Welcome Back Message August 2019

Dear Santa Fe Community,

Welcome Back to School! The Santa Fe Public Schools is excited to provide a culture of excellence for all students in 2019-20! 


Our Board of Education places expectations for high student performance at the forefront of all we do, our educators are committed to excellence as well as culturally relevant teaching that promotes equity and diversity and our administrators provide a solid framework so that students’ highest aspirations are realized.


I encourage students, parents and our broader community to seize the opportunities awaiting them this year, guided by the Board’s vision that unity is strength, learning is everything and dreams are unlimited!


Education in New Mexico and Santa Fe is on the move!  As one of six plaintiff districts in the Yazzie/Martinez lawsuit, the District was a fierce advocate for ensuring public school students a sufficient education, and we prevailed!  The deadline was April 15, 2019 for the state to provide the resources necessary for at-risk students to receive the opportunity for a uniform and sufficient education that prepares them for college and careers. 


The state responded by making teacher pay competitive and improving funding for critical supports like increased educational time, extending learning, community schools and indigenous education initiatives.   There is more to do, particularly in the areas of multicultural education, making educator pay more competitive and special education, but we are on the road to resolving the sufficiency issue.


The Board of Education, through its stalwart leadership, has gone beyond this response, assuring that every school in the District has a full-time health professional and, as it has done in the past, absorbing the cost of premium increases so they are not passed on to employees, which is a tremendous benefit.


Continuing this year is our investment in Team Santa Fe, which holds the promise for improved student outcomes by providing our principals with intensive coordinated support to allow them time to excel as instructional leaders. 


We are very pleased to showcase the new Milagro Middle School, located at 1720 Llano Street, to the community.  Across the spectrum--from technology to building sustainability--Milagro is a place where students can excel.   Our deepest thanks go to Santa Fe’s voters for entrusting us with the funding to fully construct such a comprehensive and dynamic campus.


New spaces await other students as well, all made possible by the community’s generosity:


  • Those returning to Aspen Community School will experience a renovated cafeteria and library, with completion of a new art room on the horizon for students to express their creativity.
  • Capital High School students will delve into science experiments in shiny new science labs and explore the world of movement in a new dance studio.
  • Students at Santa Fe High School will receive needed care at the new Teen Health Center facility and undertake the lifelong sport of tennis on new courts.  


In 2018 we celebrated a 4.1% increase in the District’s graduation rate, bringing it to 73%.  We are so proud of our students, teachers, principals and administrators for this accomplishment!  The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan is positioning us for further celebrations as academic proficiency increases, students continue to graduate on time prepared for college and careers and we persist in building students’ resilience and readiness for the future.


At this writing, we do not have our test scores, but we fully anticipate positive results and know that there will remain much work to do ahead. 


The strategic plan is transformative and ready for your review at www.sfps.info under “Board of Education.”  Strategies respond to the District’s workforce needs, seek to develop a culture of shared responsibility for student success by engaging families and communities, promote a safe and respectful school community, continue efficient and effective systems of operations and make certain that all graduates possess the attributes needed to succeed.


Our commitment, this year and always, is to fulfill our mission “to ensure every student a safe, high-quality and engaging education which values diversity, equity and social justice and fully maximizes District and community resources.”


We start the school year knowing that something remarkable will happen each and every day in our schools and classrooms!  




Dr. Veronica C. Garcia, Ed.D

Superintendent of Schools

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