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Village Academy renews for new term as a state-chartered school

After nearing completion of its first five years in operation, Village Academy Charter School (VACS) was successfully renewed as a state-chartered school in December. The road to the state charter designation has been a long, arduous process, starting in Placitas and eventually ending up in Bernalillo. Thus, it was with great relief and joy last month that VACS staff and the governing council greeted the news of the school’s renewal status.

Chris Pino, VACS’ governing council chairman, said, “We’re excited to take this giant step forward to afford our kids the best possible school experiences they truly deserve.”

Under New Mexico charter school law, the charter school may now assume full responsibilities for its programs, services, and budget similar to public school districts. Although a charter school has additional flexibility and autonomy, the accountability process under the new state-chartered format is highly structured and rigorous.

With designation as a “state-chartered charter school,” Village Academy joins thirty-three other charter schools to be approved directly by the New Mexico Public Education Commission (PEC). As the first charter school to be approved by Bernalillo Public Schools in 2005, VACS will operate independently from the district, and instead report directly to the PEC. In addition, more changes are being planned, including updating the middle school curriculum, adding new afterschool programming, and preparing a long-range plan to move eventually to a different location in the community in order to better serve more students.

Currently, the charter school serves middle school students, grades six through eight, at facilities next to Our Lady of Sorrows in the Town of Bernalillo. During the next few months, VACS will report developments to constituents and the community as the new charter takes shape.

Winter story time at Esther Bone Library

The winter session of “Story Time with Story Lady and Song Lady” for children ages three through six will begin January 11 at the Esther Bone Memorial Library in Rio Rancho. This thirty-minute program of stories, songs, poetry, puppets, jokes, and finger plays will be held on Mondays at 1:00 p.m.

Three-year-old children need to be accompanied by an adult. Children ages four to six may attend alone. Registration, which may be done by phone or at the library, is ongoing. Participants who attended the fall session are already registered. New participants may join the group at anytime. The “Pajama Party” story time on January 11 will feature stories about bedtime. Children and parents may wear their pajamas and slippers!

For more information, visit the Esther Bone Library at 950 Pinetree Road SE in Rio Rancho or call Youth Services at 891-5012, ext. 4 today and register. All children’s programs at Rio Rancho public libraries are free to the public.





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