The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


Mateo Sanchez

Mateo Sanchez writes winning proposal for adventure-based experiential education funding at BPS

Department of Education awards $818,967 to Bernalillo Public Schools

The US Department of Education has awarded a three-year grant totaling $818,967 to Bernalillo Public Schools’ (BPS) Office of Native American Education. The BPS program, Project Venture, will use adventure-based experiential education to teach students life skills toward strengthening positive behavior.

Written by BPS Director of the Office of Native American Education, Mateo Sanchez, the proposal was one of only sixteen projects approved nationwide for funding under the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. The National Indian Youth Leadership Project (NIYLP), an organization that developed the curriculum and has implemented similar programs in the McKinley County area for twenty-five years, will assist in the implementation of Project Venture, providing training materials and supplies.

According to Sanchez, the program will include student adventures such as whitewater rafting, nature hikes, mountaineering, ropes courses, and challenge courses. “The program uses a unique experiential approach to teach students problem solving, communication skills, and goal setting,” Sanchez said. “For example, during a mountain hike, students are asked, ‘What resources are needed to go from point A to point B?’ ‘How do we utilize our resources as a team to solve problems?’ ‘Whom do we go to if additional resources are needed to solve problems?’ The students will learn to reflect on the consequences of their actions.”

The program will serve all students in seventh- to ninth-grade physical education classes. Ninth-grade students will also be provided with an after-school leadership service-learning program where students will reach out to the community to solve problems.

Sanchez has had eight years of experience in coordinating the NIYLP program at Isleta and San Felipe pueblos. The Office of Juvenile Justice serving Native American populations liked the program so much that they invited Sanchez to present the program at their regional conferences, reaching two hundred tribes during 2005-06. The program is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration as an evidenced-based program proven to be effective.

Village Academy Charter now enrolling

Final enrollment has begun for the Village Academy Charter School, a tuition-free choice for public middle school, located at 301 Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo. It is open to sixth- through eighth-grade students in Bernalillo, Rio Rancho, Placitas, Albuquerque, and Pueblo communities.

Classes will begin August 16. For enrollment information, parents can call or visit the school beginning August 1. Staff will be available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by making an after-hours appointment.

Village Academy will offer a free after-school program this school year, daily from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The program will have a teacher present to help students who have questions about school work.

Breakfast and lunch will also be served and are offered on an income-based price structure.

Charter schools manage their own operation and finances through a governing board and are subject to the same federal and state regulations that apply to traditional public schools.

Village Academy Charter School offers very small student-to-teacher ratios; is a tuition-free, non-religious school; provides wireless laptops, modern classrooms and ergonomic chairs for students; life-long sports like horseback riding, golf, skating, and martial arts; and emphasizes experiential learning and cultural awareness. Transportation for students within the Bernalillo Public School District is provided.

For more information, contact Pamela Engstrom, Principal, at 867-9094 or 449-8113, or email: You may also visit the website at

Registration schedule for new students in the Bernalillo Public School System

Bernalillo School System parents should note registration information, as well as new arrival and dismissal times for the coming school year, as follows:

Bernalillo High School: Students A-M, register August 6; students N-Z, register August 7. Registration is from 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days. New arrival and dismissal times: 7:40 a.m. to 2:47 p.m.

Bernalillo Middle School: August 6 and 7, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; August 8, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to noon. New arrival and dismissal times: 7:40 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

Carroll Elementary School: August 2 and 3, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. New arrival and dismissal times: 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Roosevelt Elementary School: First grade: August 2, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Second grade: August 2, registration is from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.; New kindergarten: August 3, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; New students: August 3, registration is from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.; Meet the Teacher: August 15 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. New arrival and dismissal times: 9:00 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.

Algodones Elementary School: August 6 to 10, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Arrival and dismissal times: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Cochiti Elementary and Middle Schools: August 7, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Arrival and dismissal times: 8:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Placitas Elementary School: August 6, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Arrival and dismissal times: Kindergarten, 8:00 a.m. to 2:35 p.m.; First through fifth grades, 8:00 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Santo Domingo Elementary and Middle Schools: August 8-10, registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Arrival and dismissal times: 8:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information and to learn more about their policies and programs, call (505) 867-2317.

Free meals for students in Bernalillo School System

On June 29, 2007, Debra J. Trujillo, Student Nutrition Services Coordinator of the Bernalillo School System announced that children in Algodones, Bernalillo High, Bernalillo Middle, Carroll, Cochiti, Roosevelt, and Santo Domingo schools will be offered free meals, regardless of income, through the 2007-08 school year unless otherwise notified.

All meals served must meet regulations established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, if a child has been determined by a doctor to be disabled and the disability prevents the child from eating the regular school meal, the school will make any substitutions prescribed by the doctor at no extra charge. If you believe your child needs substitutions because of a disability, get in touch with your school office for further information.

