Sunday, July 05, 2009

Catherine Cross Maple: Resume and Review


For The Position Of: Kentucky Commissioner of Education

70 Shady Oak Circle Tijeras, NM 87059

Catherine Cross Maple, Ph.D.
CATHERINE CROSS MAPLE, PH.D. 70 Shady Oak Circle; Tijeras, NM 87059


Educational Leadership and Innovation:
! Streamlined and implemented major organizational redesigns focused on student learning.
! Designed, led and implemented systems for high standards, rigorous assessments, and transparent accountability reporting. (Slide 1) (Slides not included here)
! Identified strategies to close achievement gaps and accelerate learning outcomes. (Slides 2,3)
! Conceptualized and produced state agency performance contract for reporting to the Executive.
! Convened school-business-community strategy planning groups, including PreK - 20 alignment, redesign of the high school education system, School Health / Mental Health Planning.
! Implemented continuous quality improvement for improved agency functioning and responsiveness to key stakeholders. ! Produced results through innovative service delivery models, including truancy intervention programs; and dropout prevention, retention and re-engagement. ! Developed professional learning communities within the Department of Education and at the school district level, including a similar focus for national Boards.

Supervision and Fiscal Oversight:
! Supervised and provided leadership for diverse staff at all levels (state, region, district, school).
! Implemented goals, policies and maintained communication processes with legislators, boards, superintendents, and cognizant governmental entities. ! Administered significant contracted services and grant programs.
! Organized computerization of fiscal management and reporting processes.
! Collaborated with the Executive, educational partners (e.g., superintendents, board members, unions, special interest groups) and legislators to focus on new public school funding formula.

Strategic Planning/Collaboration:

! Led development and implementation of visionary and strategic planning; produced the first strategic plan for the New Mexico public education system.
! Developed and implemented Strategic Plans, Frameworks and Actions.
! Led design of action plan development and implementation aligned with organizational goals and objectives, regulatory and legal obligations.
! Organized, identified and analyzed targeted needs including facility, technology, content standards, assessments - then set organizational direction for implementation.
! Initiated and supervised data base systems; implemented continuous improvement strategies for state data warehouse applications (NM now among top states).
! Collaborated with business, Children’s Cabinet, and state’s workforce agency to implement career pathways within the high school education system. (Slide 4)

! Led processes for proposed legislation, lobbied and testified at state and federal legislative hearings; served as department and district spokesperson for high interest topics.
! Keynoted, presented and trained at numerous conferences, meetings, workshops, and events.
! Produced major documents, articles, materials, and promotional materials. ! Established and maintained networking with national, state and community groups.
! Produced and hosted regularly scheduled community affairs television show, with guest appearances on other media programs.


3/04 - current New Mexico Public Education Department (2004 newly formed state agency responsible for preK-12 public education)

Deputy Cabinet Secretary (responsible for Learning and Accountability functions of the Public Education Department, Vocational Rehabilitation, and support of the State’s Public Education system)

! Oversees daily operations of seven major Divisions and over 500 staff members (Accountability and Assessment, Indian Education, Instructional Support and Career Education, Educator Quality, Charter Schools, Rural Education, and Vocational Rehabilitation).
! Responsible for ensuring implementation of the agency’s strategic direction, including performance reporting, development of key strategies for closing the achievement gap and accelerating performance, and educational reform.
! Maintains the public education system focus on high standards, accountability and assessment, including alignment of state adopted instructional materials to standards.
! Designed and led development of the first strategic plan for the State’s Public Education System; aligned the PED strategic plan to support the State’s direction which focuses on the student and the classroom; and established performance monitoring.
! Acts on the Executive’s and Secretary’s behalf, representing the PED at meetings, legislative sessions, with schools, districts and community groups, and at local and national networks / Boards.
! Establishes agency practices to align with policies and to ensure effective customer satisfaction; advises Secretary regarding agency policies and practices.
! Ensures accuracy and timeliness of data, responses, and project performance for major agency initiatives, including vetting of all external major surveys.
! Represents Public Education on the State’s Behavioral Health Purchasing Collaborative, Children’s Cabinet, and weekly Health and Human Service Secretary meetings.

Assistant Secretary, New Mexico Vocational Rehabilitation: (a division of the New Mexico Public Education Department, serving over 11,000 New Mexicans with disabilities in 27 offices throughout the state)

! Established strategic direction and actions for agency services and continuous improvement of performance.
! Posted the highest recorded levels of outcomes for both Rehabilitation and the Disability Determination Services, resulting in increased funding.
! Instituted professional development and team building for all staff.
! Re-engaged key constituents and stakeholders in the agency mission and purpose; improved customer satisfaction and feedback.
! Produced the agency Communications Plan, revamped the Annual Report and Legislative Plan.

11/94-3/04 Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico

Strategic Planning Officer (member of the Superintendent’s Administrative Team and Cabinet, a senior level position working with the Board and its committees, and Superintendents to set direction for the district of 87,000 students)

! Facilitated Board and Superintendent strategic planning, including goal setting and defining key strategies for the district’s work and improvement of instruction.
! Designed and implemented the first District system for public reporting about results and progress towards goals.
! Developed an annual Master Calendar process of district business aligned with the strategic direction and intended results, culminating with Board reporting, and setting the legislative and policy agenda.
! Integrated continuous improvement (Baldrige) into district systems.
! Provided oversight of the District’s implementation of the No Child Left Behind legislation and State Educational Reform legislation.
! Oversaw the district responsibilities for charter schools.
! Led the community partnership on Truancy and Excessive Absences initiative.
! Acted on behalf of the Superintendent and as Fiscal Control Agent.

Director of Organizational Planning and Development (led the District’s strategic instructional planning, deployment and organizational development)

! Produced the District’s first Strategic Instructional Master Plan framework and processes, centered on teachers and students.
! Facilitated and designed the Superintendent’s Contract Action Plan for the Board of Education.
! Conceptualized how to align the district budget with its strategic direction, resulting in significant changes of resource allocation.
! Developed a framework of knowledge and skills necessary for employees in a high performing organization.

Director of Student Support Services (led and supervised the District's programs that support the instructional process, including nursing, social workers, counseling, disciplinary hearings, truancy, GED and home schooling).

! Designed and implemented strategic framework for the Department and a restructuring plan that addressed student dropouts and increased school attendance.
! Incorporated health and mental health assessment into the District's Educational Plan for Student Success (literacy plan).
! Created the District processes for implementing the NM Open Enrollment Act, affecting over 10,000 annual enrollment requests.
! Started the redirection of funds to schools and clusters for local decision making about services.
! Developed and trained schools in the new Comprehensive Counseling standards (uses web-based accountability reporting); and District’s Crisis Response Team.
! Aligned Departmental goals and resources with District goals, specifically in improving student assets and reducing barriers to learning.
! Provided resource development to students and families in the areas of home schooling, GED permission, and foreign exchange students.
! Convened interagency planning with agencies like the Department of Health (Medicaid and Managed Care), Job Corp (alternative program), and other community partners.
! Refined District Disciplinary Hearing Office and Court Liaison Office to promote community coordination of resources and services to address truancy and suspension alternatives.
! Revised implementation of the City of Albuquerque / APS Truancy Plan; convened APS/Community Partnership for Addressing Truancy.

Region Assistant (provided instructional leadership to schools through technical assistance about curriculum, language needs and special programs, conflict management, and communications in a cluster of almost 25,000 students).

! Established planning for the Albuquerque City Center Schools Human Service Collaborative.
! Researched and produced recommendations, and facilitate program implementation addressing the district’s dropout initiatives and high school reform and transformation.
! Facilitated the development and implementation of Unified Education System strategies and philosophy within the public schools.
! Led team for continuous improvement project, including extended training in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey.
! Guided development of the Comprehensive High School Programs for Dropout Prevention, Intervention and Re-engagement.
! Developed Professional Development Process for implementation of Effective School Correlates.
! Designed format to lead South Region School principals' planning for curricular based transition and expectations among elementary, mid and high school levels.
! Guided project and proposals for the City Center Schools.

Evaluation Specialist. (Evaluated and placed students in need of services. Collaborated with school and area staffs about service delivery models.)

! Facilitated and produced initial planning for a Human Services Collaborative in the East Mountain Area.
! Advocated and procured related services to meet student needs.

4/94- present Private Consultant and Project Planner. (currently volunteers services)

! Designs and facilitates visionary and strategic planning.
! Writes and produces customer documents and plans.

4/90 - 4/94 CEO and Executive Director, YWCA of Albuquerque (managed and lead a nonprofit corporation of $4.2 million, serving over 4,000 women/ children monthly).

! Led growth to over 233% during tenure.
! Developed training and resources for community projects.
! Provided statewide leadership for programs and initiatives related to human service, child and health needs, and at-risk youth.
! Designed and implemented visionary and strategic planning.
! Wrote and acquired grants and contracts.
! Advanced services for special and multi cultural populations.
! Produced over four years of exemplary fiscal operations.
! Conducted and provided leadership for numerous community special events and conferences.

Job Responsibilities. Chief Executive Officer: supervised, hired and evaluated personnel; administered and managed all personnel matters and procedures; provided fiscal and budgetary management; acted as community liaison; conducted appropriate lobbying efforts; provided long range planning and visioning for the organization; developed / supervised programs; supported/maintained communications with Board of Directors.

8/82 - 3/90 Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico:

Director of Categorical Programs (regulatory, fiscal and program supervision of all District grants and contracts from federal, state, foundation and local sources [e.g., Safe and Drug Free Schools, Title 1, Bilingual).

! Initiated the first comprehensive plan for student data collection.
! Developed and implemented first computerized bookkeeping system.
! Facilitated professional development for both staff and personnel
involved with grants and contracts.
! Managed communications with the Board and other departments regarding fiscal status of programs.
! Supervised Title 1, Indian Education, and other categorical programs.

District Compliance Officer (supervised, evaluated and analyzed the implementation of federal and state rules, regulations and policies regarding Catherine Cross Maple, Ph.D. Page 8
individuals with disabilities for 87,000 student school district; developed service delivery models, evaluation and placement processes).

! Designed and developed initial systems, programs and training for implementing the new special education regulations.
! Developed implementation processes for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act grant, including setting up fiscal records.
! Developed student support services for special education students.
! Initiated communication and collaborated with state agencies regarding residential treatments and placements.
! Participated in the initial design and implementation of preschool handicapped intervention programs with state and local agencies.
! Presented District's position in State Department of Education hearings regarding regulations.

School Administrator (managed and directed inclusive educational program for severely handicapped children; provided curricular and instructional leadership).

