EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Las Cruces Public Schools board voted unanimously on Tuesday night not to extend its school year so as not to burden teachers, parents and students in an already difficult year.
The LCPS Board of Directors declined to extend the instructional calendar for the 2021-2022 school year after considering extending the year to help students catch up because of the pandemic.
The first option would have added 10 instructional days to the school year, as well as 30 additional minutes to school days for elementary students, providing the equivalent of 25 instructional days without extending the calendar further.
The second option would have extended the school year by 25 days.
The third option was to not make any changes to the calendar. The 2021-2022 school year will begin on Aug. 9 and end on May 25.
According to district officials, more than 230 people sent feedback to the district via email, with 61 respondents voting for the first option and 25 respondents liked Option B. While some asked that no change to the calendar be made, others suggested the district consider a year-round calendar. The majority of emailed input asked that the district keep the current calendar with no extension.
Respondents included 73 teachers, 126 parents and 13 people who said they were both teachers and parents. The remainder identified themselves as members of the community.
A recurring recommendation, however, was that the district focus on enrichment or providing opportunities for students who need additional academic support.
“This year has been anything but normal,” said Dr. Wendi Miller-Tomlinson, Deputy Superintendent of Teaching, Learning, Leadership and Research. “Instead of addressing it as learning loss, it’s more accurately incomplete teaching and learning, which is not uncommon at the end of a school year.”
Also on Tuesday night’s agenda, a committee of classified employees, parents, teachers and administrators provided feedback on the qualities the district should include in the superintendent’s job description.
It was also decided that the position will be advertised with a starting annual salary range of $150,000 to $200,000. The district will begin work to post the position and accept applications through May 5. Initial interviews with qualified candidates will be held with the board beginning May 17, and finalists will be announced at the May 24 regular board meeting.
The final selection will be announced and brought to a vote at the June 1 regular board meeting.