental Education Organization Award

By Sandra West

PAJARITO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

PEEC was one of five award recipients at this year’s Environmental Literacy Summit, and received the only award given to an organization. PEEC educators Denise Matthews and Siobhan Niklasson are fifth and sixth from the left.

 

The Environmental Education Association of New Mexico (EEANM) bestowed their first Outstanding Environmental Education Organization Award on Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Siobhan Niklasson, PEEC’s Director of Education, accepted the award last Thursday, November 9, at EEANM’s 2017 Environmental Literacy Summit. “EEANM is a valuable resource and community for our state and we are honored to be recognized by them,” said Niklasson.

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Conference to Discuss Solving New Mexico’s Child Poverty Program

Sharon Kayne

NEW MEXICO VOICES FOR CHILDREN

With the aim of bringing together local stakeholders to discuss ways to solve the state’s child poverty crisis, NM Voices for Children and Ngage NM are hosting a KIDS COUNT Conference in Las Cruces on Nov. 9, 2017. The conference will focus on child well-being in the southern part of the state, particularly early childhood care and education, and encourage discussion about the impact on children in New Mexico of the changing political landscape – both nationally and locally as to the state prepares to elect a new governor.

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A Discussion of Fashion, Photography, and Art in Public Spaces

INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN INDIAN ARTS

Please join the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in a special evening with IAIA A-i-R artists, Erica Lord (Athabaskan), Peter Williams (Yup’ik) and Ryan Feddersen (Confederated Tribes of Colville). The IAIA Artist-in- Residence (A-i-R) Programs host artists for residencies taking place on the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the academic year.

A Discussion of Fashion, Photography, and Art in Public Spaces
Thursday, November 2, 2017 | 5:30 -7:00pm
MoCNA Project Lab 2nd Floor

This event is free to the public.

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New Mexico’s Black Children Doing Well Compared to Black Kids across Nation

Sharon Kayne, Communications Director

NEW MEXICO VOICES FOR CHILDREN

30th Anniversary Logo

New Mexico’s children, in all racial and ethnic groups except African American, lag behind their demographic cohorts across the nation when it comes to meeting key milestones that will help them achieve their unique potential. That’s according to data in the 2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children report, released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Race for Results report uses an index that measures children’s progress on key education, health, and economic milestones, and across racial and ethnic groups at the national and state levels. The report’s index uses a composite score of these milestones on a scale of one (lowest) to 1,000 (highest) to make comparisons. No state has all children in any racial group meeting all milestones. However, nationally Asian and white children tend to fare better as a whole, while Hispanic, Native American, and Black children are less likely to be meeting milestones.

New Mexico’s index scores for all groups, except one, were lower than the national average (see the accompanying fact sheet for scores). New Mexico’s scores for Black children —who scored the lowest at the national level—were higher than the state’s scores for both Native and Hispanic children. Only nine other states had higher scores for their Black children (six states had no data on black children). African-American children comprise just 2 percent of New Mexico’s child population.Continue reading