Updates and Final Quarter

March 15, 2017

RE:  Updates and Final Quarter

Dear Parents:

Thank you for taking the time to fill out the Quality of Education and 2017-18 School Calendar surveys!  Your input helps us evaluate how we’re doing and plan for the future at PAPA.  We encourage you also to volunteer as members of our School Advisory Council/School Health Advisory Council that takes place generally on the third Tuesday of the month (unless that day conflicts with a holiday) at 3:30pm.  It’s easy to volunteer, as you just show up at the school to Room 4.  We discuss policy, student health/safety, instructional support, programs, ideas and concerns.

The lottery process is complete.  We had over 200 applicants, were able to fill 65 openings in the 6th grade, and placed all siblings (18).  Right now, all openings are filled, but we will use the waiting list as new openings come available.

Special thanks to Governing Council President, Joshua Vallano for creating and launching PAPA’s awesome new website!  We appreciate the fresh, modern look that reflects PAPA’s unique focus!  Please be patient as we get everything updated.  The PowerSchool link looks a little different from the old site.  It is at the bottom left-hand corner and looks like this:

The process of pre-registration for next year is almost complete. We held parent meetings for students transitioning into 9th and 12th grades.  All other students have met with staff to update Next Step Plans and make course requests.  Please access PowerSchool to check your child’s requests.  Click on “Class Registration” (left side of the screen).  There are more requests than number of class periods to provide alternative options in case a class fills up.  If you would like to change any of the requests or would like to discuss the requests, please contact Melanie Chavez at mchavez@paparts.org.

We are also in the process of planning for next year’s budget.  Unfortunately, an additional $58,068 was taken out of our Carryover from 2016.  Added to the $42,024 taken from the Unit Value (per pupil operational funding) and $3,326 taken from Instructional Material funds, our budget for this year has decreased by $103,418.  We will tighten our belts and finish the year with all programs in place (barring any emergency situations and by not filling an open position we have in Special Education).  Next year’s budget depends on the Legislature and Governor’s approval of an education budget.  I encourage you to call or email the Governor, Senators and Representatives to encourage them to stop cuts to education.  Here’s a link to the contact information.  You will need to act fast. Find My Legislator.  From there, you can access an alphabetical list or look up your own Senator and Representatives.  Here are the contact lists.

New Mexico House of Representatives

New Mexico State Senate

As a follow-up, we will have a Community Budget Planning Meeting on April 5th at PAPA at 4:30pm.  PAPA’s Business Manager will review the budget process, talk about the assigned Unit Value and discuss a proposed budget for 2017-18.  It is open to anyone interested.

PAPA Governing Council has two open positions for community members.  If you know of any candidates interested in serving the needs of PAPA and focusing on continuous improvement, please have them contact jlopez@paparts.org. The candidates cannot be a parent as all parent membership positions are filled.

We are close to completing the state testing requirements used by PAPA to assess academic knowledge and skills.  We embrace this opportunity as a tool to measure student skill/knowledge growth and help us improve your child’s education.  We’ve already completed the NM Standards-Based Assessment in Science.  Our 9th grade will take the ASPIRE, which is a practice ACT.  Then at the end of April, we will begin PARCC testing and move into End-of-Course/Final Exams.  With so much going on, students tend to get a bit distracted.  Please support our efforts to keep students engaged in the learning process by monitoring grades and missing assignments in PowerSchool and by ensuring your child arrives on time daily and doesn’t check out early.  Thank you!

The fourth quarter is filled with exciting events and activities!  Please check the website calendar and announcements often for information.  One of the end-of-year events is the All School Awards.  This is our opportunity to award students for exhibiting excellence in our Vision: “…students achieve high academic standards and pursue excellence in the performing arts.”  Some of the awards honor individual students and are earned through great grades, performance, behavior, leadership and/or attendance.  Others are chosen by the faculty in special areas. Students have the opportunity to earn multiple awards.  Please note the excerpt below from the Parent/Student Handbook.  It details award requirements. We will also recognize Seniors and National Honor Society members.  Sometimes, students disengage a little too soon and miss an opportunity to be honored.  We don’t want anyone to miss out!

Thank you for your support this year!


Doreen A. Winn


At the end of the year, there will be an awards ceremony honoring students with the following awards/distinctions:

  • Valedictorian – The Senior(s) with the highest cumulative GPA.
  • Salutatorian – The Senior(s) with the second highest cumulative GPA.
  • Academic Honor Graduates – Seniors graduating with a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA.
  • Fine Arts Honor Graduates – Seniors that have participated in performing arts courses each semester of high school, participated in at least (2) two different advanced performing arts courses, and completed all Senior Showcase requirements by the deadlines.
  • Academic Letters (MS students earn an Academic Panda) – Any student that earns the Honor Roll during the 1st quarter, 2nd quarter, 3rd quarter, and 4th quarter progress report (4.5 weeks into the 4th quarter).
  • Number 1 Awards – The Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior with the highest cumulative GPA in their respective classes.
  • Performing Arts Letter (MS students earn a Panda) – Any student in grades 6-12 can earn this award in each of the performing arts classes based on the following criteria:
    • Earn an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher for the year,
    • Earn an A or B all year in the performing arts class,
    • Have a 95% attendance rate all year (not including absences excused by the school),
    • Participate in all performances or activities, and
    • Receive a teacher recommendation based on the students desire to learn:
      • taking direction with grace,
      • readiness to try anything,
      • exhibiting a positive attitude,
      • work ethic,
      • cooperation, and
      • support of others
    • Artistic Distinction – This will be awarded to students grades 9-12 in each of the six arts departments – visual arts, film, theater, dance, choir, and music. This award is chosen collectively by the performing arts teachers in each department.  This is the highest honor awarded to a PAPA performing artist.  The number of Artistic Distinction awards presented is determined by the teachers.There may be other special awards presented for improvement, attendance, leadership, etc.

Joshua Vallano, President / Mark Huntzinger, Secretary

Merry Dudley / Michael Keith / Elizabeth Roybal