Move of pueblo students on hold

Eighteen Rio Rancho and Cleveland high school All-State choir members performed the national anthem before last Monday’s school board meeting, led by director Becky Talbott. Photo by Gary Herron.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — It appears that the possible merging of Rio Rancho Public Schools and Santa Ana Pueblo is on hold for a while, as RRPS Board of Education members heard at their Feb. 11 meeting that the state Public Education Department has yet to enter discussions with pueblo officials and Bernalillo Public Schools.

Once that meeting has taken place, the PED will likely discuss the possibility of removing Santa Ana Pueblo students from Bernalillo Public Schools and entering them in RRPS, which would entail formation of a new school board.

RRPS Superintendent Sue Cleveland said she wasn’t surprised with the delay because of the new administration taking over in Santa Fe, and new Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham filling cabinet posts, including Karen Trujillo of Las Cruces as the new PED secretary.

“We hope to get an answer here shortly,” board president Ramon Montaño said, with Cleveland reminding him, “(the new administration) has an awful lot on the plate.”

Also Monday, the board:

• commended RRPS visual arts students featured in the University of New

Katie Fox’s “My Story,” shown here, earned the grand prize in the Council for Art Education’s Youth Art Month Flag and Banner Contest. Fox attends Cleveland High School. Courtesy of Kurt Schmidt.

Mexico Young Artist Exhibition and Council for Art Educators Youth Art Month Flag and Banner Contest;

• applauded 77 middle school and high school students All-State band, choir, orchestra and jazz members, with their names read individually by Fine Arts Director Kurt Schmidt;

• lauded Rio Rancho Middle School staffers, including Principal Linda Kitts, for the school having been named a “Distinguished School” by the National Elementary Secondary Education Act, with a field including no more than two schools in each state;

• approved requests for proposals for information technology improvements for the district;

• OK’d the use of a new “electronic board member request form” for better communication among board members and RRPS administration; and

• approved the minutes from recent board meetings.

The school board’s next regular meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25.