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Improvement plans for two MRI schools finalized

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Los Padillas and Whittier elementary schools now have official improvement plans that aim to get them out of “more rigorous intervention” status.

Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy has signed the final letters from the state Public Education Department – the last hurdle for the district to gain access to millions in federal funding and officially move forward with restructuring and redesigning the elementary schools, which have received five or six F school grades in a row.

Both the district and the state agreed the schools needed improvement.

But how to implement that improvement was decided over a series of half a dozen letters between the two entities. Issues ranged from what kinds of teachers should teach at the schools to the curriculum.

Ultimately, the schools will have a longer school year and a longer school day. Principals and teachers will have increased compensation, and teachers will have an evaluation rating of effective or better.

The exchange has occurred with the aim of turning around Los Padillas, which is in the South Valley, and Whittier, in southeast Albuquerque.

For instance, the plans require Los Padillas and Whittier to earn at least three C grades or better during the next four school grading periods. If Los Padillas and Whittier earn two more consecutive F grades this school year and next, the schools will move toward closure.

This was the state and the district’s first time implementing the MRI improvement plan process.

PED had noted previously that the next steps with the schools set a precedent for any schools designated MRI in the future.

“APS has signed on the dotted line, unlocking millions of dollars to help turn around their most struggling schools,” PED said in a statement. “The district has a long way to go, but NMPED is optimistic about its efforts to transform Los Padillas Elementary and Whittier Elementary. Now, APS must do its job – improve teaching and learning, put students and families first, and close the achievement gap for our kids.”

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