Time Added for Social Studies Standards Comments
The extended public comment period on the updated social studies standards opened Tuesday and continues through Friday, Nov. 12. This includes an additional 15 days beyond the legal requirement for review and comment. Written comments may be submitted using the following methods:
- By email to email@example.com
- By regular mail addressed to John Sena, Policy Division, New Mexico Public Education Department, 300 Don Gaspar Ave., Room 121, Santa Fe, NM, 87501.
- By fax to 505-827-6520.
The public may speak about the proposed standards as well as two other proposed rule changes at a public hearing from 1-3 p.m. Nov. 12 in Mabry Hall in the Jerry Apodaca Education Building, 300 Don Gaspar Ave. in Santa Fe. Speakers will be encouraged to submit written comments and then have up to three minutes each to speak. Read the complete news release here.
Close Contacts Reporting Change
The Department of Health is changing contact tracing reporting from live calls to SMS texts and email. This change requires slight adjustments to the collection of close contacts on the COVID reporting webform. This week, the Public Education Department plans to make mobile phone and email mandatory fields (parent/guardian mobile phone and email when the close contacts is a student) in order to facilitate this process change. The point of contacts submitting the close contacts (including via spreadsheet/csv) will need to include those fields and use the updated spreadsheet template on the webpage.
Governor’s Stem Challenge
The deadline is Monday, Oct. 4, for school teams to apply to participate in the 2021 NM Governor’s STEM Challenge and Showcase. Students in NM high school STEM classes are invited to imagine, design and develop a project model to address the following question formulated by New Mexico State University: How would you use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to make life better for your family, community, state, or country? Projects will be displayed and evaluated at the NM Governor’s STEM Showcase on Dec. 4 in Las Cruces.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
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.
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.