Our Action Teams

Community Schools - Yazzie/Martinez Task Force

September 18, 2019

On August 8, 2019, the Task Force adopted these goals:

1.       To create, with Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS),  a fact sheet for parents that explains the Yazzie-Martinez decision and hold public forums for various communities to provide clear communication about the decision; and  

2.        (i) to do further research to determine what parts of the community school model has already implemented and what the necessary requirements are to create full-service “community schools” in Santa Fe; (ii) to endeavor to bring together the people, programs, and resources necessary to create “community schools; ” and (iii) to work with SFPS to develop a communication plan to explain to parents and the greater Santa Fe community what creating a full-service community school means.

On September 18, 2019, the Task Force reported the following progress in meeting the above-goals:

A.      Compliance with the Yazzie-Martinez decision is in “stalemate” because Judge Singleton, who issued the decision, died, and the case has not yet been reassigned by the NM Supreme Court to another judge.  Defendants have failed to develop and submit to the Court for approval a comprehensive statewide plan and timetable within the deadline set by Judge Singleton in her decision.  SFPS counsel Josh Granata will meet with Plaintiffs’ attorneys on Friday to discuss next steps and will report back to the Task Force on what transpires, subject to attorney-client confidentiality. The Task Force is researching and tracking legislation introduced in the last legislative session to address the Yazzie-Martinez decision. 

B.      The Task Force has been gathering information for the fact sheet for parents and will produce a draft by September 27, 2019.  The plan is to submit the proposed fact sheet to SFPS for approval so that it can be posted on the SFPS website, websites of individual schools, and social media.  

C.      The Task Force will prepare a “Data Dictionary” for parents to help them better understand the fact sheet and information to be disseminated about community schools.   

D.      SFPS has adopted a “four pillar” definition of a model community school.  Some schools have made great progress in transforming themselves into community schools.  The Task Force will work with SFPS to find a way to share what steps these schools have taken so that other schools can follow their lead.  SFPS will advise the Task Force as to the status of  grants for which it has applied to PED for implementing the community school model.  This should occur within the next two weeks.

E.       The Task Force will develop a spreadsheet of parent groups and School Advisory Councils (

F.       SACs) which can be used to better inform parents about the status of efforts to implement the decision in Yazzie- Martinez and how they can help transform their schools into full community schools.  This effort will require contacting each school to find out the members of its School Advisory Council.

G.     The Task Force will seek to engage members of the Santa Fe Board of Education in the schools that are in their districts and encourage them to help these schools become full-service community schools by connecting them to appropriate community resources.

Contact: Melinda Silver at mjsilverenterprises@gmail.com

 Increase Quality Instruction - The Literacy and Science Initiative

This initiative integrates language arts and science using hands-on inquiry science investigations and activities. Children’s literature is used to promote listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, as well as to implement the Common Core Standards and Next Gen Science Standards.

The goal is to connect students with science informational texts, literature, poems, and songs as a basis for learning about different topics as they write their own stories, support their arguments and points of view with evidence, and use computational thinking processes as they collect, graph and employ data to identify patterns and draw conclusions to solve problems. 

Science serves as the catalyst to deepen and foster students’ language and science literacy learning and computational thinking.  The objective of this initiative is to offer a framework to plan and implement interdisciplinary teaching and learning best practices within the existing curriculum. Science taps into students’ natural curiosity, providing an ideal context for enhancing communicative language and mathematical thinking.  When teaching integratively, synergy is achieved, which augments the academic performance in several content areas. 

This initiative was piloted in SFPS in grades K-4 and currently is being implemented in grades K-6.  In this program, teachers receive ready-made integrated language arts and science units and materials to use immediately in their classrooms.

For more information, contact:  Judy Reinhartz, jreinhartz@utep.edu



MathAmigos is a Collaborative Working Group (CWG) dedicated to raising math proficiency in Santa Fe Public Schools.  Project partners include:  Santa Fe Public Schools (Chari Kauffman, SFPS Math and Science Coordinator), the Interfaith Coalition for Public Education (Lynn Bickley), Math Circles Collaborative of New Mexico (James Taylor), the Santa Fe Alliance for Science (Dean Gerber), Poder Familiar (Miguel Acosta), and representation from Rotary and MATCH New Mexico (Gary Clendenen).  From January – May 2018 MathAmigos held two successful workshops for over 45 Grades 4-6 teachers on “Inspiring Math in Grades 4-6” and Math Power Family Night on May 3 for five Airport Corridor Schools, attended by 250 kids and families.  MathAmigos has been funded by Opportunity Santa Fe at the Santa Fe Community Foundation and the Lorie Book Fund.

