Our Action Teams


Increase Sustainable Funding

The Sustainable Funding for Public Education Project seeks to understand why there are inadequate funds to maintain highly effective programs to meet the needs of our students within the Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS).  Project members seek means of providing sufficient and sustainable funding to meet these needs. 

We have a three-pronged approach to our project:

Education:  We need to educate both ourselves and the general public – the Santa Fe community – as to the extent of the issues that we face regarding sustainable funding.  Through private meetings and public forums, we are learning about the statet funding formula, how it adversely affects SFPS and the current status of the Yazzie/Martinez sufficiency lawsuit and legislation that affects public school funding needs.

Advocacy:  We believe that the government is responsible for adequately funding public schools.  We aim to keep informed of legislative, judicial and executive actions, and seek to understand and practice the most effective means of legislative advocacy. We encouraged the participation of SFPS in the Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit. We now are studying the implementation of the court’s order in this case. We helped write and pass legislation to strengthen and fund community schools.

Build Community Relationships:   We recognize that the children who attend SFPS are our future, regardless of whether we have children of our own in the schools.  We hope to spread this understanding to individuals and foundations in our community and involve them in expanding and sustaining programs that have proved to be highly effective in improving the quality of education for our students. In particular, we have joined in an alliance of community organizations, including the Center for Relational Learning and Earthcare, to help organize families and their surrounding communities to nurture assetts and apply them to the growth of community schools.

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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