Events & News
Kit Atencio Reacts to Generous Gift
A Sundance Elementary School teacher was surprised in her classroom this week. A group of Los Lunas High School students presented 6th grade teacher, Kit Atencio, with $1,000. The check is from the Ving Project, which provides teenagers an opportunity to give an individual in need an encouraging boost. One of the students, now a sophomore, is Mrs. Atenio's former student.
“I know she’s had a rough couple of months,” explained A.S. “She was a really good teacher to me and she is so loved by the community.”
Mrs. Atencio said she was shocked by the gift and became emotional with the announcement.
“I’m really just speechless. I am just so thankful,” expressed Mrs. Atencio. “When your students leave you – you really don’t know if you’ve had an impact on them. You would like to think that you do, but to know that you actually have is reward enough.”
The students are from John Walker’s Criminal Law class at Los Lunas High School. He uses Ving as a community service project for his students. Once they select individuals from the community, they send their nominations to Ving, which then chooses the recipient and provides them with the check.
“Ving requires that the nominees are at least 18 years old, be a U.S. citizen, and have a financial hardship,” explained Mr. Walker. “Ving is looking for the students to be able to voice that and express how the $1,000 will help that person.”
Mr. Walker’s students had 14 other nominees selected for the generous check and are from across Valencia County. He is working with Ving to surprise additional community members in the Spring.
Helping Families in Need
Thanks to the students of Los Lunas High School Lending A Paw, dozens of local families will have a Thanksgiving meal. The community service group collected enough food, including a turkey, for 50 families in the community. Once they filled each box, they packaged them with a beautiful green or red bow.
The first 100 days are critical for moving forward the important work of educating all students.
Dear Los Lunas Schools Learning Community:
A Superintendent’s first 100 days are critical for moving forward the important work of educating all Los Lunas Schools (LLS) students. From my very first day as Superintendent I will work tirelessly to ensure the priorities of LLS are student centered and focused on student growth. In addition to keeping our focus on students, I believe in creating a culture of continuous improvement, promoting and lifting up academics, maintaining staff, promoting extracurricular and co-curricular activities, and maintaining high expectations for all in the LLS community. Together we can “prepare, empower, and inspire all students to reach their maximum potential.”
The purpose of my entry plan is to establish a clear process as I assume the role of Superintendent in LLS. My entry plan is designed to engage the entire learning community and is firmly rooted in the development of relationships with all stakeholders. The process described in my entry plan is intended to help me understand as much as possible about Los Lunas Schools history, where it currently stands, and where it aspires to be in the future. It is my hope to create ideas for sustaining and building upon the good work that is currently happening in LLS.
My entry plan outlines my top priorities and associated goals, and the specific strategies I will utilize to meet those goals in my first 100-days as Superintendent. Specifically, activities will be designed to assist me in:
• Information gathering about the community and LLS;
• Establish a strong presence within LLS and in the community;
• Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of LLS;
• Determine critical issues;
• Build on LLS strengths; and
• Create a network of contacts and resources to enrich LLS to ensure equity and excellence for all students in LLS.
As we work together through one mission and vision, we “will be the premier school district in the State of New Mexico by exemplifying high levels of learning for all students.”
Dr. Ryan Kettler
LLS Foundational Assumptions:
- Every student deserves access to a robust, rigorous, and complete curriculum at their grade level.
- Every student is capable of engaging with grade-level standards and rigorous content and deserves world class instruction and materials to support them.
- Every student deserves to use technology as a tool for learning AND a tool to express their learning in creative ways.
- Every student deserves a classroom experience that acknowledges their integrated cognitive, social, and emotional development.
- Every student deserves to have the opportunity to learn in multiple languages, just as their global peers.
- Every student deserves to connect relevance of learning as they explore their future career opportunities.
- Every educator deserves to be supported in staying current in the most effective practices in their field, implementing new initiatives, and perfecting their ability to improve student learning.