MathAmigos welcomes volunteers!  Contact:  Lynn Bickley, lbick09@gmail.com


T4T – Teachers for Teachers

The Santa Fe Public Schools has an on-going system of teacher support and development, and at the same time, the system is insufficiently funded. T4T (Teachers for Teachers) is a pilot program of teacher coaches/partners working in two Santa Fe public schools, Ramirez Thomas School (pre-K-6) and Capital High School.  We are seasoned educators, many of us award-winning teachers, who have spent our lifetimes in the classroom.  We believe that teachers deserve more resources, support, and voice in defining their own needs, and we are willing to do whatever is necessary to make that happen.  We have worked with ESL and ELL teachers, mentored student teachers and new teachers, and developed innovative curriculum and pedagogies in English, Social Studies, and Science, with teachers in K-12 classrooms. In 2018-2019, we have 6 coaches working with 6 teachers.

For more information, contact:  Lois Rudnick lois.rudnick@umb.edu


Tutoring at Santa Fe High School & Sweeney Elementary School

The ICPE tutoring program at Santa Fe High School and Sweeney Elementary provides help to students and teachers in many subjects. Principals at both schools, Carl Marano and Dolores Montano-Pena, lend their full support.

Tutors work with teachers and students during the school day. A tutor may work one-on-one with a student, work with a small group, or move from group to group in the class. Sometimes a "tutoring" or “advisory” room may be used to provide a more focused environment. Many students need tutoring support whether struggling or advanced. We ask tutors for a minimum commitment of 90-minutes, one day per week at either school. Some tutors commit to two or three times per week. Bi-lingual tutors for both schools are always needed.

Now in our fifth academic year at Santa Fe High School, we have volunteer tutors in French, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Pre-calc, AP Calculus, Computer Science, Engineering, Biology, Physics, and English Language Learning (ELL). There is an ongoing need for tutors in these subjects plus bi-lingual tutors for Algebra I & II and Spanish.

Based on a successful 3rd grade math and reading pilot program in Spring 2018 at Sweeney Elementary, we have returned to support both 3rd and 4th grades in reading and math. Sweeney offers bi-lingual classes so tutors who only speak English and tutors who are also bi-lingual are needed.

Our protocols for volunteers include a first meeting with the program coordinator to learn about the school, its policies, structure and schedules. At this meeting, volunteers share their background and experience, what subject(s) they may want to tutor, and their preferred days and times. This information is matched to a specific teacher's request and introductions are arranged. Often a tutor will first observe a class to make sure the match works for all. To ensure tutoring program success, the program coordinator will monitor all aspects of the program throughout the academic school year.

Once a volunteer match has been made, s/he must apply online at the Santa Fe Public Schools Volunteer website. Both a background check and fingerprinting will be conducted.

For further information, contact: Lynn Gardner Heffron, ICPE program coordinator & SFPS tutoring liaison at lgheffron@gmail.com.

Communications Team

The Communications Project boosts community awareness of and engagement in public education, aiming to motivate action. This team plans and coordinates communication activities like press releases,  opinion pieces, public forums, and presentations about ICPE to faith communities and other organizations. We promote Coalition activities and broader knowledge about education issues and needs, locally and nationally. Team volunteers include writers, speakers, networkers, event planners and facilitators, and people who are adept with social media. We hosted a Community Forum on June 19 from 5:30-7:30 with the theme, “Mobilizing Our Community to Support Our Schools,” which was attended by 120 diverse community members. We will meet to plan next steps on August 14, 2019 at 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the Upper Sanctuary of Temple Beth Shalom, 205 E. Barcelona Ave. Please join us. All are welcome.

Contact: Melinda Silver, mjsilverenterprises@gmail.com


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