! Supervised 40 staff in implementing of instruction.
! Planned and coordinated first district-wide in-service among programs serving severely handicapped children.

8/79 - 7/82 Director of Southwest Kansas Area Service Center (a professional development consortium with Fort Hays State University, the State Department, the local Technical School and 36 rural school districts).

! Developed curriculum and programs for teachers.
! Implemented staff recruitment/retention project.
! Conducted and managed training for districts.
! Taught postsecondary course work.
! Instituted first district level funding for professional development.

8/76 - 7/79 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque:

Coordinator of Project Outreach (an educational professional development program with a rural delivery emphasis for New Mexico).
! Developed and implemented state-wide administrator training regarding leadership and supervision of special education.
! Planned and coordinated first International Teacher Education Division Conference (for post-secondary educators).
! Conducted the first Albuquerque area training for health and human service providers regarding child abuse and neglect.
! Taught undergraduate course work.

6/73 - 7/76 Washoe County Schools / University of Nevada, Reno:
! Various teaching positions.

Ph.D. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. 1979
M.Ed. University of Nevada, Reno. 1974
B.S. Montana State University, Billings. 1973
Magna Cum Laude

! Educational Administration
! Educational Diagnostician
! Professional Teaching License (K-12)
! Group Facilitator ! Mediator
! Continuous Improvement and Quality Management
! Critical Incident / Crisis Management
! Strategic and Quality Planning
! Quality New Mexico Examiner and Team Lead

! Strategic Leadership and Visionary Planning
! Staff Training and Professional Development
! Integrating Cultural Diversity Catherine Cross Maple, Ph.D. Page 10
! Quality Management Techniques and Teamwork
! Marketing and Development
! Mediation and Conflict Management; Hearing Officer
! Group Facilitation
! Applied use of personal computers and technology
! Senior Examiner for Quality New Mexico
! Alternative Language Services


● New Mexico Delegation for International Educational Benchmarking trip to Singapore.
● Executive Leadership Program in Education, Darden School of Business,
University of Virginia.
Distinguished Alumni in Administration and Leadership, University of New Mexico, College of Education 75th Anniversary.
Outstanding Alumni for Special Contribution, Montana State University, 2003
Who's Who of American Women, 1998. 1999, 2000.
Who's Who Registry of Global Business Leaders, 1993.
Who's Who in American Management, 1993.
Who's Who in American Women, Special 135th Anniversary Edition, YWCA of the USA.
USWest Selection Committees (5 years) for Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
Phi Delta Kappa, University of New Mexico Chapter, Excellence in Education Award.
Academy for Educational Leadership, Distinguished Leadership Awards, 1993, 1994.
New Mexico Association for Compensatory Educators: Special Recognition Award, 1994.
Greater Albuquerque Area Chamber of Commerce, 1993 Superior Service Award; 1994, 1992 Special Recognition Certificate.
United Way, Campaign Division Chair, Account Executive and Loaned Executive.

(current and past)

● Council of Chief State School Officers: Deputies Commission, Research Institutes for Mathematics and Brain Research
● Southwest States Comprehensive Center Board of Directors and State Liaison
● SEDL Board of Directors and Treasurer
● Career and College Readiness Policy Institute (one of 8 states) - State Chairperson
● Achieve Institute – State Co-Chair – completed alignment
● Baldrige in Education Initiative, National and State Leadership Team and Co-Chair
● American Society for Quality; National Conference in Education Planning Team
● Albuquerque Business Education Compact: Quality Committee
● East Mountain Citizens group for land use planning; Town Hall invited participant
● Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce: Chairperson for Visionary Planning
● National Association for Bilingual Education
● Rio Grande Diversity Roundtable (a professional community group dedicated to integrating diversity into the workplace)
● Project Change: UNM Anderson School of Business Community Leaders Project
● Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute, Business Education Advisory Committee
● American Society of Association Executives
● YWCA of Albuquerque and the USA
● New Mexico School Administrators Association
● National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators
● International Council for Exceptional Children: president, treasurer of state and local
chapters; Political Action Network Coordinator
● Academy for Educational Leadership: positions held - past president, Secretary/Treasurer, Business Connection Committee
● Very Special Arts New Mexico: past president, vice president, Board of Directors, Finance Committee, Chairperson of Development Committee
● United Way Agency Executives
● Founder and Former President (ten years) of rural Neighborhood Association
● Lector and communicant for parish

The following are representative workshops and presentations:

● Keynote Speaker. Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for New Mexico, Spring Budget Workshop, April 2009
● Panelist. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices: Keeping Skilled Workers Flowing in the STEM Pipeline, Albuquerque, NM.
● Keynote Speaker. •White Sands Missile Range College Commencement Ceremony, White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; •New Mexico Disability Exchange, Albuquerque; •Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council Educational Talent Search (250 Native American, Hispanic high schools students), Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, NM. Catherine Cross Maple, Ph.D. Page 12
● Invited Speaker. State of Education in New Mexico. •Albuquerque Business Education Compact; • Leadership New Mexico - Albuquerque, Los Alamos, State Leadership Reunion, Santa Fe; •New Mexico Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development; •New Mexico Coalition of School Administrators; •NM School Boards Association;
•National Association of Latino Elected / Appointed Officials.
● Invited Workshops. Child Abuse & Neglect Symposium: Socialization-Parent Education Model, Health and Social Services Department, New Mexico.
● Conflict Management. Keynote Central NM Community College, Women on the Move Conferences, United Way Volunteers, Principal Training.
● Addressing Truancy and Excessive Absenteeism. Community, state, federal groups.
● Aligning Resources with Strategic Priorities. National Quality Conference, also accepted by Council of Great City Schools.
● Visionary and Strategic Planning. National Quality Conference, NM School
Administrators; Albuquerque City Center Schools Principals Retreat; Sierra Vista Elementary School; Zia Family Focus Center; Administrator Conference on Education, Angel Fire, New Mexico; Taylor Middle School-Charter School Planning; West Side Planning Division of the Greater Albuquerque Area Chamber of Commerce.
● Invited Facilitator. Governor's Summits on Educational Goals - State and Regional.
● Extensive Workshops. Discipline in the Schools: The Community Parents and School Working Together; Silver City Public Schools, Gallup-McKinley Public Schools, NM.
● Invited Presentation. Chief State School Officers, Unified Education and Special Populations; Lexington, Kentucky.
● Keynote Speaker and Presenter. Developing Leadership in Your Career: Duke City Women's Professional Association; TVI Women in Management; Women on the Move Conferences; Home Based Business Conference.
● Extensive Workshop. Extended School Year Program Planning, National Institute on Legal Problems of Educating the Handicapped, Charleston, South Carolina.
● Workshops. Aligned Assessments of Art Programs, Roswell NM; Artists Training: People with Disabilities; Very Special Arts New Mexico.
● Extensive Workshops. Administration and Development of Special Programs and Services, Shiprock Public Schools (a Native American serving district), New Mexico.
● Invited Project Presentations. Regional Meeting, Division of Personnel Preparation of the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped; San Francisco, California; Problems and Solutions Unique to the State Education Agencies in the Field of Learning Disabilities; Des Moines, Iowa. Catherine Cross Maple, Ph.D. Page 13

Accompanying Slides to Resume (not shown)
Slide 1: Quality Counts 2007
Slide 2: New Mexico Standards Based Assessment 2008 Catherine Cross Maple, Ph.D. Page 14
Slide 3: New Mexico Standards Based Assessment 2008
Slide 4: Redesign of the New Mexico High School System

Catherine Cross Maple
Selected from 118 articles reviewed
Reverse chronological order

Education feature: District has plan for improving Clovis schools
Clovis News Journal (NM) - Thursday, July 2, 2009
Author: Liliana Castillo, Clovis News Journal, N.M.

Jul. 2--Clovis High School is under the gun to get Adequate Yearly Progress exam scores up and Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm said the district has a plan.…Clovis High School is not in a unique position. Some 68 percent of all schools in the state didn't meet AYP goals last year. Deputy Education Secretary Catherine Cross Maple said the bar for AYP exams goes up each year. "There are 37 different ways that schools can not make AYP," she said. "No Child Left Behind requires all of us to concentrate and be transparent on our accountability." Cross Maple said the state education department makes sure to get involved when a school fails to make AYP and is forced into restructuring. "We become very prescriptive about how the school should be using it's resources," she said. Cross Maple said the state requires certain kinds of curriculum and proven practices must be used.
CCSD pushes for accountability
Daily Times, The (Farmington, NM) - Saturday, June 13, 2009
Author: — By Alysa Landry — The Daily Times

SHIPROCK — The Central Consolidated School District's governing board is calling for more accountability among principals, teachers and parents…Students within two years will be required to pass a more difficult competency exam, said Catherine Cross Maple , deputy education secretary with the state Public Education Department. A new standards-based assessment will replace the competency exam starting with students entering ninth grade this fall. The test will be administered to students during the junior year. Students who fail portions of it will get a second chance during the senior year. The current exam is given as many as five times, beginning in the first semester of eleventh grade. The new test also is more difficult, Maple said. The current exam is benchmarked at the eighth-grade level, while the new test is benchmarked at the eleventh-grade level. "We have a revised high school assessment system," Maple said. "The revisions in that system eliminated the competency exam and replaced it with a standards-based assessment that is rated highly across the nation."
Study: N.M. 'No Child' Standards Too Tough
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Friday, February 27, 2009
Author: Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer
Schools deemed as failing in New Mexico may actually be meeting standards set by other states, according to a recent national study.The report by Fordham Institute, a nonprofit advocacy group, and the Kingsbury Center at Northwest Evaluation, an Oregon-based research group, puts New Mexico in the middle when comparing the different Adequate Yearly Progress requirements of 28 states… But "doesn't the massive failure of these students … to meet New Mexico's targets indicate that a new approach is needed for holding schools accountable for the performance of these students?" Catherine Cross-Maple , state deputy education secretary, said increasing the minimum sizes for population groups would mean that smaller, often rural, schools could not be adequately studied. The New Mexico system, she said, was set up with the federal government and has received accolades from the Fordham Institute for its standards.
Akron Beacon Journal (OH) - Friday, October 17, 2008

Deborah Delisle said all the right things this week after the State Board of Education announced her appointment as Ohio's next superintendent of public instruction. The superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district, one of two finalists, will assume her new post before Dec. 1.
…Interesting is that the other finalist, Catherine Cross Maple , is a deputy in the New Mexico Department of Education, where much fresh thinking has been in play. Ohio needs more than a new state superintendent. It could use a whole new structure for delivering a high-quality education, with clear lines of authority, crafted in tandem with a plan to revise a broken school-funding system.
Cleveland official gets top schools job
Columbus Dispatch, The (OH) - Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Author: Catherine Candisky ; THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
…She edged out finalist Catherine Cross Maple , deputy secretary of learning and accountability for the New Mexico Department of Education. Delisle and Maple emerged as finalists after the board interviewed five of the nearly 40 applicants for the job.
Clovis schools struggle to meet AYP
Clovis News Journal (NM) - Saturday, August 2, 2008
Author: Gabriel Monte, Clovis News Journal, N.M.

