The deadline is approaching for those voting on the extended school year option at Madison Middle School.
Principal Tammy Crespin said parents and guardians should vote to extend the school year by 10 days or keep the traditional calendar currently in place no later than May 1. During an April 28 virtual presentation, with only 10 participants, Crespin explained why the school was being asked to take a vote on the issue.
She said students throughout New Mexico fell behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced students to attend school online instead of in person. For Madison specifically, Crespin said there was a decrease of a couple of percentage points in iReady math proficiency levels during the pandemic.
Slides showing data from elementary schools that already adopted the Extended Learning Time Program indicate an increase in test scores from the beginning to the middle of the year. At the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, students from Pajarito Elementary school had a 1.9% proficiency in math, based off the results from iReady tests. By the middle of the year, students were at a 6.9% proficiency level. Bel Air Elementary School students improved their reading proficiency from 5.3% to 11.8%, and Kirtland Elementary School went from a 2.4% proficiency to a 10.3% proficiency in iReady reading for the same time.
Crespin said Madison would use data from recent iReady and state testing to determine where the school and individual students need additional help and would use the extra days to focus on those areas. In addition, the extra days will be used to provide professional development for staff and will add more funding to the school, including a 3% teacher salary increase.
New Mexico is one of 10 states that do not require a specific number of instructional days in the school year. Albuquerque Public Schools currently has 178 instructional days. The national average is 180 instructional days, with 31 states requiring a minimum of that many. Four states require at least 175 instructional days, and five states require less than 175.
Only one parent or guardian who has a student at Madison can vote to add the additional days or stay with the current traditional calendar, regardless of marital/custody status or the number of children they have attending the school. Madison staff who have children at the school are allowed two votes. Crespin said only a few staff members have not voted, with the majority of those who have voting against adding the extra days. She said their reasoning is the district was moving “fast and furious” to push the vote without enough planning or information.
A copy of the presentation and a link to the ELTP survey will be sent to parents and guardians in an email later this week. For those who already made up their mind, a link to the survey is provided here. The survey asks what school their child goes to and their name before an option is given to vote for or against adding the additional days. Scanning the QR code below provides another way to access the survey.