Albuquerque, NM

Opinion: There Are Many Reasons to Be Optimistic for the Forthcoming School Year

Daniella Cressman

The 2022-2023 school year will soon be in full swing, and there are many reasons to be optimistic: students and teachers no longer have to wear masks, classes will be held in person, and there are fewer educator vacancies than usual.

"Superintendent Scott Elder appeared downright peppy Thursday, welcoming students back to school. The second-year leader of Albuquerque Public Schools has cause to be chipper and optimistic. Elementary, middle and high school teacher vacancies at APS are down in the double digits, quite an improvement from this time last year when there were around 200 vacant positions for teachers. As of last week, APS had 94 open positions for elementary, middle school and high school teachers (the district has 200 schools including charters). The district needs special education teachers as usual, and long-term substitute teachers will plug the teacher vacancies. Still, the state’s largest school district appears to be in a better position heading into this school year." —Albuquerque Journal

Extended learning is now available, thanks to dedicated educators.

"Extended learning began last week for some thanks to the dedication and commitment of teachers.State lawmakers in 2019 expanded the data-driven K-3 Plus program into the K-5 Plus program, extending the school year by 25 days at participating elementary schools. Lawmakers also fully funded the program so every New Mexico public school student is eligible. (Lawmakers also created the Extended Learning Time program, adding 10 instructional days per school year to middle and high schools that applied.) Twenty-nine of APS’ 88 non-charter elementary schools will have extended academic calendars this school year — here’s to them sharing their results and getting more campuses on board." —Albuquerque Journal

Understandably, a lot of parents are struggling with deep-seated fears about sending their kids back to school after the onslaught of mass shootings across the country.

As a precaution, Albuquerque Public Schools have made significant security upgrades on campuses and a school resource officer will be present at every location.

"There are...real concerns for the safety of students and staff after tragic school shootings, including two fatal shootings on or near Albuquerque schools last school year. Officials seized 10 firearms students had brought to eight different APS campuses. APS has since made significant security upgrades on campuses, and a school resource officer will be at every school this year." —Albuquerque Journal

In short, this school year will likely be a good one, with far more normalcy than before and passionate teachers who truly want the best for their students.

"APS begins its traditional school year Wednesday. Hats off to all school employees who persevered through the pandemic and are staying in the profession that’s central to communities across New Mexico. Back-to-school is always an exciting time for students and school staff. After two-and-a-half years of pandemic- related restrictions and uncertainty, this year’s normalcy promises to be something special." —Albuquerque Journal

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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