Aug. 2--Eastern New Mexico schools are facing an uphill battle trying to meet the state's adequate yearly progress.…In the past, the state has said it would take over a school district if it fails to make AYP consecutively for five years. But Seidenwurm said the number of schools entering that threshold would overwhelm the state's resources. Instead, the state will work with school districts at a regional level, according to Catherine Cross Maple , Public Education Department deputy secretary. "We're trying to take a focus of working more in partnership with districts through a regional structure so that we can get the resources to schools that need to make the improvements," she said. Another change this year is removing ninth-graders from testing, according to Cross Maple. She said ninth- and 10th-graders will take a series of diagnostic tests before taking the standards based assessment test in the 11th grade. "That means teachers will be able adjust and tailor their instruction to meet the needs of students in their classroom," she said.
LCPS Administrators Attend Education Conference July 31-August 1
Las Cruces Sun-News (NM) - Thursday, July 31, 2008
Author: LCPS

Ninety-three LCPS administrators will attend the Southeastern New Mexico Educational Resource Center (SNMERC) Back-to-School Conference on Thursday and Friday, July 31-August 1, 2008 at the Ruidoso Convention Center in Ruidoso, N.M. SNMERC is a coalition of 10 southeastern New Mexico school districts. Administrators from SNMERC school districts, in addition to those from Las Cruces Public Schools and Silver Consolidated Schools, will attend the two-day conference.…Also presenting are: • Dr. Catherine Cross-Maple , deputy secretary of the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) for Learning and Accountability
Santa Fe New Mexican, The (NM) - Sunday, June 1, 2008
SANTA FE PUBLIC SCHOOLSFive elementary schools recruiting K-3 participants Program: Runs from July 14 to Aug. 15 Catherine Cross-Maple , deputy secretary of education for the state, said 98 schools in 26 districts are participating in the K-3 Plus program next year. The state is spending about $7 million -- more than double the $3.2 million it spent last year -- to fund the program, she said.
School-based health centers offer more than family planning
Las Cruces Sun-News (NM) - Friday, February 8, 2008
Author: Ashley Meeks/Sun-News reporter

LAS CRUCES — Dealing with teenage anxiety, alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, a new neighborhood, a divorce, a traumatic breakup — school-based health centers are more than condoms.
…A video conference Thursday between LCPS administration, New Mexico Secretary of Health Alfredo Vigil and Deputy Secretary of Education Catherine Cross Maple got the ball rolling on resolution of the family-planning problem.
Education Feature: State student testing revamped
Clovis News Journal (NM) - Thursday, January 17, 2008
Author: Gabriel Monte, Clovis News Journal, N.M.
Jan. 17--The New Mexico Public Education Department is remodeling standardized tests for high school students designed to map out their academic lives after graduation.State education officials say the tests will follow the progress of individual students, instead of comparing the progress of an entire class. Clovis school officials are optimistic the new tests will cater to individual needs of students and prepare them for life after graduation. The tests will track students' high school, college and workplace readiness, according to Catherine Cross Maple , deputy secretary of Learning and Accountability for the Public Education Department. The new tests represent a "shift in thinking" on teaching at the high-school level to address the state's dropout rates and increase the number of college-bound students, Cross Maple said. Aside from the standardized tests, this shift includes increased lab requirements and one more year of math for high school students.
More Mandatory Tests Likely at State High Schools - $3 Million Sought From Legislature
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Friday, January 4, 2008
Author: Copyright © 2008 Albuquerque Journal BY ZSOMBOR PETER Journal Staff Writer

The state is about to revamp mandatory testing for high school students — and chances are, they will be taking more tests...Deputy Education Secretary Catherine Cross Maple said the Education Department is asking the Legislature for $3 million to revamp the state's high school assessment system.
Celebrate Literacy By Reading Today - Governor's proclamation praises volunteer tutors
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Saturday, September 8, 2007
Author: POLLY SUMMAR Journal Staff Writer
Catherine Cross-Maple , deputy secretary of the Public Education Department, read a proclamation from Gov. Bill Richardson, lauding the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy for training more than 21,500 volunteer tutors over the past 20 years. They've provided 1,670,000 hours of training to more than 65,000 adult students.
55 WSMR grads honored in ceremony
Las Cruces Sun-News (NM) - Sunday, May 13, 2007
Author: White Sands Missile Range

A group of 55 White Sands Missile Range service and family members, Department of Defense employees and contractors crossed the stage to receive their associates, bachelors, and masters degrees in a consolidated graduation ceremony last week.
…The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Catherine Cross Maple , New Mexico's deputy secretary for learning and accountability. A congratulatory lunch was held for the graduates and their guests following the ceremony.
Dropouts a Drag On State Economy - Report puts a price tag of $3.3 billion on New Mexicans who fail to finish high school
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Saturday, May 5, 2007
Author: GABRIELA C. GUZMAN Journal Capitol Bureau

SANTA FE — New Mexico loses close to $260,000 in wages and taxes that could have been generated over the lifetime of each high school dropout.Each year, about 12,700 New Mexicans do not graduate with their high school classes. For the state, that means a total loss of $3.3 billion in potential wages, taxes and productivity, according to a report this week by the Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit Alliance for Excellent Education. If the dropouts from the class of 2006 had graduated, New Mexico could also have saved more than $111 million in expected costs for Medicaid and caring for uninsured people over the course of the students' lives, the report found. Alliance President Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia, said the report was issued to coincide with the upcoming graduation season. "We need to remember those that are not walking across the stage," Wise said. Because many end up unemployed or in jobs that don't provide health care insurance, high school dropouts rely more heavily on the state for health care and other services, such as food stamps, than graduates. A dropout is "more of a tax consumer than a taxpayer," Wise said. Founded in 1999 by entrepreneurs Gerard and Lilo Leeds, the nonprofit's mission is to assist in improving lowperforming high schools and better preparing students for college or a career. The report calls on states to adopt a uniform system for calculating graduation and dropout rates. New Mexico reports to the federal government a graduation rate of 89 percent, but that reflects students who entered 12th grade and graduated the next spring; it doesn't count students who dropped out of ninth, 10th or 11th grades. "The bulk of (dropouts) have vanished before they get to the 12th grade," Wise said in a telephone interview. New Mexico is following federal guidelines when reporting completion of the senior year as a graduation rate, said Catherine Cross-Maple , a deputy secretary with the New Mexico Public Education Department. "It's not something we picked up out of the air," she said. The department is serious about painting an accurate picture of state dropout rates, Cross-Maple said, noting the adoption of a new system to calculate them. During the 2004-05 academic school year, New Mexico began tracking each ninth-grader's progression through high school. The first report showed that 72.5 percent of ninth-graders in 2004-05 moved on to being sophomores in 2005-06. The second report is due out later this month, according to public education officials. Cross-Maple also said New Mexico is in the midst of revamping high school education to make it more relevant to students. Lawmakers recently passed a bill increasing New Mexico graduation requirements, beginning in 2009. Students will be required to take either an online, Advanced Placement or community course to graduate. Students will also have to take more math and science. And public high schools across the state are reorganizing curriculums around "career clusters" to spark student interest in professions. "We are redesigning high school education in New Mexico," Cross-Maple said.
Year-Round School Schedule Rejected - Parents Asked For Opinions
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Saturday, April 7, 2007
Author: ANDREA SCHOELLKOPF Journal Staff Writer
South Valley parents have rejected a plan that would have brought more year-round schedules to failing schools.…The new "K-3 plus" is a sixyear pilot project that extends the school year for kindergarten through third grade by two months — or at least 25 days — for participating students. Only schools with at least 85 percent of students in poverty may apply, and schools with the Kindergarten-Plus who have had satisfactory evaluations will have first shot at the program, said Catherine Cross Maple , deputy superintendent for Learning and Accountability at the state Public Education Department. Both APS and the state are working out the applications to get the program started this summer. About 1,000 students are being served in New Mexico under the Kindergarten-Plus program, and the K-3 Plus will expand that to 7,000 students in kindergarten through third grades, Cross Maple said. The K-3 Plus program will not include all classes at a school and will be voluntary for parents. About 204 of 452 elementaries in New Mexico now meet or exceed the 85 percent poverty rate, Cross Maple said. According to Albuquerque Public Schools, 26 of the 82 APS elementaries meet that requirement.
Education briefs
Las Cruces Sun-News (NM) - Sunday, February 25, 2007
…LAS CRUCES — Students and their parents and teachers from Camino Real, Lynn, Sierra and Vista middle schools and from Las Cruces, Mayfield and Oñate high schools were among more than 300 students from across New Mexico who participated in the New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Day, Feb. 12 at the New Mexico Legislature in the Capitol Rotunda in Santa Fe, said Karen Lieberman, Southwest Region coordinator for the New Mexico MESA program. The MESA students were escorted to the floor of the state House of Representatives at 8 a.m. Feb. 12, where they were welcomed by Chief Clerk of the House Steve Arias. At 9 a.m., the students heard keynote addresses from Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and Catherine Cross Maple , deputy secretary of the state Public Education Department.
Torn Pages May Delay Testing - Printer Promises New Copies Soon
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Author: Copyright © 2007 Albuquerque Journal BY AMY MILLER Journal Staff Writer
Schools across the state got an unpleasant surprise recently when they opened boxes of the highstakes New Mexico Standards Based Assessments, which measure student achievement.Some of their third-grade test booklets couldn't be used because they had torn or missing pages. …Even so, New Mexico's Public Education Department has streamlined the process it uses to identify students on the tests, said Catherine Cross Maple , deputy secretary for instruction. Every school district was given the same checklist and detailed instructions this year to ensure they identified students the same way, she said. There is also a new verification process, and schools began identifying students several months earlier this year. "We began working on this virtually when we finished the last testing cycle," Maple said. "And every school district has a responsibility in this process."
The right step - Conferences help put career, education goals within reach
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Author: AMY MILLER Journal Staff Writer

