Photo by Bernie Linnarz
Bernalillo Public Schools has fixed up the old
tennis courts behind Bernalillo Middle School. The newly formed
girls tennis team, coached by Jim Viera and pictured above, has
started to win some matches.
Food program brings exotic fruits, healthy snacks
Bernalillo Middle School students will soon be able to enjoy fresh
fruits and vegetables during their break time. The school was selected
by the state Public Education Department along with twenty-four
other New Mexico schools to participate in the federally funded
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.
“We are excited about the program,” said Debbie Trujillo,
BPS food service coordinator. “We will be able to offer a
variety of fruit and vegetables, including exotic fruit that these
students may otherwise never have the opportunity to taste.”
Trujillo said the district is currently implementing a wellness
program that the fruit-and-vegetable program will complement. “Adriana's
Nutrition Expedition” is the name of one of the instructional
programs being implemented. The program includes information and
games that integrate fun with learning about healthy food choices.
“We are grateful for this funding and the opportunity to
offer our students nutritional snack choices,” said Superintendent
Barbara Vigil-Lowder. “Good nutrition plays a crucial role
in academic performance”
Trujillo's successful application obtained $44,173 for the program,
beginning in April 2006 and ending June 2007. Only schools in New
Mexico, Utah, Wisconsin, Texas, Connecticut, and Ohio are eligible
for the program and all schools must be participants in the National
School Lunch Program.
“Our goal is to teach the students to make healthy food
choices and create habits that will follow them into adulthood,”
Trujillo said. “As the program expands, we are going to continue
to apply for the funds and get as many district schools as possible
into the program.”
Beginning on Monday, April 24, fresh fruits and vegetables will
be distributed to students during the 2:00 p.m. passing period.
BPS presents its first annual district art show
“Celebrating the Arts!,” the first annual BPS district-wide
art show, will showcase outstanding artwork by Bernalillo Public
Schools students in grades kindergarten through twelve. The grand
opening, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5, at the Bernalillo
High School Career Academy will be open to the public.
“We have tremendously talented art teachers and students
at schools throughout the district,” said Superintendent Barbara
Vigil-Lowder. “This art show gives the district a chance to
showcase its outstanding art program and gives the teachers and
students the opportunity to shine.”
The artwork displayed will be selected by art teachers at each
school with a goal of presenting a comprehensive representation
of student work and projects done throughout the school year.
“In an age of art-education cutbacks, BPS stands at the
forefront in its support of the fine and performing arts in kindergarten
through twelfth grade,” said Sharon Fox, BPS director of secondary
education. “The art teachers at BPS are recognized professional
artists with notable accomplishments.”
“The art instructors are knowledgeable in technique as well
as the art history of the various New Mexico cultures,” said
Anna Torres, BPS director of elementary education. “Our district
is fortunate to have such highly qualified and dedicated staff working
with our students.”
Refreshments will be provided on opening night. The artwork will
be on display for public viewing on Saturday, May 6, from noon to
4:00 p.m., but no refreshments will be served. The artwork will
continue on display May 8 through 12 and May 15 for viewing by BPS
BPS Students Win Business Awards
Four BPS students received top awards for their outstanding business
presentations at the Business Professionals of America State Leadership
Conference held in Albuquerque, March 13-15. These students are
now qualified to enter the national-level business skills competition
to be held in Orlando, Florida, May 10-14.
The four qualifying students are Persingula Tafoya, who received
the second place award in the “Graphic Design Promotion”
category; and, Jason Castillo, George Garcia, and Jack Sheehan,
who received the second place award in the “Presentation Management
“The conference was the culmination of a school year's worth
of business workforce education and training,” said chapter
advisor, Laura Zamora, who teaches Graphic Arts. “I was proud
that every student we took to the conference finaled in the various
competitions. I have seen a lot of maturity this year.”
