IAIA Artist-in-Residence Workshops: Christa Cassano and Wayne Nez Gaussoin


Friday, February 23,  9:30 a.m. – 12 noon and 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 2nd floor MoCNA Project Lab

Join IAIA Artist-in-Residence Wayne Nez Gaussoin (Navajo/Picuris Pueblo) in a jewelry workshop from 9:30am-12noon. Gaussoin will discuss his practice and participants will be guided through a creative process with the artist. This event is limited to 10 participants with a fee of $10 for materials.

Join IAIA Artist-in-Residence Christa Cassano (Confederated Tribes of Colville, Arrow Lakes Band) in a drawing workshop from 2-3:30pm. Cassano, will discuss her practice and participants will create a self-portrait of either hands, feet or face with the guidance of the artist. This event is limited to 15 participants with a fee of $10 for materials.

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


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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Shooting at Aztec High School

The Farmington Daily Times reports that two Aztec High School students were shot to death this morning by another student who was later shot by police officers. The families of the victims were notified immediately and most other families had heard from their students. There were no other injuries reported.

Schools in Farmington, Kirtland, Shiprock and Bloomfield have been placed in lockdown.

“Our hearts break for the victims and their families. We pray for the survivors, and are grateful to the brave first responders for their heroic actions on the scene,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas in a statement. “We have offered Office of the Attorney General resources to support the victims, the Four Corners community, and first responders during this horrific tragedy

New Mexicans Speak Out Against Proposed Politicized Science Standards


Hundreds of New Mexicans spoke Monday in opposition to the New Mexico Public Education Department’s politicized edits to the Next Generation Science Standards, removing references to climate change and the age of the Earth for its proposed public-school science curriculum.

Speakers urged the state to adopt the unedited Next Generation framework, which was developed by the National Academy of Sciences, National Science Teachers Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Achieve. Every commenter at Monday’s hearing opposed the politicized edits. Below are excerpts from today’s Rally for Quality Science Education:

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New Mexicans Invited to Rally Before Hearing on Science Curriculum


Rally for Science.


New Mexico’s Public Education Department has proposed Next Generation Science Standards as the science curriculum for public schools, but the department made politicized edits made by climate denial and other ideological groups. The new standards would omit references to evolution, rising global temperatures and the age of Earth from the state’s science curriculum. The Next Generation Science Standards develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Developed by science teachers, higher-education faculty, scientists and business leaders, these standards can prepare students for high-skilled, high-wage jobs and improve New Mexico’s prospects for economic progress.

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New Mexico Leads the Way in Banning Lunch Shaming in Schools


It is amazing that this practice has ever existed in New Mexico, it is amazing that it continues in other parts of the country.

The majority of families with school age children in the Jemez Valley and adjoining areas live in poverty. In the Jemez Valley Public Schools and at Walatowa High Charter School the overwhelming majority of students receive free school lunches. Similar statistics occur in the Cuba and Bernalillo school districts; around 90 percent and more families in all three locations qualify for free lunches at school for their Children.

Not happy statistics, but on the bright side we can see that all these children now receive lunches and often breakfasts at their schools and that the horrendous practice of shaming them for their parents poverty does not take place.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall, in addition to the video above posted the following statement on his Facebook page:

Half of all school districts nationwide are allowed to punish kids when their parents haven’t paid their school lunch bill. Our children have enough to worry about—they should be able to focus on learning and growing, not being punished or going hungry for something they can’t control.

I’m proud that thanks to the leadership of New Mexico Appleseed and others, my home state of New Mexico is leading the way – it’s time for the whole nation to join us. Share this video if you think we should end #lunchshaming in America.

Science Deniers and Creationists Propose New Science Curriculum for New Mexico Schools

By R.W.

The New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) is proposing new science teaching standards that question climate change, deny evolution and promote the oil and gas industry. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and the state’s Education Secretary -designee Christopher Ruszkowski have followed the Trump administration’s lead and “politically sanitized”, as they will have it, the vocabulary and content of science teaching standards.