…The once-a-year Next Step conferences are mandated by state law and begin in eighth grade…. The meetings are supposed to "make the high school education experience more relevant to career planning," said Catherine Cross Maple , deputy secretary at the state Department of Public Education. Next Step has already begun at some Albuquerque high schools, such as Eldorado, and will continue at others throughout the semester. Maple recommends that parents come to the conferences with a copy of their child's Next Step plan from the previous year. And they should talk to their children about their dreams and ambitions before the meeting. In the future, parents also could have assessments of their child's college and workplace readiness to consider, she said. Neuharth's mother, Lori Neuharth, said the conferences have helped her son stay on track and explore new experiences. He's shadowing a dentist this year to see if he's really cut out for the profession. "The idea of going to college is not an option or choice in our household," she said. "It gives me confidence to know we're all on the same page." Neuharth had been a student in one of Escobedo's geometry classes, and Escobedo said she had a good idea about his strengths and weaknesses. School officials try to pair students with teachers who know their work, "but sometimes that doesn't always work out," she said. That can be frustrating for parents and students, Maple said. But even if teachers don't know students' work personally, they can help choose courses that will guide them on the path to their future career, Maple said. "They may provide some very excellent advice based on what they know about where the student wants to go," she said. College prep timeline ~
Block scheduling is effective
Alamogordo Daily News (NM) - Saturday, January 27, 2007
Author: Alamogordo Daily News &By; Joe Jaramillo, AHS Principal

The challenge facing public schools as they try to seek ways of meeting the needs of all students is extremely complex. As schools look for answers, forward-thinking educators are thinking about providing students with experiences that are individualized, challenging and engaging.A recent presentation by Dr. Catherine Cross Maple , Deputy Cabinet Secretary at the New Mexico Public Education Department, summarized the work of several educational stakeholders in the state who have been working on the redesign of New Mexico's High Schools. As a part of her presentation, Dr. Cross Maple shared information stating the stakeholders wanted a student-focused high school system where "project-based, active learning experiences are driven by student need and interest and flexibility and choices exist, including a variable pace of completion and active student roles and responsibilities in developing, executing and evaluating their own educational plans." Eleven years ago, our district set out on a visionary journey for our high school that ironically had the same goals. One of the structures that were investigated for several years was the possibility of structuring the school day differently. Several different types of school schedules where researched. These included but were not limited to the six-period day, the seven-period day, and the four-period day. The four-period day, because of its various hybrids, is commonly known as the block schedule because of the variety of schedules it allows schools to develop. One thing became clear: change for change sake without keeping a flexible mindset and a solid planning process in place was a recipe for disaster. It was eventually decided after eight years of study, research and planning that Alamogordo High School, in order to meet the needs of its diverse student body and the growing momentum for high school restructure and redesign, would utilize the block schedule overlaid with career clusters as a guide to open more opportunities for rigor, relevance and stronger teacher/student relationships. All agreed that, as staff and administrators grew in understanding of this type of scheduling, adjustments and changes would have to be made. The first year on a block schedule an A/B structure was utilized. This was a schedule where four period "A" days and four period "B" days were alternated for the entire school year. For each semester (approximately 90 days) successfully completed, credits were assigned per class. In a year, students may earn eight credits. The next year a two-by-four block schedule was implemented. This is a schedule in which students take four classes for an entire semester. Each class that is successfully completed results in one credit being assigned. Once again, each student may earn up to eight credits per year. This schedule proved to be more conducive to college credit opportunities for students who chose to attend NMSU-A their junior and senior year, and in some cases their sophomore year as well, as mentoring experiences and continued development of the cluster model. Working out class scheduling at schools has become a routine challenge for many administrators across the country because of local, regional, national and now global economic and cultural trends. There are no simple answers, but we can all make a commitment to continuous improvement and proactive planning. We live in a very different world today, but we also know much more about how we as human beings learn. We are finding out what really happens when students "get it." Flexibility will be a key component of meeting the continuing challenges we face in educating our children. Each one of them comes to our schools with their own story. We see students from extremely diverse backgrounds, interests and abilities. Meeting the needs of each and every student should and will be the focus of all stakeholders, not only in our community and state, but in our nation. If you would like to be better informed on block scheduling, I would recommend an interesting article entitled "Block Scheduling Revisited." Another excellent resource is the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement located in the College of Education at the University of Minnesota.
Ed dept. to meet on redesign
Las Cruces Sun-News (NM) - Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Author: Sun News Report

Sun-News report…Las Cruces, Hatch and Gadsden teachers and school leaders are expected to attend the workshop, presented by Catherine Cross-Maple , the deputy secretary of the New Mexico Public Education Department. The seminar will focus on the state's efforts to redesign high school education throughout the state, and is one of several similar meetings being held in New Mexico. Cross-Maple, who came to state government after working as a senior administrator in the Albuquerque Public Schools, will address leadership, planning and administration changes to improve high school education throughout the state.
CAREER CURRICULUM - High school academies give students a chance to get 'real world' education
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Author: LEANN HOLT Journal Staff Writer
Remember all the random classes you had to take in high school? The ones that made you scratch your head and wonder if you would ever use what you had learned in "real life"?…The move toward career clusters, also called career pathways or career technical education, is happening in high schools throughout the nation, propelled by $1.4 billion annually in federal dollars. The idea is to build a student's high school education around one of 16 fields of study while preparing that student for college or a career in the field. Earlier this year, Gov. Bill Richardson announced that New Mexico would promote seven of the 16 career clusters in high schools, using $10 million in federal money. …About 20 percent of high schools across the state have implemented career clusters, involving some 65,000 students, according to Catherine Cross Maple , deputy Cabinet secretary for the Public Education Department. "There are a number of small rural high schools that have a hard time coming up with enough resources to implement the program," Cross Maple said. "We have some challenges, but we are working on a statewide approach."
Alternative School Faces Big Change - Teachers Must Be Certified in Subject
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Author: ANDREA SCHOELLKOPF Journal Staff Writer

The No Child Left Behind Act has put a crimp in the style of the one-room schoolhouse, at least for one Albuquerque alternative high school.School-on-Wheels, the South Valley alternative school with six satellite campuses throughout the city, was notified by the state earlier this summer that waivers would no longer be granted for teachers to instruct subjects in which they are not certified. …A state education official said the changes were required under the federal No Child Left behind Act of 2001, which aimed to reform education in the United States. "The federal law actually requires the teachers who teach in a content area in secondary, that includes middle school, to have licensure in those areas," said Catherine Cross Maple , deputy secretary for the Public Education Department. The waivers that have been granted previously allowed teachers to have temporary licenses while working to become certified in a subject area. Cross Maple said rural schools in New Mexico also are having difficulties with uncertified teachers. Some tried to resolve those problems using distance learning, where a qualified teacher may provide an online course long distance. The No Child Left Behind law was signed by President Bush in January 2001, and New Mexico schools were informed of the pending changes that summer, Cross Maple said. The deadline for teachers to become highly qualified in subject areas was June 30, 2006.
Bills Aim To Clarify Charters' Status - Education secretary hopes measures will ease turf battles with public schools
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Sunday, January 22, 2006
Author: GABRIELA C. GUZMAN Journal Northern Bureau

SANTA FE — New Mexico lawmakers are about to tackle one of the thornier issues in public education: what to do about charter schools.Proposals from state Education Secretary Veronica Garcia will deal with how charter schools are approved and, Garcia hopes, end some of the turf battles with public schools. …Public Education Department officials did not appear keen on the idea. "We have a pretty clear mandate from the public to offer school choice," the department's deputy secretary, Catherine Cross Maple , told the committee.
Accusations Against Teacher Kept Quiet - Confidentiality agreements may have hampered investigations Part two of a series on how misconduct complaints against teachers are handled by school districts and the Public Education Department.
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Monday, September 5, 2005
Ernest Dominguez was under investigation in the late 1990s after being accused of inappropriately touching children at the Tucumcari elementary school where he was a teacher.A few years later, he was working at a Santa Fe elementary school — this time, he ended up facing criminal charges for allegedly molesting four boys dozens of times. The case of whether Dominguez was abusing students in Tucumcari goes to the heart of what makes child molestation cases particularly difficult when the suspect is a teacher. The word of a trusted professional is often pitted against the word of his pupils: Failing to act could lead to additional victims. Acting too soon could ruin an innocent person's life and career. In 1998, the Quay County District attorney found insufficient evidence to prosecute Dominguez on the allegations that he was inappropriately touching children. The New Mexico Public Education Department — then known as the state Department of Education — looked into the case and reached a similar conclusion. But much of the investigative material was out of the department's reach, the department would later reveal. Even when the state tried to sort through the accusations that surfaced when Dominguez was a sixth-grade teacher at the now-defunct Granger Elementary School in Tucumcari, it found doors shut by the school district, the Quay County district attorney and even the police department that investigated the allegations, according to an internal state department memorandum filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque. The document, chronicling the department's investigation of Dominguez, was filed in district court in response to a federal lawsuit the department is fighting. The department's original memo was filed in March 1999. Forced to rely on the pieces of the puzzle it was able to obtain, the department determined there wasn't enough evidence to initiate action against Dominguez's teaching license. With his license intact, Dominguez moved on to the Española schools and then to Santa Fe, where he was charged with molesting boys at Salazar Elementary School in 2001 and 2002. He's now under house arrest and awaiting trial on those charges. Reporter's tip In early September 1998, a Tucumcari newspaper reporter tipped off the Education Department to a police investigation of Dominguez in Quay County. Even though superintendents are required to inform the state department about such investigations, it is through news media reports that the department often finds out about accusations that teachers have acted inappropriately, department officials say. The reporter's phone call marked the beginning of the department's own investigation to determine whether Dominguez's teaching license should be revoked, according to the department memo filed in federal court. The memo goes on to provide the following chronology of the department's effort to get to the bottom of the allegations against Dominguez: Calls requesting information from the Tucumcari police and the county district attorney's office were made in September 1998. District Attorney Patricia Parke told the department the case was still under investigation. She also criticized the Tucumcari news media — she "implied that the media concern was exaggerated," said she "thought at least one of the papers had been taken over by 'right-wing types.' '' It wasn't until the next month that the department received a letter from Tucumcari schools' attorney Frank J. Albetta detailing the district's investigation — even though Dominguez had been suspended several months earlier. The letter from Albetta states that the evidence he reviewed was enough to prompt the district to begin termination proceedings. He urged the agency to investigate the matter on its own and to consider taking action against Dominguez's teaching license. But Albetta wrote he was barred from turning over the district attorney's investigatory materials because of a confidentiality agreement with Dominguez. Albetta states in his letter that the district made the agreement to avoid threatened legal action; Dominguez's National Education Association attorney had threatened to seek a court order blocking the district's access to the DA's file, he said in the letter. But Albetta advised the state department's licensure unit to seek the same materials from the district attorney's office on its own. That was easier said than done. Trying to get files In November the department asked the Tucumcari schools for Dominguez's personnel record, including papers on any disciplinary action taken against him and a list of potential witnesses. A request was also sent to the district attorney's office for transcripts of alleged victims' interviews and videotapes. Three days later, the department got a letter from District Attorney Parke, stating that if the department wanted her files on Dominguez, it would have to subpoena them since no charges had been filed in the case. Parke had decided not to file charges because the inappropriate touching was alleged to be on the outside of students' legs, or on the back, belly, or chest, so the touching did not constitute criminal sexual contact under state statute. In November, the department made another request for information, this time under the Inspection of Public Records Act to the Tucumcari police for their files on Dominguez. The department never responded. Eventually, the department received a list of students' names and addresses from the district. It also became clear that the videotaped interviews the department sought were in the custody of Albetta, the Tucumcari schools' attorney. Albetta suggested the department seek the tapes from Dominguez's attorney, Todd Wertheim, through "a request for production of documents." But the department contended it faced a legal Catch-22 at this point — it couldn't seek documents from Wertheim until the department's licensure unit filed charges against Dominguez, and no charges could be filed against Dominguez until the department had direct evidence of wrongdoing. Also, obtaining the videotapes from Albetta wasn't possible because of the confidentiality agreement the district had signed with the accused teacher. To expedite Dominguez's departure from the Tucumcari district, school officials entered into a second confidentiality agreement. This one allowed Dominguez to resign rather than be fired, and it prevented district officials from disclosing information about Dominguez except in response to requests for information from prospective employers or state agencies or as required by law. Education department officials also learned that Tucumcari families had approached ABC News' "20/20" program about doing a report on the Dominguez case. "It seems inconsistent with genuine concerns for justice and the safety of their children that parents would choose cooperation with a nationally broadcast television 'magazine' program over cooperation with a state office that could take definitive action of a perpetrator," wrote the department official investigating the case. The department was in fact able to talk to some parents and four students. While two students alleged they saw and heard that Dominguez had touched others inappropriately, others contended that he hadn't done anything wrong. Some parents referred to the accusers as troublemakers. Wertheim, Dominguez's attorney, told the department that his client was targeted by students because of his "odd, gaunt appearance" due to Marfan syndrome. Wertheim said he also learned that some students referred to Dominguez by using a word derogatory to homosexuals. Sealed records The education department concluded in March of 1999 that it could not move forward with a license revocation because too many of the allegations against Dominguez were based on "opinion, rumor or innuendo." The department's investigator wrote: "If Ernest Dominguez did in fact inappropriately touch boys while employed as a teacher in Tucumcari Schools, this office is unable to currently make that assertion or to prove it by a preponderance of the evidence." Last week — after the Journal questioned Public Education Department officials about the Dominguez case and others — the department issued a statement. "In the past, (the department) has been hampered by the loopholes of confidentially agreements that jeopardized the safety of our students," said Deputy Secretary Catherine Cross Maple . "We have not been able to access all of the information about licensure investigations because records have been sealed." The department says it plans to ask the Legislature to create a statute for background checks on renewals of teacher licenses. It will also lobby to ban confidential agreements when teachers are alleged to have violated the standards of professional conduct.
Schools Slow To Protect Students - Districts have been cautious to act against educators accused of harming kids
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Sunday, September 4, 2005