LLS Board Priorities:
- Consistent excellence in every school
- Career Preparation
- Security and safety
- Recruit and retain staff
- Health and wellness
- Fiscal responsibility and transparency
Dr. Kettler's Priorities:
Authentically engage Los Lunas Schools stakeholders to develop relationships, gain deeper knowledge, and begin a collaborative process.
Collect and analyze both quantitative and qualitative data to obtain a full picture of the district’s performance, trends, and strategic direction.
To provide a safe and secure learning environment resulting in focus on academic achievement, maintain high standards, and foster positive relationships. between LLS stakeholders.
Dr. Kettler's Goals:
Establish a relationship of trust and collaboration with the school board, cabinet members, administrative departments, schools and community stakeholders.
Be visible throughout the district, visiting schools and classrooms, engaging in learning walks, and meeting with building level administrators.
Learn the current instructional focus to identify areas I can support and assist in providing students the opportunity to maximize their academic potential.
Learn and analyze the systems and structures in place for organizational accountability including the district budget and financial standing.
Maintain safety and security for students and staff.
How To Meet Goal #1:
- Meetings and surveys conducted with LLS Stakeholders to include:
-LLS Board of Education
-Cabinet Members, Central Office Staff, and other Departments
-Schools (Faculty and Staff, Principals, Assistant Principals)
-Community (Students, Parents, Community Religious, Civic, and Business Leaders, Media)
How To Meet Goal #2:
- Visiting each school in LLS
- Visiting classrooms within each school in LLS
- Attend a staff meeting at each school in LLS when possible
- Attend open houses at each school in LLS when possible
- Attend sports, fine arts, and community events when possible
- Visit all LLS Administrative Departments
How To Meet Goal #3:
- Meet with the Chief Academic Officer of Instruction, Accountability and Innovation to:
-Review and discuss Curriculum and Instruction
-Review and discuss student performance data
-Review and discuss Academic Programs and offerings for students
- Meet with the Chief Student Services Officer to:
-Review and discuss Special Programs
-Review and discuss Support Services
-Review and discuss technology
How To Meet Goal #4:
- Review and assess current accountability measures of LLS operations
- Meet with the Chief Personnel Officer to review staff recruitment and retention, employee relations, benefits and compensation, and staff evaluation
- Meet with the Chief Finance Officer to review current budget and budget trends, financial projections, grants, audit protocols, and associated processes
- Visit all LLS Administrative Departments to better understand LLS operations
How To Meet Goal #5:
- Meet with the Deputy Superintendent to review and discuss LLS safety and security plans, protocols, and procedures
- Meet with the Chief Student Services Officer to review and discuss LLS counseling services, nursing services, and outside resource partnerships
August 14-18, 2023:
First day on contract. During week 1, meet with all Board of Education members and begin meeting with Cabinet members.
Length of time: 1 Week
August 21-October 20, 2023:
Meet with remaining cabinet members, conduct first round of school site visits, meet with Central Office staff, and begin meeting with community stakeholders.
Length of time: 9 Weeks
October 23-December 22, 2023:
Conduct second round of school site visits, continue meeting with community stakeholders, and begin gathering historical data on student performance.
Length of time: 9 Weeks
January 1-19, 2024:
Analyze data from questionnaires, observations, and quantitative measures. Prepare report on 100-day plan for the Board of Education to be presented on January 23, 2024.
Length of time: 3 Weeks
A Night of Community fun & Reading
Please join us for Literacy Night at Los Lunas High School! It will take place Monday, December 11, 2023 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Make your own snowman, bookmarks, origami, book walk and more! FREE books and refreshments will be provided. Hosted by Los Lunas High School students, join us for a night of community fun and read alouds!
Vote Now Through December 11
Thank you for participating in the Los Lunas Schools community vote for your preference for the 2024-2025 school calendar. We recognize that the school calendar impacts the community as a whole and value the input of all role groups. Please review Calendar Option A and B and complete this survey with your preference.
Please vote by Monday, December 11 by 6:00pm.
