Transportation budget cuts, Family School successes at school board meeting

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During a programmatic school board meeting at the district's Family School on Monday night, the only action completed was the approval of budget adjustment requests. The district's finance director Donald Monette reported the state has reduced the district's transportation budget by $27,554.

During a programmatic school board meeting at the district's Family School on Monday night, the only action completed was the approval of budget adjustment requests. The district's finance director Donald Monette reported the state has reduced the district's transportation budget by $27,554.

The board voted to table action on the minutes from the Jan. 27 meeting to allow member Pauline Jaramillo time to listen to the audio recording. A vote to nominate school district staff for state school board association student improvement awards had been omitted from the agenda; school board members agreed to email their nominations to Superintendent Randall Earwood by March 6.

The board then turned its attention to the staff, students and parents of the Family School.

Board member and Family School parent Dawn Weaver introduced the school's secondary teacher William Oxford, who earned his bachelor's degree in math and a master's in physics at New Mexico Tech. Oxford explained a human physiology science project his students have worked on. Upcoming projects include building a hovercraft from the ground up and using HTML software to develop a school website.

Oxford said the students each have been provided with an individualized curriculum for math and English. He acts as a tutor in math, but parents are responsible for English.

"I think this has been so successful (because) the parents are the true teachers; we home school at home when we're not here at family school," Weaver said.

The curriculum places stuents at their level and provides materials and video lessons. Parents have answer keys.

Teacher Dolores Griego's students gave presentations, some using their own family heritage as topics for reports on Native Americans.

The program concluded with parents' testimonials emphasizing the school's positive impact,

Earwood announced a new district program recognizing two outstanding employees at each site: honorees receive a certificate of appreciation and a free day off.

Griego was presented with the Family School's outstanding certified employee award.

"It takes a very unique individual to do the elementary portion because you have kids from kindergarten all the way up through fifth grade. I wondered who is a teacher in Socorro who could handle a classroom like that, and one name that always kept coming up was Dolores Griego," said Earwood. "She is a fantastic teacher: she does incredible things for these kids. She pours her life and soul into these kids."

Custodian Aldolfo Baca was also honored.

"He not only does his job, but he visits with the kids, and he visits with the parents," Earwood said. "I've heard fantastic things about Aldolfo."