Frank Ortiz was an Ojo Caliente Spanish teacher suspected of impregnating a 15-year-old student who attended the school where he worked.…The state agency charged with licensing educators in New Mexico says that even when serious allegations are made against a teacher or school administrator, the agency must wait for the judicial system to run its course. Critics say that by allowing teachers accused of hurting children to bounce from district to district, the Public Education Department and school districts are not carry- ing out their responsibility to keep students safe. Like other licensed professionals, New Mexico educators have standards of professional conduct they are supposed to follow. The creed includes the statement, "We endeavor to stimulate students to think and to learn while at the same time we seek to protect them from any harm." But protecting students from harm sometimes takes a back seat to other considerations. …"We are adamant about ensuring the safety of our students," said Catherine Cross Maple , deputy secretary of the PED, in a statement. "We will work closely with superintendents and legislators to make sure our children are safe in our schools." The education department plans to ask lawmakers to create a statute for background checks on all renewals of teacher licenses. It also will lobby the Legislature to ban confidential agreements when teachers are alleged to have violated the standards of professional conduct.
Rio Rancho Opens Class Door to Debate
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Sunday, August 28, 2005
Author: ELAINE D. BRISENO Journal Staff Writer

The Rio Rancho school board has brought the national debate over the origins of life to New Mexico classrooms.Last Monday, the Rio Rancho Public Schools board adopted a policy that opens the door for discussion of alternates to evolution in science classes. A national debate centering around a movement by mostly conservative and evangelical Christians questions the primacy of evolution to explain the origins of life. The movement promotes either the teaching of intelligent design or requirements for teachers to acknowledge gaps in the science of evolution. The term "intelligent design" is used to describe a primarily Christian belief that life forms are too complex to be explained solely by Darwinian evolutionary theory. It points to intentional creation, presumably by a divine creator. Although the Rio Rancho policy does not specifically mention intelligent design, opponents flooded the boardroom before the vote, saying it was a way to slip religion into the district's science curriculum. The policy's critics called intelligent design a "pseudo-science." The policy was proposed by board mem- ber Don Schlichte, a pastor at Rio West Community Church. He emphatically denies the policy is a way to spread his religious beliefs or to force teachers to teach intelligent design. He says it will ensure students are following scientific principles of critical thinking. "This is not pseudo-science as they claim," Schlichte said Tuesday. "That is a bias that borders on arrogance. They should allow debate (about evolution) in the classroom." Some teachers at Monday's meeting disagreed. "Although vigorous discussion about highly controversial subjects is a mainstay of science, and has some place in the high school classroom, it is a disservice to our students to blur the distinction between what is accepted science and what is not," Rio Rancho High School science teacher Jennifer Miyashiro read in a statement. "For that reason, I believe that teaching alternatives to evolutionary theory in the high school science classroom is counterproductive to producing scientifically literate students." The New Mexico American Civil Liberties Union has threatened to sue the first time a Rio Rancho teacher teaches intelligent design in science class. Students learn about evolution usually during the second or third nine weeks of their sophomore years, according to 10th grade Rio Rancho High biology teacher Brian Wade. The time devoted to the topic depends on the teacher but is usually between one and two weeks, he said. What exactly Rio Rancho's new policy will look like when translated into a lesson plan remains a mystery. RRPS Superintendent Sue Cleveland said Thursday the first thing she will do before giving any directive to teachers is meet with the board again. "Because, to be honest, I'm a little confused," she said. "I'm not sure what the board wants. There seems to be some confusion among board members." Cleveland said the next step would be to meet with science teachers to discuss the policy. "But I can't do that unless it is really clear what the policy says," she said. Schlichte said the policy means teachers will initiate discussions about alternative explanations concerning the origins of life. He said the nature of those discussions is not up to the board. New Mexico Public Education Department spokeswoman Jennifer Chavez said the department has no plans to challenge Rio Rancho's policy. Catherine Cross-Maple , deputy Cabinet secretary for the department, said local school boards have some autonomy when drafting policies. "A local board can choose to supplement the required standards," she said. "It's a balancing act. They have to ask, does the supplementing with other local material still ensure they are teaching to state standards?" There are limits, she said. Local board policies must follow state and federal laws. She said the state might raise concerns over separation of church and state issues if a local board required the teaching of intelligent design alongside evolution in science class. The RRPS policy requires discussion of alternative ideas only and does not specify what those ideas have to be. Rio Rancho policy Here is the Rio Rancho Public Schools policy on the teaching of the origins of life: "The Rio Rancho Board of Education recognizes that scientific theories, such as theories regarding biological and cosmological origins, may be used to support or to challenge individual religious and philosophical beliefs. Consequently, the teaching of science in public school science classrooms may be of great interest and concern to students and their parents. "The Board also acknowledges the conditional trust parents place in public education, as well as the requirements of the Constitution and New Mexico education law, that the classroom not be used to indoctrinate students into any religious or philosophical belief system. "Because of these concerns, this policy recognizes that the Rio Rancho Public Schools should teach an objective science education, without religious or philosophical bias, that upholds the highest standards of empirical science. "Therefore, science teachers in Rio Rancho Public Schools will align their instruction with the district's approved curricula and fully comply with the requirements of the New Mexico 2003 revised Science Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Performance Standards. Age-appropriate emphasis will be given to Strand I, Science Thinking and Practice; Strand II, The Content of Science; and Strand III, Science and Society. When appropriate and consistent with the New Mexico Science Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Performance Standards, discussions about issues that are of interest to both science and individual religious and philosophical beliefs will acknowledge that reasonable people may disagree about the meaning and interpretation of data."
Jan's Mailbox
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Thursday, August 5, 2004
Author: Jan Jonas

Catherine Cross Maple was honored for her contributions to educational administration and leadership. Maple has been a teacher and administrator for more than 25 years and is the assistant secretary for vocational rehabilitation in the state Department of Public Education.
Board ponders off-limits area for high-tech charter school
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Thursday, March 18, 2004
Author: Susie Gran ; SGRAN@ABQTRIB.COM / 823-3682

The Albuquerque Board of Education still wants the final word on where the high-tech charter high school backed by Mayor Martin Chavez will be located.… Catherine Cross Maple , the administrator assigned to charter schools, recently took a job with the state Public Education Department.
APS May Manage Horizon's Finances
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Thursday, February 12, 2004
Author: Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer
Business Review OK'd by School Horizon Academy's governing council will consider hiring Albuquerque Public Schools to run its business affairs for its new high school and grudgingly agreed to an independent review of its financial procedures. … APS charter school liaison, Catherine Cross Maple , attended the meeting on behalf of the district but was unable to provide the finance-related answers Horizon officials sought. While Horizon officials were receptive to financial services being offered, the overall tone was one of agitation earlier in the meeting when the audit was discussed.
APS Delays Crackdown on Truancy
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Monday, February 17, 2003
Author: Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer

Letters To Be 2 Weeks Late Parents may not face criminal prosecution for their truant children until the end of the school year because of delays in a new Albuquerque Public Schools program. APS officials announced last fall that students who had been absent 10 or more days by the 100th day of school would get letters sent home to parents. …Those students with chronic illnesses or other excused absences were supposed to be removed from the list, said Catherine Cross Maple , APS strategic planning officer. The letters are now expected to be mailed out Tuesday. She said Friday she did not know how many will be sent. Cross Maple said officials wanted to work out any problems before the letters were mailed because this is the first time the district has performed such a task. "All of this is a learning process," Cross Maple said.
Horizon Parents Scold APS
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Saturday, January 17, 2004
Author: Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer

Parents of a West Side charter school lashed out at Albuquerque Public Schools on Friday night because their school is having problems paying its taxes.Horizon, which operates three combination elementary and middle schools in Albuquerque with a total enrollment of 1,369, has failed to pay nearly $120,000 in payroll withholding taxes since July 1, 2003. Officials said they diverted the money from federal unemployment taxes and state employee retirement payments to pay their staff. The charter school was expecting to pay the taxes with federal money secured by APS. But the money never came because the school had trouble sending invoices to APS, Horizon and APS officials explained to nearly 70 parents who packed Horizon West Side campus' cafeteria. "A lot of us came here because of problems with APS," said parent Shad Solis. "It's frustrating to us that APS holds the money." The school is expecting to receive $345,000 in federal dollars Tuesday, and another $30,000 is expected by the end of the month, Horizon co-director Michael Martin said. Martin said he expects the outstanding bills to be paid by the end of January. Martin called the late federal payments a "seemingly small decision at the time." He said the situation escalated over time, while the charter school remained "optimistic the issue would be resolved." Horizon also had problems last year and took out a $200,000 loan until it received its federal payments later in the spring. Because of the situation, the school's Phoenix-based management company has reassigned the business manager who deferred the payments. The company has also pledged to pay any fees that are incurred. Charter schools operate independently from school districts, but school boards can vote on granting, extending or revoking charter applications. Additionally, the school district has financial liability for the charter schools, which has hurt APS in its last two annual audits. The APS board has called for a moratorium on new charter applications until the state Public Education Department and Legislature can clarify charter laws. APS board members Robert Lucero and Miguel Acosta, who attended the meeting, said that, had Horizon asked for help from the district, it might not be in its current situation. But some parents are angry that the state's largest school district would have such control over the charter school's money and believe that it is intentionally withholding the funds. Some said APS should have recognized there was a problem when Horizon wasn't receiving its federal funds. "These funds belong to these children," parent Paul Albert said. Developer Rick Saylor, who owns all three campuses, blamed the controversial new APS financial system, Lawson. He said the charter school's system differs from APS's new system, which delayed many vendor bills last year when it was installed. However, APS has maintained that it never received invoices from Horizon. The state considers charter schools to be "vendors" of the school districts, Martin said. Vendors must submit invoices to access their federal dollars, he said. Parent Lori Moore said she does not blame APS for the school's problems. "In our business, if we didn't pay our federal taxes, we would be shut down fairly quickly," Moore said. "Our president and vice president would forgo a paycheck (to pay employees)." Catherine Cross Maple , the district's charter school liaison, said the Legislature would have to change state law to give charter schools more freedom from the districts. She said no other charter schools are delinquent on taxes, but at least two others have said they want help from APS in accessing their funds. "We want Horizon to stay open," Cross Maple said. "We're going to work hard to try and get this resolved."
Truants' Parents Targeted
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Friday, November 7, 2003
Author: Katie Burford Journal Staff Writer
APS Plans To Phone Home When Students Are Absent Parents of students cited by law enforcement for skipping school will now get a phone call from the officer issuing the citation and a copy of it in the mail. They could also face prosecution if their kids continue to cut class. Albuquerque Public Schools has revamped its truancy citation procedures to respond more swiftly and decisively to school absence. About 450 students have received citations since the changes went into place at the beginning of this school year, APS court liaison Aleta Paisano-Suazo said. The modified system for ticketing truants is another component of the district's overall push to reduce truancy. Others collaborating in that effort include area law enforcement agencies, social service providers, the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office and the Children, Youth and Families Department, APS Strategic Planning Officer Catherine Cross-Maple said. "It truly is a community partnership," she said. The district's truancy prevention program, which was implemented in three high school clusters last spring and strives to intervene early with students who have excessive absences, is also part of the effort. On the state level, CYFD has received $1 million for various truancy programs and Gov. Bill Richardson has said he will push for legislation that addresses the problem. Before APS changed its citation system, students who received them were called in -- along with their parents -- for a meeting at the district's court liaison office. Because of the volume of citations, however, those meetings often wouldn't occur for months, or even an entire semester, after the citation was issued. "We could not keep up with the number of referrals coming in," she said. Now, officers will attempt to reach the parents directly. APS has created a database to track citations and schools will send a copy by mail to the parents. Students who rack up two citations must attend, with their parents, a three-hour presentation on truancy. A third citation could open the students' parents to prosecution.
Voters Cough Up Cash For APS
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Wednesday, February 5, 2003
Author: Andrea Schoellkopf and Chris Ramirez Journal Staff Writers

…GOOD NEWS: School district planner Catherine Cross Maple , left, cheers as vote totals show solid voter support for two tax questions. APS supporters gathered at Seasons Rotisserie and Grill in Old Town to wait for election results Tuesday.
APS board gives final approval for bosses' bonuses
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Thursday, September 19, 2002
Author: Susie Gran ; SGRAN@ABQTRIB.COM / 823-3682

Hefty bonuses will be paid to nine top Albuquerque public Schools executives, but at least four of them said they won't take the extra cash home.The Albuquerque Board of Education unanimously approved payment of performance bonuses totaling $60,000 on Wednesday. Each of the three superintendents Joe Vigil, Michael Vigil and Beth Everitt will receive $10,000, which they intend to donate to a special fund they created in August for honoring employees who help students succeed. A fourth administrator, Liz Shipley, the district's chief communications officer, has indicated she also will contribute to the fund. Tom Garrity, APS chief advancement officer, said no one is required to contribute to the fund. He said he didn't know whether any others had contributed and that no one is keeping track because "it's a personal choice." Under employment contracts signed in June 2001, $90,000 in bonus money was available to nine Albuquerque Public Schools administrators if they met certain goals set by the board. Administrators went to the board in August with a report showing they were entitled to $60,000, but it was not paid immediately. Board members wanted more information on how the goals were met, which was provided at a work-study session last week. In the meantime, the board had to answer critics who complained that the money should be spent in the classroom. Board members agreed they had to abide by the contracts. However, they did not provide bonuses in the current contracts for the new superintendents after the trio recommended bonuses be scrapped. Bonuses were tied to reducing the student dropout rate, reducing the teacher dropout rate, raising fourth-grade reading scores, increasing fund raising and boosting the number of scholarships awarded to graduating seniors. Administrators reported they had cut the teacher dropout rate to 12.16 percent; increased fund raising by 115 percent to $11.2 million and reduced the number of fourth-graders reading below grade level by 51 percent. By the end of the school year, 85 percent of the district's fourth-graders were reading at or above grade level. Administrators said they failed to meet the goal of reducing the dropout rate to 6.66 percent and increasing the scholarship money received by graduating seniors. They reported the dropout rate at 8.24 percent, but are projecting the rate at 7.52 percent for the current year. The largest single bonus for the three superintendents was $5,000 for fund raising; all of the other goals carried a $2,500 bonus. Bonus money was a provision in the contracts of 13 administrators drawn up under the administration of former Superintendent Brad Allison and tied to specific performance goals. Four of the 13 received $5,000 bonuses in July for meeting goals set for their departments. Their bonuses were not submitted to the board for approval, since they were not tied to the district goals, said Rigo Chavez, district spokesman. Administrators with bonus provisions in their contracts through 2003 are Diego Gallegos and Susie Peck, assistant superintendents; Gena Jones, Human Resources executive director; Shipley, communications chief; Bill Koelm, executive director for facilities and support operations, and Tom Ryan, executive director of learning technologies. Their bonuses were to be half the amount paid to the three superintendents. Others who received $5,000 bonuses in July were Suzanne Parker, director of quality assurance; Rose-Ann McKernan, director of research and development; Virginia Duran Ginn, director of teaching and learning, and Catherine Cross Maple , strategic planning officer.
APS Student Expulsions Overturned
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Monday, September 9, 2002
Author: Chris Ramirez Journal Staff Writer

More Albuquerque Public Schools students who appealed their expulsions had their punishments overturned last year than the year before.According to APS statistics, 29 expulsion hearings were requested during the 2001-02 school year. Of those, 23 resulted in expulsions or some other form of disciplinary action. The rest of the cases were dropped, said Catherine Cross Maple , director of Strategic Planning for the school district. By contrast, none of the 21 students who appealed their expulsions in 2000-01 had their punishments reversed, she said.
Moriarty Schools Get New Boss
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Thursday, July 5, 2001
Author: Rory McClannahan Journal Staff Writer
The Moriarty Municipal Schools district finally has a new superintendent. The five-member board of education unanimously selected Karen Couch, an associate superintendent in the Alamogordo school district, to be Moriarty's superintendent at the board's regular meeting June 28. … The second time around, the district hired Jim Miller, a consultant specializing in superintendent searches. Miller worked with a new Moriarty search committee to come up with three finalists: Couch; Don Duran, principal at Albuquerque High School; and Catherine Cross Maple , an administrator at Albuquerque Public Schools.
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Friday, December 22, 2000
Author: Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer

Districts Protest Money Deferral Rio Rancho Public Schools could lose four full-time nursing positions due to problems with federal Medicaid reimbursement. …"The state funding formula does not specifically fund health and mental health services," said APS Student Services Director Catherine Cross Maple . "This has been an important resource for districts to provide health and mental health services." A state official said the money is being deferred until the districts can prove they know how to bill for claims properly amid national concerns of overbilling.
Feds rap APS over gun reports
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Saturday, October 28, 2000
Author: Andy Lenderman / 823-3659
The district and the state underreported incidents of students bringing firearms to school in 1997-98, a draft report says.Federal education officials have slapped the Albuquerque Public Schools for not reporting and expelling students who brought guns to school in the 1997-98 school year. The feds also said state Department of Education officials failed to accurately report firearm incidents for that school year, according to a draft report. "Albuquerque did not expel 14 of the 26 students who were involved in firearm incidents during the year," auditors for the U.S. Department of Education wrote. "Further, Albuquerque did not report correctly to the state the actions it took against students that were expelled for bringing a firearm to school." APS reported 12 incidents to the state that year. But federal officials said they found 26 incidents after reviewing police reports and other records. The district also failed to report to the state that nine of its students were sent to alternative programs, auditors wrote. APS officials also destroyed records and did not expel students for a full year in many cases, the report said. The report, which is a draft and may be updated later this year, was sent to state and local education officials in August. The federal Gun Free Schools Act of 1994 directs schools to kick students out of school for one year if they bring a gun on campus. APS could stand to lose millions in federal money if the district breaks the law again, according to the report. Both APS and state officials were quick to acknowledge shortcomings and pledged to fix problems. "We had a very complicated and uncoordinated reporting system in the state at that time and in APS," said Catherine Cross Maple , an APS administrator. "And we have cleaned up our reporting system." Cross Maple said administrators were confused at the time about how to handle cases involving special education students. Those students may not be expelled, under the provisions of another federal law, and are often referred to alternative schools if they bring guns on campus. Intense training, a new database and better record keeping are among the efforts in a detailed plan by APS to better track and report students who bring guns to school. Cross Maple said all police reports involving campus crime are now collected in the district's police department, compared with the old way of scattered reporting among city, school and county police departments. "We really take this law seriously," Cross Maple said. "We learned from that and certainly intend to have full compliance with the act beginning immediately."
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Saturday, August 19, 2000
Author: Wren Propp Journal Capitol Bureau

