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Tuesday / July 16.
HomeNewsAPS Board Sets Community Engagement Goals

APS Board Sets Community Engagement Goals

The Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) Board of Education has passed a new set of goals to guide their continued emphasis on community engagement. As part of their Emerging Stronger strategic plan, APS is working to bring the community along on the journey to improve student results.

At the June 5 meeting, the board met to discuss the Community Engagement Ad Hoc Committee’s goals, efforts that are meant to ensure the board is staying active in the community and aware of what their constituents need to improve student results.

The committee’s purpose is to elevate the community’s voice, ensuring that APS’ visions and values align with the community.

Board member Courtney Jackson, chair of APS’ Community Engagement Ad Hoc Committee, led the discussion on the committee’s goals. Jackson emphasized the importance of authentic community engagement rather than merely “checking the box.”

At this meeting, Jackson proposed goals that would better reflect the board’s intentions. Working together, the APS board finalized the numbers and goals to track their community engagement:

  • The first goal focuses on increasing student engagement at community events, with updated wording to emphasize participation beyond outreach events. Jackson suggested using numerical values instead of percentages to track progress, with an initial target of increasing from zero in August 2024 to 1,000 by August 2026.
  • The second goal aims at engaging students and families from groups identified in APS goals one and two, those are students identified as Yazzie-Martinez groups and African American students. Walking into this meeting, the board had a separate goal for engagement of Native American families, because Native American students are included in the Yazzie-Martinez groups, the board decided to consolidate goals to prevent redundancy. The board set the target for increased engagement from zero in August 2024 to 2,000 by August 2026.
  • The final decision was over the third goal, which requires each APS board member to participate in four outreach events per year, starting in 2024 and ending in 2026.

The board discussed the need for creativity in organizing engagement events and ensuring effective two-way communication.

Board President Danielle Gonzales praised the committee’s work and reminded the board, “the purpose of our community engagement efforts really is to hear and understand the vision and values of our community so that we can ensure that we are representing those visions that that vision and those values and it’s also the opportunity for us, or opportunities for us to have a two way conversation with our community”

Jackson said these initiatives are designed to ensure that the voices of students, families, and the broader community are heard and considered in APS’s decision-making processes.

In addition to the discussion on community engagement, the board acknowledged the contributions of outgoing Superintendent Scott Elder, who will retire on June 30 after 33 years with APS. The board expressed gratitude for his leadership, particularly during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant cyber-attack. Incoming Superintendent Gabriella Duran Blakey will step into the position July 1.