Other BPS students who were finalist at the business skill competitions
and received a medal were Barbara Goodacre and Jericka Lambert for
“Graphic Design Promotion”, and Joseph Threadgill for
Summer reading fun for children at the Placitas
—NANCY GUIST, DIRECTOR, CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS,
PLACITAS COMMUNITY LIBRARY
Calling all kids! The Placitas Library will be having a weekly story
time along with a related hands-on project this summer. One of the
sessions planned is a Placitas Petroglyph Field Trip for both parents
and children. The story-time program will take place on Thursday
mornings from 10:00 to 11:30, beginning June 8 and running through
August 10. The programs will be geared for children from three to
eight years old, but all children are welcome. It is not necessary
to register beforehand. Join us as we share the magical world of
The Placitas Library will also be sponsoring a Reading Challenge
Program. Children of all ages who register for the program will
be reading books (or have books read to them, in the case of younger
children) that will count towards the library goal. We will be marking
our progress throughout the summer and celebrate all our reading
with a party at summer’s end.
egistration will be at the library’s Birthday Bash, on Saturday,
June 3. Children may also register any day after that during library
hours. Upon registration, participants will receive a packet with
a bookmark, reading log, book lists, and more. Small prizes and
certificates will be passed out at the end of summer to all. We
are hoping to have lots of young readers to help us reach our goal.
Village Academy continues enrollment for fall term
—ROSANNE EAKIN, CHAIRPERSON, VILLAGE ACADEMY CHARTER
Village Academy Charter School, a new tuition-free public middle
school, is conducting two additional enrollment and lottery-selection
periods for interested student applicants and their families. Applications
are being accepted for remaining first-year slots offered in grades
six, seven and eight. These will be the second and third enrollment
periods since the enrollment process began in March.
The current lottery, which started April 18, will end May 6. To
be eligible for consideration, student applications must be submitted
to the VACS Governance Council or postmarked by 5:00 p.m. on May
6. Applications received will be entered into the May 10 lottery
for possible selection. Another enrollment period will be conducted
May 8 to June 10, with the lottery held on June 14 if slots are
The governance council will continue to accept enrollment applications
until the first-year maximum enrollment of fifty-four students is
reached. Due to the limited availability of first-year slots, families
interested in the charter school are strongly encouraged to submit
their child's enrollment application as early as possible.
Plans for the charter school's permanent site at Highway 165,
near I-25, are moving forward; however, formal discussions regarding
zoning and site planning must be completed this summer before actual
construction can commence. This will delay opening of the new building
until after the fall term has already started, according to developer
Bailey, Olsen, Reed.
In the interim, the governance council is preparing to open the
school at a convenient temporary location, most likely in Bernalillo,
that has amenities and services to support student instruction.
Prospective school families may learn more about the Village Academy
Charter School's program and obtain an application by visiting www.villageacademyplacitas.com
or e-mailing email@example.com.
Continuing developments about Village Academy's progress will be
posted to the website.
Public governance-council meetings are held the second and fourth
Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the community center at
San Antonio Mission Church. Interested individuals are encouraged
to attend the charter school's public meetings to obtain information
and offer suggestions or write to Village Academy Charter School,
P. O. Box 1247, Placitas, NM 87043-1247.
Pueblo governors express support of BPS in meeting
The drumming and the singing of the invocation by Native American
students K-12 opened the annual gathering of Bernalillo Public Schools
administrators and the governors of pueblos in the district.
The BPS superintendent and administrators meet with the governors
annually to update the pueblos on the education of their children
and to orient the new governors. In attendance this year were school-board
members Ray Trujillo, Jack Torres, and Lorenzo Tafoya.
As principals presented their schools’ focus areas, successes,
and intervention activities, interaction between the governors and
the school district began. With a focus on cultural diversity, Algodones
Elementary School described the newly established Keres Language
Program for San Felipe Pueblo students.
“The students are taking a great interest in learning their
native tongue,” said Judy Casaus, Algodones principal. “I
am receiving reports from the parents that the students are even
correcting the parents on their word pronunciations.”
BPS also assists the Cochiti and Santa Ana tribes with staff and
programs to revitalize their language and hopes to begin a program
at the high school level soon.
“The world is changing and unless we allow our native tongues
to be taught at the schools to our children, we are going to lose
our native language,” said Lorenzo Tafoya, a school-board
member from Santo Domingo.
Bryan Garcia, co-principal at Santo Domingo School, highlighted
a nationally recognized after-school program. Garcia said the Southwest
Educational Development Laboratory recognized the 21st Century Kewa
After-School Program, which serves grades kindergarten through eight,
as a national model. The program provides children with academic
tutoring and a choice of several enrichment programs, ranging from
pottery and jewelry making to robotics and computers.
Santo Domingo School also is succeeding academically. Sammy Garcia,
lieutenant governor of Santo Domingo Pueblo, held up an award received
by the school, saying, “I was so proud when, at the state
legislature, our school was presented with a School on the Rise
award by Governor Bill Richardson.”