Nine schools throughout NM to take part in 2-year program

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FARMINGTON — Three local schools will participate in a two-year program put on by the state for teacher professional development.

Park Avenue Elementary School and CV Koogler Middle School in Aztec and Farmington High School are three of nine schools chosen to participate in the Public Education Department’s Teachers Pursuing Excellence program.

The schools’ staff members are part of the third cohort of New Mexico educators to participate in the TPE program, which is a two-year program to improve student and teacher performance, according to a PED press release.

The program has produced double-digit gains in math and English proficiency, according to the press release. Schools that participated in the first four years of the program increased proficiency rates by 10.3 percent in English-language arts and by 10.6 percent in math.

Phil Valdez, deputy superintendent for Farmington Municipal School District, said Farmington High School will be the third school in the Farmington district to participate. Animas Elementary School and Heights Middle School finished the two-year program last year.

“For us having a high school in (this program) is giving us as a district the opportunity to strengthen our practices as a whole,” Valdez said. “We’ve had elementary, we’ve had middle school and now we get to work with the public (education) department at a high school level, so from a district standpoint, I see it as a great benefit for all of us, both the school and the district as a whole.”

Nearly 300 teachers are participating from six districts throughout the state in the current TPE program, which is 119 more teachers than previous years, according to a press release.

Teachers from schools in Alamogordo, Deming, Gallup and Pecos are also participating in the 2017-19 TPE program, and teachers from Alamagordo, Belen, Hatch, Las Cruces and Peñasco have participated in years past.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621.

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