Spring has arrived and summer is on the horizon. While the school year may be winding down, many initiatives at Central Consolidated School District are just getting started. The new Bond Wilson Technical Center will soon be accepting applications for its newest cohort. BWTC opened its doors in January to a limited class of students and we are excited to offer more students the opportunity to attend these innovative courses that will be a catalyst for successful careers and futures. You can read more about the Bond Wilson Technical Center on the CCSD website, where you will also find an application for students.
Our district continues its work to make our schools as safe as possible. New legislation, including New Mexico Senate Bill 239, will make more funds available for safety specific projects like radios, fencing, controlled entrances and many more enhancements that our schools need. CCSD has evaluated the safety needs at each school and will have a committee prioritize these projects once funding is awarded. Our teachers and school staffs, including custodial and office staff, recently participated in an excellent safety training provided by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office (SJCSO) and put on by Officer Donnie Kee. Kee’s insight and experience with school safety were invaluable to our staff and will provide much needed guidance in preparing for and reacting to emergencies on campus. I would like to thank all our local law enforcement agencies, including SJCSO, the Farmington Police Department and the Navajo Nation Police Department, for their assistance in keeping our schools as safe as possible, including the addition of more School Resource Officers (SRO) at schools.
I was proud of our schools who, each in their own ways, recognized a national movement for safer schools on March 14. At Kirtland Central High School, student Kambree Pierro took the lead in organizing an event called KC Stands Together. Most Kirtland Central High School students participated in the event where students were given an open forum to discuss their feelings and opinions on recent events nationwide and also in their own school. Students spoke on how they could change the culture in their own school to be more inclusive, traditional Native American songs were sung, each class took part in competitions and the SRO addressed the student body.
At Newcomb High School, students gathered for an assembly on safety before walking the track for 19 minutes, one minute for every victim of the Parkland, Fla., tragedy and one minute each for the two victims of the Aztec High School tragedy. The students carried 19 balloons, each with the name of a victim on it and released the balloons on the football field. It was a beautiful, moving tribute to those who lost their lives while at school.
Again, all schools including middle schools and elementary schools participated in a safety forum on March 14 and I am proud of the events and conversations that took place that day many of which surrounded on anti-bullying efforts, reporting threats, what to do in case of an emergency and much more. At Central Consolidated School District, we believe that educating our students on how we can prevent, react to and recover from tragic events is a necessary step we must take for the well-being of our children.
I would also like to take this time to congratulate all of our district basketball and wrestling teams on their excellent seasons this year. Every high school basketball team in our district made the state tournament, while five teams advanced to the quarterfinals and beyond in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. The Kirtland Central and Shiprock High School girls basketball teams advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated and the Newcomb High School boys team had a historic year, setting a new record for most wins in a season with 21 and won its first ever game in the state tournament. It was an amazing sight to see Shiprock, Kirtland and Newcomb fans cheering on all our schools in The Pit and the Santa Ana Star Center, bringing our district’s athletic mantra of 1Mission1Vision to life. Congratulations go out to Kirtland Central wrestlers Jalen Platero who placed second and Ian Thomas and Meras Madrid who both finished third at the state wrestling tournament.
Outside the athletic arenas, CCSD students continue to be leaders in other activities like band, science fair, spelling bee, science Olympiad and a new initiative in our district, Educator’s Rising – a program to encourage our students to become teachers and return to our district for their careers.
For our students and staff, this month centers around Spring Break and I hope they can all enjoy this week with their families. Beginning April 15, the ever-important PARCC tests return. CCSD will begin posting tips for testing success on our website and Facebook pages. Keep an eye out for those tips as we all have a part to play in our student’s success. We are on the final drive to the end of a phenomenal end of the school year!