Coach of the Year
The National Federation of State High School Associations has selected Larry Padilla as the 2022-2023 New Mexico Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year! According to the NFHS, the Los Lunas High School coach was nominated for the honor by the New Mexico Activities Association. Coach Padilla was chosen based on his coaching performance, lifetime community involvement, school involvement and philosophy of coaching. The NFHS says it relies on the NMAA to recognize those who are leading in their sport, shaping their athletes, and contributing in a positive way in their community.
This season, the LLHS Boys Cross Country Team won district and the LLHS Girls Cross Country Team placed third.
In 2020, Coach Padilla was inducted into the New Mexico Track & Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame (pictured).
Delays, Closures, & Early Dismissals
LLS Inclement Weather Delay, Closure, and Early Dismissal Information
LLS administration, security, and transportation keep diligent watch for potential weather that may impact the normal operation of our schools. Our first commitment is to ensure the safety of students and staff. LLS communicates with LLPD and other local agencies to determine if road conditions are safe for buses loaded with children and employees traveling to their work site.
How and when will families and employees be notified?
When the determination to delay, cancel in-person school and have a remote learning day, or dismiss school early is made, families and employees will receive notification on the Remind app and the district website will reflect the change. Local news outlets will provide updates as well. Please know that phone calls will not be made, notification will be through Remind and the district website only.
Notification of a 2-hour delay will be made by 6:00am or earlier if possible.
Notification of a cancellation and remote learning day will be made as early as possible.
Any early dismissal will be made as early as possible.
In the event of a 2-hour delay, buses will pick up students 2 hours later than the normal pickup time. Parents may drop students off at school 2 hours later than the normal time. Please do not drop off students earlier than 2 hours later than the normal time.
Employees are expected to report to their worksite as soon as conditions are safe to do.
Cancellation/ Remote Learning Day
There are no inclement weather days built into the 2023-24 calendar, therefore, any inclement weather cancellations will require remote learning. If school is canceled for the day, students will participate in a remote learning day at home from their school-issued device.
Students will log into their Canvas to begin the remote learning day 2 hours later than the normal school start time. Students will have Zoom classes live with their teacher/s and will have independent work they are expected to upload.
Breakfast will be available at school site prior to the start of the remote learning day. Grab ‘n go lunches will be available for pickup from each campus from 11:30-12:30. Meals can be picked up from any school site, not just the site the student is enrolled in. School schedules for Remote Learning Days accommodate an hour lunch to allow time for meal pick-up.
Athletics and Activities
Watch the district website for updates on the status of athletics and activities.
If severe weather conditions develop during the school day, students may be dismissed early. In the event that students are dismissed early, parents will be notified through Remind and the district website.
Lacy Rivera receives prestigious award
The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas, an international educational non-profit, has awarded its prestigious Fellowship to Lacy Rivera, a 6th Grade teacher at Sundance Elementary School.
The LMC Fellowship is a merit-based award for educators of all disciplines who value the importance of teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning. The Center selects exemplary teachers from the United States and around the world who will collaborate on projects that discover, develop, and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes in history.
Mrs. Rivera was the 2019 New Mexico Milken Educator. Her previous experience included teaching high school English and serving as a Professional Learning Coach. The relationships she built with so many teachers and students helped strengthened her collaborative skills with colleagues, as well as her own teaching skills when she made the transition back to the classroom at Sundance Elementary.
Working with curriculum is one of Mrs. Rivera's strengths, enabling her to engage in very critical ideas of learning, while encouraging students to look at society and define their roles within it. With her guidance, students learn to analyze critically and express themselves powerfully. She will be moving to 4th grade this fall, hoping to reinforce her belief that elementary students can be empowered through stories, especially stories of the past, which embolden them to take action today and envision a brighter future for tomorrow.
LMC Executive Director Norm Conard says, “We look forward to working with Lacy during the 2023 LMC Fellowship. Her experience as both a classroom educator and a Professional Learning Coach will bring an important skill set to our team. We are thrilled that she will be joining us this year.”
While in Fort Scott in June, LMC Fellows gained knowledge, educational resources and support in helping students cultivate a passion for learning through the creation of projects that initiate positive change. Fellows were equipped to develop Unsung Heroes projects with their students, applying and evaluating the stories of these role models who have changed the world throughout history.