Board hears school updates

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At the school board meeting Monday night Superintendent Randall Earwood congratulated board members Pauline Jaramillo and James Chavez for being re-elected to the board. Jaramillo was sworn in at the annual school board convention, but since Chavez wasn’t there, there will be a swearing in ceremony for him at the board meeting on Mar. 25, Earwood said.

Also under the superintendent’s report, on Mar. 1, the school board cabinet will meet with principals and each department head to discuss their budget needs for next year. They will have an in-depth discussion concerning instructional needs, personal needs, building and maintenance needs, Earwood said.

Under the principals’ report, for Socorro High School, Principal Jennifer Molina said the English department is doing a program called “Balanced Literacy.” Teachers have met two Saturdays and a Friday and are given reading and writing guidelines with two more sessions left.

In math, they are doing MC2 training to bring them up to date on Common Core Standards, which go into effect next year. Last week, registration at Socorro High School took place for freshman, sophomores and juniors. With registration completed, she will be able to determine how many class sections and electives the school will need for next year, she said.

On Feb. 26, counselors from the high school will visit with eighth graders at Sarracino Middle School and Cottonwood Valley Charter School to get an idea of their interests. In April, eighth graders will visit the high school where the student council will give them a tour of campus and they will listen to speakers to prepare them for next year.

Feb. 5 was Free Application for Student Aid/college day at SHS, and out of 130 students, 85 students registered for FAFSA, Molina said. Molina also reported the SHS team took eighth place out of 25 teams in the state Science Olympiad on Feb. 23.

Parkview Elementary School Principal Anna Addis said she is trying to implement a pacing guide for grade levels to make sure the common core standards are completed at a timely matter. Addis also wants to make sure they don’t have any classes behind, or that no class is ahead.

Parkview also had its Healthy Kids launch week with a variety of activities, Addis said. The school is partnering with Healthy Kids, Socorro to change third grade students’ eating habits. She said it takes 21 days to make a change, so students should have healthy habits before testing time. Addis said third graders spent three days at New Mexico Tech for an engineering camp.

“The teachers at Parkview were impressed with the quality work the Tech students did with them,” she said. “One of my goals is to really try and build some community liaisons between our school and outside agencies, and New Mexico Tech has really stepped up to the plate.”

San Antonio School head teacher John Ray Dennis said the after school program started with 32 children enrolled, and18 to 20 students who attend per day. In the program, children are engaged in science and math activities, involved in outdoor experiences and participate in the gardening club, he said.

Students at the school also finished the St. Jude marathon and raised $900 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Parents, children and staff of San Antonio also raised $350 for a local family who lost a home in a fire, he said. For Easter, they will have a family egg coloring night, with an egg drop and Easter picnic with a T-shirt contest that is held every year.

Sarracino Middle School Principal Manuel Molina said Feb. 28 will be a math and science fun night for parents and students.

Standards Based Assessment testing will take place in March after spring break.

On Mar. 18, Sarracino will have an SBA pep rally and the cheerleaders will get involved. There will be activities and prizes for students to get them excited and charge them up before the test, he said.

“I look at strategies and techniques that will make a difference with kids’ concentration, their commitment, their effort,” Molina said.

Molina said the school has a new stand alone computer lab and two mobile computer labs that were approved. Sarracino has been approved by the state to have technology in the classroom with smart boards and iPads for teachers and students, he said.