SANTA FE Officials from public school districts stung by a freeze on Medicaid payments fought back Friday. Representatives of 38 school districts told a legislative committee the Human Services Department changed the rules without notice. Also, scrutiny by the department and the Legislative Finance Committee is unfounded, Albuquerque Public Schools' Catherine Cross Maple told the Legislative Education Study Committee. The districts are upset that about $2.5 million for administrative services claims under the federally funded Medicaid in the Schools program have been withheld. The department withheld the money estimated earlier this week at $2.6 million while it reviews school district claims. Department officials have said they are concerned about overbilling and improper billing.
Audit disputes reported state Medicaid savings
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Tuesday, May 30, 2000
Author: TODAY'S TOP STORY By The Associated Press
…The audit raised serious concerns with the state's method for compensating school districts that provide health services to Medicaid-eligible students. Reimbursements fluctuate widely from one district to another, with administrative costs ranging from $5 per student to $225 per student. The audit blamed poor training and oversight. Catherine Cross Maple , director of student services for Albuquerque Public Schools, said districts aren't clear what costs they're supposed to bill to Medicaid. "We really do need strong guidance about what is allowable," she said.
Tragedy forces educators to think the unthinkable
Naples Daily News (FL) - Monday, April 17, 2000
Author: RACHEL SMOLKIN, Scripps Howard News Service
The tragic killings at Columbine High School confronted educators nationwide with an unpleasant reality: They could not guarantee their students' safety.…Some schools are taking a comprehensive approach to violence prevention. Officials at the Albuquerque Public Schools in New Mexico are working to enroll eligible children in the state health insurance program to ensure that each child has medical access and a primary care physician. "We recognize that children who commit violent acts or are thinking about committing violent acts ... really have some mental health needs, and sometimes there are even medical needs that have gone unaddressed," said Catherine Cross Maple , director of student support services for the Albuquerque schools. A year after the Columbine shooting, schools are beginning to assess their new policies.
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Wednesday, March 1, 2000
Author: Scott Smallwood Journal Staff Writer

Parents Question Fairness Of $20 Registration Plan Albuquerque Public Schools wants to charge a home-school fee of $20 a child when parents notify the district that they plan to teach their children at home. According to a national home-schooling organization, such a fee would be unprecedented, and a state education official suggested the school system couldn't deny parents' rights to home school if they didn't pay the fee. The fee, which the full board will consider at its meeting March 15, is one of two proposed policies affecting home schoolers. The other would require home-schooling students who take one or two courses in APS schools to pay a course fee $335 per semester per class period for high-school students. The $20 processing fee is the one that has most agitated home schoolers around Albuquerque. Catherine Cross Maple , the district director of student support services, said the fee is designed to cover the estimated costs of processing the forms about $35,000 a year for staff time, supplies, office space and equipment. Cross Maple said the district registers about 1,500 home-school students each year. Often, she said, the APS staff spends half an hour answering questions about testing and where to get materials. But home-schooling parents questioned what services the district actually provides and whether the fee would be fair. "We hand (the form) to them and they stick it in a file," said Liz Silva, a home-schooling parent. Michael Kaplan, the state Department of Education's director of alternative education, said the district has little obligation to the home schoolers. "The only thing the district has to do is accept the paperwork and give them a copy of the state home-schooling manual," he said. Mike Smith, vice president of the Homeschooling Legal Defense Association, said he knows of no other place in the nation where home schoolers are charged a registration fee. "I'm calling it a tax on home-schooling parents because no one else (in the district) is paying it," Smith said. Local parents agree. "We pay taxes and we buy our own curriculum. We support the public school system," said Lee Ann Roberts, a member of Christian Association of Parent Educators-New Mexico. "It's pretty foolish of them to charge us extra." Another parent questioned whether the district had thought through the idea, including the cost of dealing with bad checks or sending people receipts. "Now they'll need a bookkeeper, a kind of bursar of home schooling," said Sandra Dodd. Cross Maple said the course-fee proposal is meant to cover the costs of providing classes to home schoolers. The district doesn't receive any money from the state for those students. She said she didn't know how many home-schooled children are enrolled in APS classes. The district based the fees on the amount charged to foreign students, she said. "But these are not foreign exchange students. They are students that live in the state and in the district," Kaplan said, adding that he knew of no other school district in New Mexico charging home schoolers to take a class. Home-schooling parent Cathleen Knipprath said her daughter once took a biology course at an APS school, but the district didn't charge a fee. She said the proposed course fee sounded a bit steep. "We might as well enroll them at TVI and let them get credit," Knipprath said. The district's proposed policies stem from the idea that home schools are private schools. The state constitution prohibits public schools from spending money to support private schools, Cross Maple said. However, the state public school law clearly states that private schools do not include home schools. "It's a whole different category," Kaplan said. Cross Maple said several attorney general opinions have led district lawyers to believe the private school provisions would extend to cover home schools. The board's policy committee reviewed the proposals Monday, passing the items to the full board without a recommendation.
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Thursday, March 9, 2000
Author: Rudi Keller Journal Staff Writer
The Albuquerque school district has abandoned the idea of charging a $20 fee to parents who teach their children at home. The fee was designed to pay for materials instructing parents on the state laws governing home-schooling and for processing paperwork registering the parents. Under criticism from state and national home-schooling groups, the district is instead considering alternative ways to provide information and registration for parents. The leading idea, said Catherine Cross Maple , director of Student Support Services, is to use the district's Internet site. "We have been in contact with the New Mexico Home School Association and talked quite extensively about how to make it happen," Cross Maple said. Albuquerque Public Schools' decision to abandon the fee was cheered by local home-schoolers and a national organization that was prepared to fight the charge. About 1,500 families are registered with the district to teach their children at home. APS estimates it spends about $35,000 each year to handle the paperwork. The fee would have raised about $30,000. Laura Armistead, a member of the Christian Association of Parent Educators, said she understands the dilemma faced by APS. The state gives the district money only for students who are attending classes. But the proper place to get additional money is from the state, not the parents, Armistead said. "Why should we be taxed doubly for something most would prefer not to do anyway?" she said, referring to state taxes residents pay for education. Armistead, who lives in the Northeast Heights, teaches her 9-year-old daughter at home. The school board's Policy Committee last week sent the proposal to the full board without a recommendation. The full board was to consider it next week. "We are in the process of sending a memo to all our home-schoolers that this is not being considered for any future board item," Cross Maple said. The district is still examining whether to charge home-schoolers $335 per semester when a child attends an elective class at a high school, Cross Maple said. "That idea is still under deliberation, but it won't be brought up in the near future," she said. Only one district in the nation in Los Angeles charges a fee for handling paperwork from home-schoolers, said Mike Smith of the Homeschooling Legal Defense Fund. Parents in New Mexico who wish to teach their children at home must register with their local district to stay in compliance with compulsory attendance laws. Smith said he wrote a letter to the New Mexico Department of Education protesting the fee. "Our basic bottom line is that this is a constitutional problem," Smith said. "They don't have the authority to do it." APS Board of Education members said they, too, believe the state should help out with the cost of handling the paperwork. "Santa Fe is the one that says we must register them," said Aggie Lopez, chairwoman of the Policy Committee. "When Santa Fe mandates that APS does something, they should put some money with it." Board member Matthew Archuleta said the fee didn't necessarily have strong support from the board. "The administration brought it to us, and we just wanted to hear the pros and cons of it," he said.
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Monday, January 24, 2000
Author: Polly Summar Journal Staff Writer

