DCES Panther News

January 20, 2020

Dear Panther Families,

Happy New Year!

I hope that your 2020 has started on the right foot! We are hitting the ground running here at DC with many new projects underway. This newsletter is jam-packed with important information. Please keep reading.

Calendar Options and Voting

Last week, APS shared the process for schools and communities to vote on the calendar for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Please join us for an informative community meeting on Wednesday, January 22nd, at La Cueva HS PAC at 6:00 pm. We will have a presentation sharing the 3 calendars, explain a bit more about why an extended year is an option, and then families will get to vote.

For more information, click here: https://www.aps.edu/news/calendars/envision-the-possibilities-then-vote-for-your-school-calendar

You can also vote in the school office beginning from Thursday, January 23 through January 29th between 8:00 am-2:30 pm. You do not have to go to the community meeting to vote.

There is only one vote allowed per family with no exceptions.

Should you have any questions, please email chavez_jess@aps.edu.

Security Upgrade

Our security upgrade is almost complete! Some new cameras have been installed and they are working on our key-card access to doors.

At the main entrance door at the front of the school, we will have an Access-Phone, or A-Phone installed. The A-Phone will have video and audio features to communicate with the front office.

Please note that the front door will be unlocked daily from 7:30-8:05 am. If you are entering our school outside of those times, you will be asked to use the A-Phone at the front entrance and check in to the office.

Our school safety team will continue to meet if new problems or issues arise. Please direct any issues to me. We appreciate your patience as we learn this new technology.

Have a wonderful month!


Jessica Chavez


Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: dcespanthers.

The Volunteer Process has Changed!!

During the 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session, the language around background checks was changed. Most notably HB 431 defined volunteers, contractors, or adults on a school campus that have “Unsupervised Access” to students.

Here is a link to the legislation: HB 431

Consequently, there are now 2 tiers of APS Volunteers, with corresponding Background Checks:

1) “Supervised Access to Students”: "Supervised Access" allows regular volunteering in the classroom and at school events. However, the Supervised Volunteer must not be left alone with students, including on field trips.

Volunteers with this background check must remain within the line-of-sight of the Teacher or School Staff on field trips.

The fee for the “Supervised Access” Volunteer Background Check remains $12.00. Your current background check is still good until it expires.

2) “Unsupervised Access to Students”. "Unsupervised Access" requires a full FBI fingerprint clearance. This allows the Unsupervised Volunteer the clearance necessary to work an After School Club, tutoring outside of the classroom, and supervise or a small group of students for field trips, without requiring the Teacher or School Staff to supervise the Volunteer.

The fee for the ‘Unsupervised Access” Volunteer Background Check is $44.00.

Please email chavez_jess@aps.edu for more information and the signed form.

APS has developed a flow-chart (below) that is designed to clarify these new APS Volunteer Policies and Procedures.

In the meantime, and in anticipation of upcoming Field Trips, please consider working thru the steps necessary to secure the “Unsupervised Access to Students” Volunteer status.

The Front Office, as well as Classroom Teachers, has the necessary form, w/ instructions, to begin the process.

I recognize the inconvenience of this, however please understand it is now a requirement from the State Legislature. Thank you for appreciating the effort on the part of APS to strike the appropriate balance of valuing community engagement, the safety of children, and the change in Law.

Your understanding and patience is appreciated.

If you are interested in this type of background check, please email Principal Chavez: chavez_jess@aps.edu.

When more information is released from APS, I will share that with you.

Please click here for more information or to renew your background check!

Background checks only last for 2 years. If you have a current background check, you will not need to renew early.

When you receive the email confirming you have passed the background check, please forward the confirmation email to our Secretary, Miranda at miranda.saiz@aps.edu.

Important Dates

1/20- Martin Luther King Jr. Day- No School

1/22- Community Calendar Voting Meeting, 6:00 pm, La Cueva HS PAC

1/21- Midterm Progress Reports sent home

1/25- School Musical- Disney's Aladdin Kids, 3:00 & 4:30, Albuquerque Acadamy PAC- FREE

1/27- Madison Middle School 5th Grade Registration Meeting for students

1/29- PTA Board Mtg, 8:00 am

1/30- Geography Bee for 3rd, 4th, 5th grades, 8:30 am, room 7&8

2/3- School Counselor Appreciation Day

2/10-2/14- Book Fair

2/13- Penguin Party: Book Fair & One School, One Book Family Night, 5:30 pm- 7:00 pm

2/17- Presidents' Day- No School

2/21- End of 2nd Trimester

2/25- Class Picture Day

Kids Heart Challenge

Kids Heart Challenge is kicking off and we don’t want you to miss out! Ask your friends and family to help you take the Kids Heart Challenge. Learn more about Kids Heart Challenge and sign up today at www.heart.org/KidsHeartChallenge!

LCHS 8th Grade Rally Night- Open House for class of 2024

LCHS Annual Kids Dance Camp