A copy of the policy is available for review by any interested party at each school and the Office of the Superintendent / Administrator. Note that free and reduced eligibility may be subject to release to other federal, state, and local education, health, and other programs.

Third annual back-to-school tax holiday

New Mexico residents will be able to take advantage of the 3rd annual tax holiday, August 3 through 5. A family can save up to $42 in taxes if they spend $600 on school clothes, and there are additional savings for computer purchases and school supplies.

Nontaxable items include: clothing and footwear—$100 or less; school supplies such as pens and paper that are typically used in a classroom setting—$15 or less; computers—$1,000 or less; as well as assorted computer equipment—$500 or less. The price limits are for each item, not for the total amount spent for all purchases. For example, a family could purchase three computers tax-free as long as each computer did not exceed the $1,000 limit per computer.

Details on the tax holiday, including which items are excluded from gross receipts tax, can be found on the state Taxation and Revenue website:

Rotary holds benefit dinner-dance for after-school programs

On Friday, August 31 at 6:00 p.m., the night before the New Mexico Wine Festival, the Bernalillo Rotary Club will host an evening of dinner and dancing at the Hyatt Tamaya Resort. The Tamaya has made a commitment to the Rotary to charge about a third of what it would normally cost to have a formal sit-down dinner.

The dinner is open to the community. You do not need to be a Rotary member to attend. Cocktails will be served at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. After dinner, Al Hurricane and his band will perform until midnight. Tickets are $100 per person, with all after-expense proceeds going to the purchase of transportation for after-school programs in Bernalillo.

“Bernalillo has a fine after-school program and summer programs, but not all children can get to the programs if they do not go to a school close by—hence the need for transportation,” said event organizer Ray Jecklin.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit or call Lisa at (505) 514-9482.

Summer reading celebration at library

The Placitas Community Library will hold a Summer Reading Celebration as the final event for the children’s summer reading program on Saturday, August 18, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. All children, regardless of participation in our summer program, along with their families, are invited to attend. We will celebrate with a guest storyteller, a family scavenger hunt, and refreshments. Our special presenter is Susi Wolf, a local professional storyteller. She is an active member of the National Storytelling Network. Her program “Stories ‘n’ Such” will include multicultural folktales and animal fables with animal biofacts. There will also be bags of prizes for all those children who participated in our summer reading challenge.

Our treasure chest is quickly accumulating gold reading coins. As of now, over three hundred-fifty books have been read by our community’s children. If your child has not brought in his or her reading log to get credit for books read, don’t forget to come in soon. Each time in August that a child comes to the library with his or her reading log showing new books read, he or she will receive a small prize.

There are two more scheduled story and craft times for children this month, on August 2 and 9. We hope to see you there as well as on Saturday, August 18, for our fabulous Summer Reading Celebration.

Calling all architects! Sandoval County will be issuing the RFQ for the new Library building soon. Please watch for it, as we would like to have lots of proposals from which to choose.

Bernalillo Public Schools substitute teaching applicants

The required in-service workshop for all substitute teachers will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, at the Bernalillo Public Schools’ Central Office at 224 North Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo.

“Anyone interested in being a substitute teacher with the Bernalillo Public Schools must attend the in-service workshop and have a substitute application on file,” said John Ryan, Executive Director of Human Resources and Accountability.

Applications and necessary forms will be available at the workshop. The New Mexico Substitute Teacher License form must be submitted before an applicant will be placed on the substitute list. Substitute applicants who have a degree need to provide an official copy of their college transcripts or diploma. Non-degreed applicants need to provide their high school diploma or GED. Applicants will need their driver’s license and social security card to complete the I-9 verification form for their file. Also required for each applicant’s file are two personal references and fingerprint cards.

For more information, please contact John Ryan at (505) 867-2317.

Parenting skills taught at Zia Pueblo

The Nurturing Parenting Program, which is free and open to the public, will be offered from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Zia Pueblo beginning August 20. A Parent Educator and a Child Educator will conduct the classes. Preregistration is required. For more information, call Mary at 332-3765 or email This program is from NMSU’s Strengthening Families Initiative.

Adobe Brothers give informative concert on American string band music

The Rio Rancho Library will present a free concert by the Adobe Brothers String Band on Tuesday, August 21, 6:30 p.m. at Loma Colorado Main Library auditorium, 755 Loma Colorado Drive. Free tickets are available at the adult information desk.

Join the library for this program on traditional American string band music. The Adobe Brothers String Band will perform a wonderful blend of traditional string band music combined with a brief history of the instruments and songs.

For more information, call 891-5013, ext. 3039 or email



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