PED Launches SEL Portal
The Public Education Department (PED) has launched an online portal to give parents, students, and educators free access to resources to better understand, teach, and support social-emotional learning in order to build positive school cultures and happy, successful students. The department partnered with 7 Mindsets, a national leader in online social emotional learning solutions, to create and maintain the New Mexico Cares portal. The portal provides access to the company’s courses, curricula, leadership training, and teacher professional development on social-emotional learning, known in academic circles by the acronym SEL.
“The goal is to teach students how to manage their emotions, express empathy for others and develop meaningful relationships as they navigate their school years,” Public Education Secretary Designate Kurt Steinhaus said. “We all — families and educators — have a responsibility to help kids master those skills. This portal is a great place to find the resources needed to start.”
The official kickoff will be Sept. 28, when the department will host a 3:30 p.m. webinar introducing the tool and implementation strategies for schools and districts. Registration, which is required, is available here.
Licensure Bureau Extends Hours
In a move to improve customer service, the PED Licensure Bureau is extending the hours for phone support. Beginning Monday (Sept. 20), educators needing licensure assistance can call 505-827-5800 Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. If you are unable to reach someone, leave a message with a preferred call-back time or send an email to email@example.com to schedule a call back. Additionally, the office in the Apodaca Building, 300 Don Gaspar, is open from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Dossier Coaching Sessions Available
Join the Region 9 Education Cooperative to get helpful tools that will get you going in the right direction. Each session will focus on one specific area of the dossier. Session size is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot! Sessions are available monthly by PED coaches. Visit our registration and information site where ou will find each session title, time, date, trainer, and the link to register. If you have any questions, call Teresa at (575) 257-2368.
Substitute Teacher Course Available
A new Canvas course is available to all New Mexico substitute teachers. This two-hour course consists of five targeted-learning modules that focus on preparation, logistical considerations before and after class, evidence-based instructional practices, classroom management and behavioral supports, and more. This course navigation guide should be shared with prospective hires or current substitutes. For information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall Advanced Placement Workshops
Fall Advanced Placement Workshops will take place on Friday, October 1, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Current and prospective AP educators will learn from colleagues in the state and College Board representatives. We encourage teachers who have never considered AP before to come and learn more! Register here. Details including breakout session descriptions and presenters will be available soon.
These workshops are hosted online by REC-9 and are free to attend. Districts may request reimbursement for substitutes (if needed by teachers who miss instructional time to participate).
For more information, contact Alexandra Lutz at 505-490-3648 or Alexandra.Lutz@state.nm.us.
Dashboard Shows COVID Spending Data
The PED has released an interactive dashboard the public can use to see how districts and state charter schools are spending federal COVID-19 relief funding. “The public has a need and a right to know how schools are spending a generational influx of federal funding to improve education outcomes in New Mexico,” said Public Education Secretary Designate Kurt Steinhaus. “We’re very proud to present this digital tool to make that as easy as possible and to showcase the great work districts and state charter schools are doing to spend this money wisely.”
The dashboard currently includes cumulative and individual data on how districts and state charter schools spent their share of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Users can apply filters to select data for individual school districts and charter schools and hover a cursor over any visual to see additional data elements.
Guidance for Opt-out Letters
Documents presented to districts or schools purporting to authorize an individual’s refusal to participate in certain COVID-19 Safe Protocols or other school programs are not supported by federal, New Mexico or other applicable law, and have no legal effect. Nor is any school official required to sign such documentation. The PED’s COVID-19 Safe Protocols, contained in the COVID-19 Response Toolkit for New Mexico’s Public Schools, requires public schools to undertake several important measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 infections in the State. Those requirements have been lawfully issued pursuant to PED’s authority and are in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Orders extending the declaration of public health emergency. Additionally, the COVID-19 Safe Protocols comport with federal law, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Read the complete memo here.
Virtual Science Fiesta Next Month
The 2021 NM Science Fiesta will take place virtually October 9-23, featuring a variety of presentations that are all free to the public. The Science Fiesta aims to engage our communities in fun, meaningful activities and interactions with STEAM professionals. The Fiesta provides an important means to inspire interest in learning about science, technology, engineering, math, and art (STEAM) and its impact on our everyday lives and our future.
This year’s theme – Make Your Future Bright – speaks to how STEAM helps students tap into their ability to be problem solvers and agents of change. Sign up for virtual field trips, virtual tours, virtual demonstrations, and more! Some in-person programs will also take place. Check out the Science Fiesta website for more information.
Learning Acceleration Webinar
Teach for America New Mexico’s The New Teacher Project will present a webinar from 5:45-7:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, on Learning Acceleration for all. Register here to attend. Learning Acceleration is an approach that starts with grade-level content and provides “just-in-time” supports to students when necessary rather than starting with remediation, or reviewing content students missed. Check out a May 2021 report on Learning Acceleration using elementary student data from Zearn, an online math platform. All New Mexico teachers and students are invited, so feel free to share the registration link and details. More information is available in this flier.
NMNBCT Conference and Certification Support
The New Mexico National Board Certified Teachers (NMNBCT) is holding its annual conference virtually on Sept. 24-25. The theme is Whole Child, Whole Teacher. The cost to attend is $40. You can register here. The organization also offers professional development opportunities for teachers seeking certification. For more information, you can visit the NMNBCT website here.
Discovery Festival 2021, a hands-on event for students to learn about careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, will be held Nov. 8-19. Participating companies (including Honeywell, Facebook, Virgin Galactic, NBA Math Hoops, Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs) will provide students with both live and virtual STEAM exhibits and interactions. The event, sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters, is free for registered classes. More than 4,500 students and 45 local and national STEAM companies participated in last year’s Discovery Festival. Register and learn more about Discovery Festival 2021 here.
Social Studies Standards
Information on the review of New Mexico social studies standards is available on the social studies page on the PED website. Additional resources:
- Equity Council Resources on the Martinez-Yazzie page on the PED website.
- This presentation outlines the process for revising New Mexico’s social studies standards.
- This additional resource describes what it means to be antiracist.
Film Prize Junior NM
Thirty-eight schools have signed up to participate in Film Prize Junior New Mexico, a statewide short-film contest that will end with a festival next April. Interested teachers may register their classes here, and students may register on their own with a teacher sponsor. Film Prize Junior New Mexico will provide K-12 students and teachers access to film editing software, help procure equipment, and provide industry mentors. The mentors will provide in-person and virtual workshops to guide students and teachers through the filmmaking process, from developing concepts, scripts and storyboards through all phases of production and post-production. Questions? Rosey Hayet, email@example.com.