School Board Votes Against 4 Day Week

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You could hear a pin drop. The room was just that silent. The school board had just voted. For a full minute or more people looked around. It seemed like no one outside the board knew what had happened. Finally a couple voices spoke up. “What just happened here?” The question was amplified by stirrings from a confused audience that was not at all sure what had just been proposed and passed by the board.
Without looking at the hundred or so members of the community still gathered, the board said that they had voted to accept the version of the school calendar for the coming school year that mirrored the current calendar, but included Fridays.
It was only then that everyone understood that the board had rejected the proposed four-day school week plan. The room erupted into shouts. Some present shouted out in anger,

PED Data Foul-Up Shows School Grades In Error

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In August of this year the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) released its yearly grades of the individual schools throughout the state. When these were published it showed Hot Springs High School (HSHS) as receiving a failing, an “F”. To many educators, administrators close to the school, to say nothing of the students and parents, this seemed a little odd. As it turned out after examining the data used by the NMPED to determine this grade, it was more than a little odd; it was vastly in error. Though all the proper information was supplied to NMPED, the results they showed were based on only a small fraction of this.

Solution Sought For Intersection

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With a unanimous vote August 9, Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) City Commissioners approved a resolution (No. O5 16/17) urging the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) to install a traffic light at the corner of New School Road and Date Street.
Introduced by commissioner Rolf Hechler, the measure responds to numerous complaints, which emphasize how the intersection serves a high volume of traffic and is the primary entry and egress point for students at nearby Hot Springs High School and T-or-C Middle School.

Little League In Tournament Play

Sierra County Little League tournament games were played at the Louis Armijo Fields June 20-24. The top five seeds in the major division and top six in the minors matched up to see who would take top honors.
Through the course of the Little League regular season, from t-ball, through the minors and on upward to the older kids in the majors, teams have seen a lot of improvement in baseball skills, team spirit and most of all, just good fun. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Local Off-Season Team In Summer League Play

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There’s a new game in town. Actually it’s an old game, but a new team. Basketball summer tournament play has been going hot and heavy for a couple of months now, and there’s a group of local boys, who are playing. The athletes are largely drawn from last season’s Hot Springs High School (HSHS) basketball team, minus the departing seniors. The team, New Mexico PRIDE is competing in tournaments around New Mexico and into Texas and while the win loss record is a little lopsided to the negative, the positives still vastly outweigh those losses.

Schools Pause Pool Planning

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In a two to one vote during their October 8 regular meeting, the Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) District School board opted to postpone further discussions with the city of T-or-C regarding a proposed swimming pool project.
Vice president Denise Barrera reported on preliminary meetings with city officials, which were initiated following a presentation offered to the board during their August 13 regular session. She explained that the city’s proposal was to join with the school district, and perhaps other area municipalities, in the development of a new swimming pool and recreation center project…

School! Just Days Away

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It’s amazing how quickly the summer ended and the new school year is already beginning next week. Registration began this week. Many school officials implied registration went smoothly and that the students seemed refreshed and ready for the new school year to begin.
Grades 1 – 6 and grade 9 begin school Wednesday August 5. Grades 7 – 8 and grades 10 – 12, classes begin Thursday August 6. August 13 is the communities first School Board meeting.
Wandering through the different schools, it was clear crews were hard at work building new furniture for the libraries, floors were being cleaned and waxed everywhere, everyone was working hard to create a safe and comforting…

School Board’s Eyes On Testing

During their February 12 meeting, members of the Truth or Consequences School Board received an update regarding the district’s preparations for the coming semester’s round of standardized student tests. The tests were set to begin at T-or-C Elementary School earlier this week. Student Achievement Director Dr. Robert Vise reviewed district-wide efforts being made to implement the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) test, primarily an assessment of mathematics and language skills for all students, Kindergarten through 12th grade.
Board members also were reminded of teachers’ union opposition to the manner in which state officials have chosen to heavily weigh student scores in evaluating teacher performance. The district’s National Education Association (NEA) representative, Dr. Barbara Pearlman, emphasized the ongoing concern during her regular report, which included details about planned Presi-dents’ Day NEA rally…