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JoAnn Bishop Named “Dreamstarter Teacher” By Olympian Billy Mills 


Oglala Lakota runner Billy Mills, co-founder of Running Strong for American Indian Youth and Olympic gold medalist, announced that JoAnn Bishop from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is one of 13 talented educators in the to be named Dreamstarter Teachers. Each educator will receive $500 – $1,000 grants to support the educational needs of Native students.

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IAIA Receives $20,000 Award to Expand Artist in Residence Program


 Photo © Eric Davis Courtesy of IAIA
Lloyd Kiva New Welcome Center IAIA Campus 

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chuhas approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $20,000 to IAIA to expand the IAIA Artist-in-Residence Program. The NEA received 1,728 Art Works applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

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New Mexico Senators Accuse U.S. Secretary of Education of Supporting Extremist Organization

By R.W.

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Both New Mexico senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined in a statement with other U.S. senators asserting that U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos does not support civil rights or oppose discrimination for students across the country. They signed on to a letter with U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) saying that she has not followed up on assurances that she gave during testimony in front of Congress during her confirmation hearings. There she claimed dedication to the idea that all students have a right to receive an education free from discrimination.

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District Calendar Reminders for Jemez Valley Public Schools

By Joline Cruz-Madalena

Programs Coordinator for Indian Education, JEMEZ VALLEY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

August 7th – 1st Day of School


Registration for 2017-2018 will take place in July 2017.  All new and returning students from Pre-K to 12th grade must be registered by their parent/guardian.  All students are required to attend registration with their parent/guardian.  Registration packets must be completed on-site.  New students must provide a copy of their recent immunization record and birth certificate.

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IAIA Poet James Thomas Stevens Reaches Out to Inmates of New Mexico State Penitentiary

By Eric Davis



Roseanna Andrade and poet Jose Gamez in the MRU library at PNM

Five Incarcerated Poets Have their Works Displayed on the IAIA Campus.

IAIA Associate Professor of Creative Writing James Thomas Stevens (Akwesasne Mohawk), recently contacted IAIA alumna Roseanna Andrade (Mexica/Nahua) ’16, to participate in one of IAIA’s community outreach programs — the collection of poems that are posted on the IAIA Health and Wellness Trail. As the poetry instructor in the Creative Writing Program, Stevens is responsible for collecting original poems from invited groups and posting them in wooden display posts along the IAIA Health and Wellness trail, utilized by IAIA students, staff, faculty, and members of the surrounding community. In the past, works from IAIA undergrad writers, graduate students, and students from local Native high schools were utilized; but Stevens recognized that not all writers come from educational institutions. In an effort to reach out to other groups, he wrote to Andrade and requested poems for display on the trail from April 1, 2017 through August 1 2017.

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Let Them Eat…Salt

By R.W.

Courtesy photo.

Sonny Perdue at lunch.


One in four children in New Mexico is at risk of hunger, according to a report put out by the Map the Meal Gap 2017, making our state the second worst in the nation. Sandoval County is not listed among the most affected counties in the state, but most people living in the Jemez must be aware of areas of extreme poverty up and down the valley. This is reflected by the number of students at the local schools who qualify for free/reduced breakfasts and lunches: 86 percent.

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Jemez Valley Public Schools District Calendar Reminders



By Joline Cruz-Madalena, Programs Coordinator for Indian Education


  • May 16th – School Board Meeting at 5:30 p.m.
  • May 26th – Last Day of School / End of 3rd 9 Weeks Grading Period

JVPS Community Meetings – Outcome

During the month of March 2017, Jemez Valley Public Schools held four public community meeting regarding 2017-2018 District Budget.  The meeting took place within the Pueblos of Jemez and Zia, Jemez Springs, and the JVPS District.  The District would like to thank the Jemez Springs Community Library and the Pueblos of Jemez and Zia for your hospitality and provision of a meeting space.  A special “Thank You” to JVPS parents, guardians, students, staff, and the community members who attended a meeting.

