Rural Education Town Hall: Every Day Matters

Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. on Ch. 5.1
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One of the most important predictors of student success is consistent attendance.

This special rural education town hall takes a close look how to help keep kids stay in school and what keeps them coming back. Parents, students, educators and community stakeholders from rural Central New Mexico gathered in the NMPBS/KNME studio for a candid, solution oriented conversation about attendance and student success. Panelists and members of the audience discussed how to prevent chronic absence. One solution that came up over and over is the importance of a supportive relationship with an adult, whether it is a teacher, a parent or a friend.

Moderator Sarah Gustavus of NM PBS/KNME was joined by three veteran educators: Tony Monfiletto – The Director of The New Mexico Center for School Leadership, Richard Luarkie – former Governor of Laguna Pueblo and a longtime education leader in his tribe, and Audie Brown – Superintendent of The Estancia School District.

This town hall is a key part of a larger community initiative to create awareness around the important issue of attendance. A great deal of planning and research went into preparing for this town hall and other events such as the Mission Graduate Attendance Summit and the Attendance Awareness project. New Mexico PBS/KNME partnered with New Mexico Learning Alliance and LittleGlobe in holding community conversations and media workshops at Bernalillo High School, Estancia High School, Los Lunas High School and The School of Dreams Academy In Los Lunas. They collected student’s thoughts about the challenges they face and what keeps them engaged in school. Their personal videotaped stories helped frame later conversations in the community and in the TV town hall.

Watch this month’s PUBLIC SQUARE “Rural Education Town Hall: Every Day Matters” on Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 pm on Channel 5.1, hosted by Sarah Gustavus.

Funding for the production of this Public Square program is provided by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation working to improve the lives of vulnerable children. This program is the result of a partnership with Mission: Graduate and funded locally by the United Way of Central New Mexico. And, this program is part of American Graduate, let’s make it happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“Kids don’t care how much you know. They care how much you care. You need to care. You need to feel connection.”
Byron Taylor, Estancia High School Teacher

“Some of the disengagement between staff and students is the fact that we have so much testing that is taking place in our classrooms.”
Audie Brown, Superintendent, Estancia Municipal School District

“One of the problems is we think of school as preparation for life instead of thinking about school is life.”
Tony Monfiletto, Director, New Mexico Center for School Leadership

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