Sometimes, a cry for help doesn't look like a cry for help. …Sometimes either the child -- or the parents -- don't want to cooperate. "You can take them (students) to their mental health services, but can you make them participate?" asks Catherine Cross Maple , director of student support services for APS. …According to Cross Maple, counselors have no real authority over parents unless the child in question is in special education; in that case the district can take a parent to a due process hearing. "The bottom line is to try to work with the parents," Cross Maple says. "You could try a number of interventions: have your principal meet with the parents, try to meet with the parent and another individual you both agree on, or you might need to tie it to a number of discipline referrals." But Cross Maple maintains that the majority of parents are willing to help. "For every child whose parent doesn't want to hear it, there are many parents who are willing," she says. "But who are the ones we remember?" Even when parents take it seriously, they can't always manage counseling for their kids. Insurance doesn't always cover the entire cost of counseling or enough sessions to deal with the problem. Parents with minimum-wage jobs sometimes find themselves with no insurance at all. But Cross Maple says that if families do not have insurance, they can use the state Child Health Insurance Program, which she says is Medicaid-based. "Every child in this district should have counseling available to them because of this," she says. "Depending on the cluster they're in, we also have social workers to work with the family for a period of time and then could refer the family for additional services."
APS panel approves off-campus gun policy
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Tuesday, September 21, 1999
Author: Andy Lenderman / 823-3659
A measure that aims to stop school violence before it happens has been passed by the Albuquerque Board of Education's policy committee.By a 3-to-1 vote, the committee approved an initiative Monday night that would allow school counselors to give psychological exams to troubled students who use guns off-campus and may pose a threat to others, at school. The item will go on to the full board for debate and a final vote. "This is not a disciplinary action-type policy," said Catherine Cross Maple , the district's director of student-support services. "This is a policy to prevent and intervene with students . . . who may act out with violent behavior." Under current APS policy, students caught with guns on campus are expelled for the year, but students who get in trouble off campus or show slow signs of worsening behavior may slip through the cracks and go unnoticed. The new policy is designed to change that by intervening before students with tendencies toward violence harm themselves or others. For example, a student with a history of discipline problems is caught by police for illegal possession of a gun, or a troubled student is heard making idle threats to teachers. Such individuals could undergo a behavior-risk assessment, administered by a school counselor. The test would then be reviewed by a team of psychologists and counselors, who could decide to send the child to counseling or an alternative school. Cross Maple said the work of enforcing the policy could most likely be handled without adding district staffers.
APS wants 16 expelled students at new school
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Monday, September 13, 1999
Author: Susie Gran sgran / 823-3621
Sixteen students kicked out of school for disciplinary reasons taking a gun to school, assaulting a teacher, dealing drugs are now wanted back in the classroom by the Albuquerque Public Schools.APS officials say they have started recruiting 16 expelled students to fill the empty desks at their Continuation School. Most of the students probably weren't aware that Continuation School opened in January just for them, said Catherine Cross Maple , APS director of student services. Expelled students are not allowed on any APS campuses for a year, but may attend Continuation School at Cesar Chavez Community Center in Southeast Heights or the Juvenile Justice Center in North Valley. Twenty-nine high school students were banned on APS campuses last year for various crimes. Sixteen of them today remain under expulsion, Cross Maple said. Until last week APS officials did not know the status or whereabouts of the 29, or if any were interested in Continuation School or even knew about it. As of Thursday, it was determined that 16 of the 29 needed to be called and told about Continuation School, which is begging for students, Cross Maple said. The new APS Student Service Center will be given a list of the 16 students "to try to get them into Continuation School," she said. Cross Maple said she was asked late Wednesday by Joe Vigil to track down the expelled students. Vigil is APS dropout czar and associate superintendent for school reform. Vigil said he wanted to know the whereabouts of the expelled students after complaints that the Continuation School had empty desks. He wanted them to be notified that a classroom was available for them. Cross Maple said late Thursday she and her staff had determined that only two of the expelled students were referred to Continuation School after it opened in January. She speculated that the others weren't referred because their expulsions began before Continuation School was up and running. Continuation School teacher Brian Fitzpatrick confirmed he had two Highland High School students in his class referred by the school district. They were not expelled, Fitzpatrick said. They are under suspension until late October. Fitzpatrick said he also has one expelled student from Albuquerque High School who took a gun to school. The teen's expulsion will be up in January and he plans to return to AHS, Fitzpatrick said. Fitzpatrick was concerned after school started that more students weren't referred to him, with the result that his classroom in the community center was largely empty. Five students were attending by the second week of school. The classroom capacity is 30. As of Friday, Fitzpatrick had nine students, five of them referred by APS. Fitzpatrick said he expects many more referrals Monday from Eddie Soto, Continuation School principal. Soto predicted early in the school year that the Continuation School would fill up quickly, although it started out with only five in Fitzpatrick's classroom. A second classroom, staffed by two teachers, still awaits students at the Juvenile Justice Center. Cross Maple's survey of expelled students turned up eight who had enrolled in their regular school because their expulsions had expired; one who did not enroll, although his expulsion also had expired; two who were graduated from summer school; and one who was attending a General Education Diploma program. Albuquerque High Principal Don Duran said the Continuation School is needed for students who don't belong on the regular campuses due to criminal behaviors. "It's important we give the message they are expelled and that we want to make our campuses a safe place," Duran said. "Still, we need to provide alternatives for kids to seek an education away from our traditional schools." Continuation School "offers kids a way to reconnect to our schools," he said.
Dangerous-student policy put on hold by committee
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Tuesday, August 17, 1999
Author: Andy Lenderman / 823-3659

A committee of the Albuquerque Board of Education delayed voting on a new policy that aims to intervene with troubled, possibly violent students.The policy would direct "behavior-risk exams" for students who use guns and "who present a reasonable likelihood of repeating such an act in the school environment or of endangering the safety of students and employees." Committee members decided to seek parent and community comments on the matter before hearing it again at the Sept. 20 policy committee meeting. Identifying troubled students before violence happens is the goal of the policy, Superintendent Brad Allison said. The policy would direct students that present a danger to themselves or others to alternative schools. The extend of the danger would be determined by the behavior-risk exam. "This policy is not designed to bring in 2,000 or 3,000 students it's designed to bring in a few," Catherine Cross-Maple , director of student support services for the district, said after the meeting. The exams and evaluations could most likely be done without hiring new psychologists, she said.
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Friday, August 13, 1999
Author: Journal Staff Report

…The wife of Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Brad Allison has withdrawn from applying for one of the district's top posts. … Shipley said interviews for three other candidates were held Thursday. They included: Catherine Cross Maple , director of student support services at APS; Susie Peck, director of strategic professional development at APS; and Linda Coy, the Hatch Valley school superintendent.
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Wednesday, April 21, 1999
Author: Matthew Franck Journal Staff Writer

Shootings could happen at any school at any time, and there is nothing a school district can do to guarantee it will be devoid of violence, according to an administrator at Albuquerque Public Schools. "Is human behavior 100 percent predictable? No, it's not," said Catherine Cross Maple , head of APS Student Support Services. Cross Maple said APS is implementing a violence-prevention plan to improve counseling services, train teachers to recognize warning signs of violent behavior, and help students deal with aggression. But Cross Maple said resources are limited, and any efforts to increase spending on mental health must be weighed against instructional programs. This year, she said, direct federal spending to school districts for violence prevention has been cut, making it harder for APS to increase mental health services.
Two bills tackle open-enrollment priority disputes
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Wednesday, February 10, 1999
Author: Gilbert Gallegos TRIBUNE REPORTER

Legislature 1999SANTA FE -- The new open-enrollment law worked for some families this year. It frustrated others who still couldn't get their kids into the school of their choice. …Catherine Cross Maple , director of student support services at APS, said the district supports most of Stewart's proposed changes. She said APS officials already feel they have the authority to transfer students for extreme hardship or student safety reasons. She said even when students don't fit the district's definition of hardships or safety, they can still get help from her office in finding other schools that have openings. "Some parents absolutely don't want their kids going to the school in their neighborhood," Cross Maple said. "If they're concerned, we will work with them to find a school that is appropriate and has space." The other priorities in Stewart's bill, Cross Maple said, would allow APS to tweak its enrollment policy to make it more practical. Cross Maple said APS processed roughly 10,000 requests this past year for transfers -- about 1,500 more than the year before the open-enrollment law. She said APS approved about 85 percent of those requests -- similar to the approval-rate the district had in the past.
New state transfer law has little effect on APS
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Thursday, August 6, 1998
Author: Will Weissert TRIBUNE REPORTER

…In February, legislators passed the Open Enrollment Act, giving New Mexico schoolchildren and their parents the option of switching schools without listing a reason and with next to no bureaucratic wrangling. …APS Student Support Services Coordinator Catherine Cross Maple said that because the district is accepting transfer requests until Sept. 15, this year's total should overtake last year's, but not by much. "We will probably see a slight increase in the number of processed applications this year," Cross Maple said. "But that is probably because of all the publicity of the new open enrollment policy -- nothing has really changed from years past."
New policy makes school transfer harder, not easier, parents say
Albuquerque Tribune, The (NM) - Monday, June 8, 1998
Author: Gilbert Gallegos TRIBUNE REPORTER
Some parents are finding out that the new open-enrollment policy at Albuquerque Public Schools is not all that open at some schools."They call this open enrollment, but I think it's a bunch of hooey," said Nancy Kreischer, a Northeast Heights parent who found out recently that her son was denied a transfer to Madison Middle School, 3501 Moon Street N.E. In a typical school year, thousands of students request transfers. The problem now, Kreischer and other parents say, is that the new policy that promises open enrollment actually closes many loopholes for parents who have legitimate reasons to transfer their children to certain schools -- regardless of available space at that school. The school district's new transfer and enrollment policy allows parents to enroll their child at any school in the district as long as there is space. … APS officials said the district's new transfer policy is more open for most families because they are no longer required to give a reason to switch schools. But many parents have been shocked in the past two weeks to find out they were denied transfers because they schools they requested are filled up. "I think parents' expectations were raised when they heard about the Open Enrollment Act," said Catherine Cross Maple , director of student support services at APS. "People automatically thought space was available at the schools that have been traditionally popular. "But we're really basically in the same situation as last year in terms of matching numbers of transfer requests with available space." The Legislature passed the Open Enrollment Act in February requiring all school districts to enact open-enrollment policies. Gov. Gary Johnson pushed for passage of the act as part of his education reform package to improve public schools. The open-enrollment proposal, sponsored by Sen. Ramsay Gorham, an Albuquerque Republican, was the only one of Johnson's education bills that was approved by the Legislature and signed into law. Cross Maple said some new wrinkles have surfaced this year as the district has tried to comply with the law, including: * Students can no longer transfer into a crowded school to enroll in a specific program that is not offered anywhere else. That was commonly accepted in the past. But the new law spells out a process that favors neighborhood children first; out-of-neighborhood children who were already enrolled are given second priority; all other students are given third priority and put on a waiting list if a school is filled. A lottery system is used to admit children on the waiting list if space opens up. …Cross Maple emphasized that under some circumstances, district officials will allow what are called "administrative placement" of some students into schools that are otherwise not accepting new students. "If there are extreme situations and a student absolutely needs to be at another school for safety or other reasons, the region superintendents have the ability to make those exceptions," Cross Maple said. "But each case must be well-documented. It will not be a way to get around the Open Enrollment Act." Cross Maple also said district administrators will monitor enrollment at schools, and if space opens up closer to the beginning of the school year, students on waiting lists will be permitted to transfer.
Albuquerque Journal (NM) - Saturday, June 28, 1997
Author: Valerie Santillanes Journal Staff Writer

Group Says Policies Fuel Dropout Rate A local organization recently asked Albuquerque Public Schools board members to change the district's policies on suspensions and expulsions, which the group claims feed the double-digit dropout rate, especially in the South Valley. But APS officials said this week they don't know how many students were suspended for more than 10 days or expelled from schools during at least the past four years. …Catherine Cross Maple , an APS region team assistant, said the district also is cooperating with the city to establish a "court school" for expelled students who now are excluded from receiving any educational services. Maple said a team of APS administrators, several judges, a state legislator and the Juvenile Detention Center director recently visited Las Vegas, Nev., to learn more about a program there that educates expelled students away from public school campuses. "We know there are gaps in services to these kids, and we're hoping the city will fund this school," Maple said. "We really need a net to try and keep these kids going to school. Research tells us that education is the most important factor in keeping people out of criminal (activities)."

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