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Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Commencement Address Presented by Noted Actress Irene Bedard



Irene Bedard

Irene Bedard  has been selected to give the Institute of American Indian Arts’ 2017 commencement address at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 13, 2017.  The Commencement Ceremony will be held in the Dance Circle on the IAIA Campus, — 83 Avan Nu Po Road, on the South Side of Santa Fe — just minutes from the intersection of Rodeo Road and Richards Avenue.  The public is welcome to attend.

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Reduce Time and Cost Incentives Offered by IAIA




IAIA announced today that it will begin a Financial Incentive Program for incoming Freshmen for the Fall 2017 semester that will reward students for attaining their Bachelor’s Degree in four years (eight semesters) or less.  Students who accomplish this will be rebated tuition for their Senior year, earning a 25% savings on their tuition. (Because IAIA includes books in tuition costs, the books required for their senior year classes will also be free if they meet the criteria of the program.) To qualify, full-time, degree-seeking Freshmen students will need to take a minimum of 15 college credit hours each semester, meet the program requirements, and remain in good academic and disciplinary standing–along with signing an agreement for admission into the program.

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Retablos and Bultos in Walatowa High

Story and Photos by Troy Meek, Art Teacher


Walatowa High Charter School held a very successful workshop attended by 9th, 10th and 11th graders, presented by Rhonda Crespin. A resident of Jemez Springs for many years, she is well known and collected for her Bultos, or round 3D hand carved devotional artworks, and for her Retablos, which are flat paintings on wood.

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Bill to Help Native American Students Succeed Passed in House

Rep. Derrick Lente.


Rep. Derrick Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo) was happy to make this statement on his Facebook page : Tonight I passed my first bill. HB 484 is a substantial movement for Native American education in New Mexico. Requiring culturally relevant, all-inclusive assessment, systematic evaluation and reporting to help our Native children in public schools (grades K-12) improve their scholastic attainment.

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Jobs and Scholarships Under Consideration at the Legislative Session

Fred, Kristina, Othiamba, and Jennifer



First, the good news: on Friday, the Senate Rules Committee voted in favor of Senate Bill 262, which would create jobs by establishing a transparent, merit-based system for funding New Mexico’s essential public infrastructure projects. The bill, sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) and Representative Kelly Fajardo (R-Belen), was drafted by Think New Mexico based on our 2015 report, The Story of the Christmas Tree Bill: Fixing Public Infrastructure Spending in New Mexico.

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Teachers Can Take Sick Leave Without Penalties


Monday evening, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 241, a bill sponsored by Reps. Jason Harper (R-Sandoval) and Dennis Roch (R-Quay) to allow teachers to use their contractually-allotted sick leave without the fear they will be docked points in their evaluations.

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History was Made Today

By R.W.

It was not easy, it was a close shave, but following the all-night session of the U.S. Senate, a historic tie-breaking vote by the vice-president, Mike Pence, had Betsy DeVos confirmed as secretary of education. It was the closest Senate vote so far for one of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, and the first time in history that a vice-president broke a vote on a cabinet nomination. It was a historic defeat for public education, science teaching, all who are not radical fundamentalists and, yes, grizzly bears.


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Jemez Valley Public Schools District Calendar Reminders

By Joline Cruz-Madalena, Programs Coordinator for Indian Education, JEMEZ VALLEY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

  • February 8th – 120th Day Reporting Period
  • February 16th & 17th – Parent Teacher Conferences
    • 02/16/17 – No school for Elementary students. Early dismissal for High School and Middle School students.
    • 02/17/17 – No School for all students.
  • February 20th – President’s Day (Holiday – No School)
  • February 21st – School Board Meeting at 5:30 p.m.


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