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BPS awarded pre-k grant

Signpost Staff

Last month, BPS was as awarded $594,000 for next year’s pre-kindergarten program by the New Mexico Public Education Department (MNMPED). This is the largest award the district has received since the pre-school inception.

BPS Superintendent Allan Tapia credits Early Childhood Director Sarah Armstrong for aligning pre-k academic standards and grant writing. The BPS application was well-received by NMPED. The pre-k program is currently in place at Cochiti Elementary, Algodones Elementary, and Las Escuelita in Bernalillo. Tapia said, “The program has been completely overhauled over the past two years with New Mexico pre-k State Standards and a solid academic curriculum now in place.  Principal Sarah Armstrong and her staff are to be commended for a job well done at all pre-k school sites.”

Due to grant-writing errors in a competitive application process, Bernalillo Public Schools was on the cusp of completely losing its Pre-K program two years ago, as the NM Public Education Department did not select the district for funding. The district was able to allocate district funds and later receive a small amount of funding for the program from NMPED to continue the program. Last year the district received an increased amount of funding from the state and expanded the program slightly.

Tapia said, “I received word that we had lost all funding during my first month on the job as superintendent, and I told the press, the staff, and our communities that I fully support and am committed to early childhood education and would do everything in my power to get the program back to where it was and expand it. Next year, we will add four pre-k classes at La Escuelita.”

Sarah Armstrong said, “Pre-k is not babysitting. It’s not all play, but we make it fun for the students to choose where they want to learn from seven to nine stations, including math and science. The children all have a high level of engagement and are constantly exposed to literacy in a safe, loving atmosphere.”

The money awarded allows for growth and expansion district wide. At La Escuelita two more pre-k classes will be open, Algodones will have seven more slots for students and Cochiti pre-k will be funded. The grant also included money for the BPS pre-k program to purchase an intensive PreK “Creative Curriculum.” This curriculum aligns and prepares students for kindergarten common core standards. The program includes a free lunch program and transportation. There is also a pre-pre-k program for three-year-olds. For more information, email: sarmstrong@bps.k12.nm.us or call Sarah Armstrong at 404-5585.


BPS staff moves to new location

—Signpost Staff

Bernalillo Public School administration recently moved into the office building formerly occupied by the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Family Division at 560 S. Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo. The building had been vacant for almost three years.

BPS Superintendent Allan Tapia said that $3 million of bond money had been set aside for renovation of the historic Roosevelt School buildings for the purpose of housing the administration, but the Board determined that this renovation would be too costly. The CYFD building was purchased for $975,000 and includes an acre to the east where a storage building will be built. Tapia said, “We got a great deal on the property. It’s great having the entire administration under one roof, and we still have room to grow.”

The Roosevelt School property, which includes several buildings on nearly seven acres, will be sold and hopefully preserved as historic property.
 
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