School Board Update 5.28.2020

The Los Alamos Public School Board met last Thursday evening for a work session. Board members Ellen Ben-Naim, Julia Baker, Christine Bernstein and Dawn Jalbert joined the virtual meeting via Google Meet. The meeting started with recognitions by the board. School Board president Ellen Ben-Naim acknowledged the contributions of senior student liaisons Ogden Berry, Zoe Butler and Justin Pena for their contributions to the School Board over the past two years. Kimberly Clayton was honored as the school district’s nomination as New Mexico Teacher of the Year, and Susan Fellows was recognized for her contributions to the district’s safety program and implementing the Say Something app for middle and high school students.

The School Board then approved the Safe-Start and Innovative Learning Task Force which is developing
plans for the successful opening of school in Fall 2020. Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus explained that
most school districts have created a task force similar to the LAPS group to create a detailed plan for
starting school safely in the fall, conducting the teaching and learning process during the 2020-2021
school year, and reviewing data, identifying improvement areas, and reporting progress.

Julia Baker and Christine Bernstein volunteered to represent the school board on the task force.
The 2020-2021 School Board meeting calendar was also approved. Regular meetings are held the second
Tuesday of each month starting at 5:30 pm, and work sessions are scheduled for the fourth Thursday of
each month. Exceptions include meetings in April, November and December. For the meantime,
meetings will be held virtually in accordance with state requirements for COVID-19.

The initial budget for the district’s Pre K program at Pinñon Elementary was also approved. Assistant
Superintendent Jennifer Guy reported that LAPS was awarded $300,000 for an extended day
prekindergarten program. This will accommodate two classes of four-year-olds for five hours a day five
days a week. Students will be selected by lottery.

The school board next approved the application for $11,509.04 through the Title III Federal Program to
supplement instruction with English language learners and immigrant students, including materials and
professional development for EL teachers. School board member Julia Baker noted that “equitable access
to materials is important.”

The school board also approved the application for $43,413.70 through the Elementary and Secondary
Emergency Relief (ESSER) CARES Act. This funding will help with materials needed in response to
COVID-19, including hand sanitizing stations, touchless thermometers, portable hand washing stations,
cleaning supplies and equipment, and other protective personal equipment.

In the final piece of business for the evening, the school board approved the annual review of School
Board Policy 3470 which addresses per pupil expenditures. There were no changes to the policy, but an
annual review is required.


Los Alamos Public Schools
P.O. Box 90
2075 Trinity Drive
Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544


The next regular school board meeting is Tuesday, June 9. The next school board work session is
Thursday, June 25. Both meetings are scheduled to meet virtually via Google Meet.


For more information, please contact:
Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus
Los Alamos Public Schools
Office: 505-663-2230, Mobile: 505-470-3478