School Testing Poses Hurdles For Students

Among the agenda items addressed by members of the Truth or Consequences District School Board on January 15, was a brief review of recent revisions in the annual PARCC (the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests, which will soon be occupying the attention of area students.
Hot Springs High School teacher Jaylene McGregor said the revised tests were generally the same as standardized exams student’s encountered last year. She said this year’s program would include timed tests.
The timed format would undoubtedly add a level of stress to an already stressful experience, McGregor said. She went on to highlight additional details about the now fully computerized tests, which appeared to further complicate matters…

30 Days  Church Notifies AppleTree To Vacate Property

A  local church this week instructed Appletree Child Development Center to vacate the premises at 1300 S. Broad-way in Truth or Consequences (T-or-C) within the next 30 days, after negotiations betwe-en the school, church and the State Assembly of God (AOG) Ministries failed this week. The Full Gospel Tabernacle Church (FGT), which owns the property AppleTree is located on, filed a lawsuit against Appletree Jan. 29, 2013, claiming former pastor Mike Skid-more acted without church authority or board approval when he entered into the lease agreement with the community outreach center (in 2005). The litigation seeks to declare the lease invalid, and claims Appletree is not an entity that actually …….

Schools Contract For Canine Sweeps

In a unanimous vote, members of the T-or-C District School Board approved a contract with Albuquerque based InterQuest Detection Canines during their regular meeting held on March 13. This action will initiate a series of unannounced sweeps for drugs, alcohol and weapons at Hot Springs High School (HSHS) and T-or-C Middle School (TCMS) over the remainder of the current semester. In a formal announcement to community members, included the legal advertisements in this edition of the Sentinel, district authorities state this effort is being made to deter both the possession and use of such contraband materials and to improve overall safety and security on the district’s secondary level campuses. The district’s statement notes the impromptu searches will periodically target parking lots, empty dressing rooms, vacant restrooms and student lockers. School district officials are encouraging anyone with questions about the program to contact administrative staff for further information. Questions may be directed to officials through the District Central Office located at 180 N. Date St., or by phoning 575-894-8166. In discussions prior to approving the aforementioned contract, Board Member Brett Smith said that while he understands the district’s obligation to protect students, he was nonetheless uncomfortable with the presence of search dogs on school campuses. Several faculty members shared statements indicating they felt the canine searches could effectively serve as a deterrent and aid in school security. Board members were told the proposed contract would only carry through the present semester and would likely include one unannounce…

Is It Big Enough?

Amid a construction report, which noted development of the new T-or-C Elementary School is progressing steadily, Superintendent Craig Cummins acknowledged the new facility would not include sufficient classroom space to handle the anticipated influx of new students in the years ahead. He told board members efforts are now underway to maintain four present Kindergarten classrooms, which were to be removed as part of the new construction plan. Cummins said if the classrooms in question were removed, the district would likely soon encounter a need for additional space. He suggested retaining the brick and mortar classrooms would be preferable to installing temporary trailers at the “new” school and indicated he would be providing further updates regarding this concern during upcoming board sessions…..

School Gets Underway

These young ladies emerged from their bus smiling and all set to begin a new school year at Sierra Elementary Complex (SEC) early Tuesday morning, August 14. In order to help ease the first day’s confusion, a contingent of faculty members were on hand to welcome the arriving students and help them locate their new classrooms.

This is just one of many stories being covered in this week’s Sierra County Sentinel.

FFA Returns From States With Top Honors

Hot Springs High School FFA team members gathered together in Las Cruces last week for the state FFA judging competitions. The Pasture and Range team came back once fist in the state; Arlis Chavez was high point individual in the state. The team will travel to Oklahoma City at the end of the month to participate in the national judging competitions.
Members of the Pasture and Range Team are Arlis Chavez, Nichole McGuire, Mackenzie Green and Savannah Gillis.
Also qualifying to go to nationals was the second place  ….