The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989

SCHOOLBAG

Charter school will conduct open enrollment in March

—ROSANNE EAKIN
Village Academy Charter School will conduct its first open enrollment period March 6-24, with details to be formally announced in local media and postings throughout the area.
Admission is by lottery for one of the charter school’s fifty-four first-year slots in grades six through eight.

Updated information for interested parents and students will be available on the charter school Web site after February 14 and will include contact information to request an application package, as well as time and location for public meetings and pictures of the school’s proposed new facility.

Over the past two months, the VACS Parent Advisory Committee identified a prospective site, now under consideration for the new middle school, near Highway 165 and I-25. This location would offer added convenience to working parents transporting their children to school, along with easy bus access. Meetings are currently underway with Sandoval County and Town of Bernalillo officials to seek formal approval for use of the site for school operations.

Public governance-council meetings are now held the second and fourth Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. in San Antonio Mission Social Center, on San Antonio Road, off Highway 165. Council members welcome input from parents and others who want to participate in any capacity, and are actively soliciting new members for the 2006 governance council and committees. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend the charter school’s public meetings to obtain information and offer suggestions.

For information about student participation, the academic program, and how VACS can address your child's needs, write to Village Academy Charter School, P.O. Box 1247, Placitas, NM 87043-1247, or e-mail vacsplacitas@cs.com VAC’s Web site, www.villageacademyplacitas.com, will be revised to reflect the school’s progress.

Taxpayers can help fund park-education programs for kids
New Mexico taxpayers will notice a new option on their 2005 tax forms: taxpayers can now voluntarily contribute a portion of their state tax refund to support the state parks Kids ‘N’ Parks education program. The new option on the 2005 PIT-D Refund Donation Form is the result of a law enacted in 2005 that was sponsored by Senator Phil Griego (D-San Jose).

“Our state parks are fabulous outdoor classrooms,” said Dave Simon, director of New Mexico State Parks. “Hands-on outdoor educational programs can inspire children for the rest of their lives, and most importantly, help improve academic achievement.”

New Mexico State Parks will use all donated funds towards the Kids ‘N’ Parks educational program in order to partner with schools, create learning materials for students and teachers, train teachers, develop park-education programs, and underwrite costs of transporting students to state parks.

Funds donated through the PIT option will increase educational programs without raising taxes or visitor fees, or affecting the state general fund.

For more information on the new PIT tax option, call New Mexico State Parks at (888)-NMPARKS.


High school juniors, seniors invited to NMSU Spring Visitors' Day

High school juniors and seniors interested in attending New Mexico State University are invited to attend 2006 Spring Visitors' Day Monday, February 20, on the university's campus in Las Cruces.

Spring Visitors' Day is a chance for students and parents to learn about NMSU's degree programs, student life, financial aid, and more.

"Spring Visitors' Day is about providing students and families the information they need to make good decisions," said Matt Hulett, associate director of admissions. "Whether students are trying to decide between two colleges or just starting to think about going to college, this is a great way to learn what NMSU can do for them."

Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. at Garcia Hall, where students can pick up schedules and free T-shirts and enjoy a complementary continental breakfast. At 10:00 a.m., students will have the opportunity to visit various colleges and departments.

epresentatives from the Doña Ana campus will also be available. Representatives from the Honors College, New Mexico's only honors college, will be on hand to answer questions at 11:00 a.m.

Financial-aid presentations will be given at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in the Corbett Center Auditorium. Staff will be available throughout the day at the Educational Services Building to assist students and parents in completing the 2006-07 financial-aid applications.

Walking tours of the campus and housing facilities will take place every half hour from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. leaving from the Corbett Center lobby. The Honors College also will have a tour beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Preregistration for Spring Visitors' Day is encouraged, but not required. For more information, or to register, call NMSU's Office of Admissions, at (505) 646-3121 or 1-800-662-NMSU. Information is also available online at http://www.nmsu.edu/spring_visitors.


NM Commission on the Status of Women seeks sponsors for girls to attend conference

The New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women is calling on businesses, organizations, and individuals to help make the Believe in NM Girls 2006 Conference available to all New Mexico girls by contributing to the Amiga Scholarship Fund. The conference, hosted by the commission and designed with the young women of our state in mind, is open to all girls ages thirteen to eighteen in New Mexico.

An Amiga Scholarship of $100 not only covers the cost of the participant's admission and meals but also exposure to opportunities for higher education, encouragement to look at nontraditional and high-tech careers, information on prevention of relationship violence, and ways to increase self-esteem and self-worth. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Last year's conference, Year the of the NM Girl: Believe in Me, was a huge success as girls from around the state enjoyed a weekend at the University of New Mexico. Each girl was sponsored by someone who cared about her future.

For more information about the conference and participating agencies, contact the commission office in Albuquerque, at 222-6600 or 1-800-432-9168. Additional information is available on the commission's Year of the NM Girl Web site, www.yearofthegirl.com.

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