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BLOOMFIELD RAMPS UP FOR NEW SCHOOL YEAR

 

August 4, 2017

Dorothy Nobis

This playground equipment at Central Elementary School in Bloomfield will be full of excited and energetic students when school starts Aug. 14

While getting kids ready for school is a priority for most parents this time of the year, it isn't just students who are gearing up for a new school year.

Bloomfield Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kim Mizell said preparing for a new year in the classrooms and offices of every school begins long before the kids begin thinking about returning to school.

New teachers are welcomed by Mizell and her staff on August 7, with returning teachers coming in on August 8. Some students begin their new year on August 14, Mizell said. First graders going to Central Elementary, third graders at Naaba Ani, seventh graders at Mesa Alta, and ninth graders at Bloomfield High will spend August 14 familiarizing themselves with their new school, classrooms and campus, to help them adjust to new academic surroundings. Returning students arrive in classrooms on August 15.

The administrative staff of Bloomfield Schools has been in their offices for several weeks, Mizell said. "They're processing purchase orders and paperwork and we're finalizing the hiring of staff," she said.

School principals, who are part of Mizell's cabinet, gather to share new information and their expectations of the new year. In addition, Mizell provides a professional development seminar for her cabinet.

The challenges of a new school year include the lack of funding education has faced in recent years, Mizell said. With fewer people going into education as a career, there is a lack of qualified principals, teachers and superintendents in schools across the country.

"There are few incentives to keep teachers in our district," Mizell said, adding the teachers who choose to remain with the district work hard to comply with the ever increasing regulations placed upon them.

In addition to the challenges of regulations, teachers are also faced with larger classrooms and less help to care for the students. Volunteers in the classroom are needed and much appreciated, Mizell said.

"We love having parents come in to help us with carnivals and parties," Mizell said. "We need those volunteers and we need some volunteers who are willing to help with the day to day activities in the classroom."

Those who would like to help on a regular basis must undergo a background check, Mizell explained. "There are different ways to help out," she added, and encouraged those who would like to volunteer to call the administration office at 505-632-4300.

Parents getting kids ready for school should start early, getting their children in a school year routine. "Start getting them up early and not let them sleep in," Mizell said. "Make sure their immunizations are up to date and the kids who are in sports have their physicals done. Check with your child's school to see what is required when they are registered."

Students will receive packets for their parents that will update necessary information for school officials. She urges parents to return those packets within three days, so they aren't forgotten or overlooked.

Parents and students should be aware of the bell to bell schedule, Mizell said. She added, "Classes start when the bell rings, and students need to be in class when it rings so they don't miss out on instruction time."

Bloomfield Schools also provide free breakfast and lunch for all students, which will ensure the kids are fed and in the classroom on time.

Most students are excited about a new school year, Mizell said. "We want to make sure everything goes smoothly. Parents can assure their kids that the school is a good thing and is a safe place to be," she added. "Let your child know they are loved and supported and that you're there to help them be successful."

Mizell also has words of advice for parents of junior high school students.

"Don't allow them access to Facebook or Snapchat," the superintendent said. "Most kids can't handle social media at this time in their lives. Keep them innocent as long as you can."

Erikka and Buddy Martinez's six-year-old daughter, Adysen, isn't much into Facebook or Snapchat, but is very much interested in school. Adysen will be a first grader at McCoy Elementary in Aztec and was ready for school to start weeks ago. "She's excited about recess and PE and library – she loves the library," Erikka said. "Ady read books all summer, and we do flash cards and the alphabet with her. She's ready to go back to school!"

Adysen has been getting back into the school routine for several weeks, Erikka said. "She has to be in bed between 8 and 8:30. The bus picks her up at 7:05, so she gets up at 6:15. That gives her time to get dressed and ready to go before the bus gets here."

Lunch is packed the night before, Erikka said, which makes the getting ready part much easier.

"Adysen is so excited about going back to school," Erikka said. "It makes me happy that she is excited and she wants to be in school and get an education. But it does feel like the summer flew by this year."

With Adysen in school, two younger daughters, Bostyn and Camryn, still at home and a full time job, Erikka still finds time to volunteer in Adysen's classroom.

"I love helping her teacher when I can," Erikka said. "It's so important for parents to be involved in their kid's school and it's fun watching Ady learn and interact with the other kids."

"Adysen's also a good role model for her little sisters," Erikka added. "They see how excited she is about school and how much she loves it and they want to go with her."

With her new backpack, her school supplies ready to go and an enthusiastic attitude, Adysen will join others at McCoy Elementary when they arrive for the first day of school on August 14.

 

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