School information

TTCS passes PEC's charter renewal process

To TTCS students, parents, and staff:

I am pleased to announce that the Public Education Commission has approved our charter renewal application for 5 years, without conditions. Head Administrator Ray Griffin and Business Manager Randy Freeman did an EXCELLENT job of presenting to the Commision, and the final vote was 6 - 0 (1 abstaining).

This is an important step in our continuing effort to fulfill our vision and mission for the school.

According to the renewal summary and recommendations, "the school operates efficiently in terms of governance procedures, its reporting duties, and organizational stability." In addition, TTCS "demonstrates compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations relating to fiscal management and oversight expectations as evidenced by an audit devoid of significant findings and conditions, material weaknesses or significant internal control weaknesses." PEC's Charter School Division noted the stable leadership on TTCS's governing council and the current School Report Card grade of A as two strengths of a school "located in a remote area of Santa Fe."

I want to congratulate and THANK all of you -- because without your leadership this would not have been possible.

Floyd J. Trujillo
President
TTCS Governance Council

Link here to read the full text of the press release: www.turquoisetrailcharterschool.org/www/TTCES/site/hosting/Archive Press Releases/Press release_12.12.2014.docx

TTCS wins prestigious Wells Fargo Golden Apple Foundation Teacher Partner Grant

December 10, 2014 -- Sixth-grade teachers Sharon Gray, Jeff Davis, and Harry Phillips received a grant today for the Integrated Studies Trip to Chaco Canyon, which the sixth-grade students will be taking in May 2015.

The organization received 130 applications for classroom and school-wide grants, and they awarded 30 grants for a total of $49,876.00 to various schools at a ceremony in Albuquerque on Wednesday, December 10, 2014.

According to the grant application, eligible sixth graders at Turquoise Trail Charter School will be studying the ecology, history, culture, math and science of the ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) of Chaco Canyon in an experiential learning journey that culminates their years as TTCS students. In addition to their academic subjects, students will learn practical skills, including planning, provisioning, and budgeting for the three-day trip.

Since its inception in 2009, the Wells Fargo/Golden Apple Teacher Partner Program has provided more than $225,000 to fund 155 projects serving more than 21,000 New Mexico students. Wells Fargo created the Teacher Partner Program to provide opportunities for academic enrichment and to encourage positive change in classroom instruction.

Pictured: Teacher Jeff Davis holding a check for the total (our grant was fully funded at $3,000.00)

Enrollment for 2015-2016 School Year

Interested in sending your children to Turquoise Trail Charter School for the 2015-2016 school year? Enter the lottery and attend an Open House. 

Lottery registration begins on Monday, January 5, 2015 -- and closes on Friday, February 27 at 5 pm MDT.

TTCS School MINT link will be "live" and accepting lottery registrations on Monday, January 5 for grades Pre-K to 6.

Open House for pre-K students, January 30
Open House for all grades, February 6

Estimated class openings:
Pre-K           30-45 students
Grade K       5-10 students
Grade 1       3-5 students
Grade 2       3-5 students
Grade 3       3-5 students
Grade 4       3-5 students
Grade 5       3-5 students
Grade 6       3-5 students

Only enrolled siblings have lottery priority.
Multiple children require multiple lottery registrations.

Lottery drawing and announcements at 4:00 pm (MDT) on Tuesday, March 3 in the TTCS lobby.  

Public Lottery -- all welcome to attend.

SNOW DAY & DELAY INFORMATION
If the Santa Fe Public School district decides to cancel or delay school due to weather, a robocall will be sent out to all TTCS families. PLEASE make sure Mary, in the front office, has your current and working phone number or else you may not receive a call. Information will also be available online through the local news outlets and in a ticker on the news programs on TV. TTCS follows the Santa Fe Public School snow day/delay decisions.

In the event of a delay, there will be NO morning Pre-K. All other students are due in class by 9:50 am. Please do not drop students off before 9:15 am on delay days because there will be no supervision before that time.

Turquoise Trail Charter School named 2014 NMCCS Charter School of the Year

Award presented at the New Mexico Coalition for Charter Schools’ Annual Conference in Albuquerque

          Santa Fe, NM, October 31, 2014:  Turquoise Trail Charter School was named the 2014 NMCCS Charter School of the Year at the New Mexico Coalition for Charter Schools’ annual conference, held in Albuquerque this past week. The award is presented each year to a school that exemplifies the best in charter school education in the state.
          “We have worked hard to make improvements in the school, so this award is a gratifying recognition from our peers.,” said Head Administrator Dr. Ray Griffin, on accepting the award on behalf of the school. “We’re thrilled to be celebrated in this manner, especially as we will be celebrating 25 years as a charter school in August of 2015.”
            The school is especially deserving because of the measurable achievements of its students, teachers, and staff in the 2013-2014 school year. For example, test scores improved, especially among the lowest performing cohort; the school is moving into the future, potentially as a state-chartered institution, on a sound financial footing; the school earned many accolades in national and state extracurricular and academic programs; and despite its rural location, the school is in more demand than ever for student enrollments from pre-kindergarten to grade 6.

Link here to read the full press release:

http://www.turquoisetrailcharterschool.org/www/TTCES/site/hosting/Press releases/Press release_10.31.2014.docx

Link here to the Santa Fe New Mexican notice that appeared on Monday, November 3, 2014:  

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/education/smartboard/smartboard-nov/article_fb475bcd-90d5-5540-ad5a-7e4051a1f799.html


Silent Auction Update -- Thanks to all of our donors

TTCS teachers, staff, and students would like to give a big "shout-out" to the generous donors who made our fall Silent Auction such a big success. We raised $3,915.95 for classrooms . ..  and everyone came away a winner!

Donors included:
   
   AMENERGY Solar Services
   Armstrong McCall
   Barker Realty
   Buffalo Wild Wings
   Cleopatra's Cafe
   Cowgirl BBQ
   Eight Skin Care
   Firestone Complete Auto Care
   Gruda Veterinary Hospital
   Jackalope vendors: Stephen Schmidt, Carolina Sicar, and Hernandez Imports
   Le Creuset Outlet Store
   Ricardo Martinez
   Merrell Shoes
   Outback Steakhouse
   Plaza Cafe Southside
   The Ranch House
   Samuel Design Group
   Second Street Brewery
   Sprouts Farmers Market (Cerrillos Road location)
   Trader Joe's

Thanks for your thoughtful and plentiful support!


iPads are in the classroom at TTCS!

Many students are using our new iPads in the classroom. 

Pictured here (from left to right) are Russell Thal, Jordan Stack, and Lyanna Parra -- in Ms. Aranda's Kindergarten Enrichment class.


FluMist® Update

FluMist® and flu shots were given this week to students and staff. If your child was absent, I will give them their shot next week.

Didn't sign up yet? If you want your child to get FluMist® or a vaccination, I still have some available. Please call me at 505-986-4005.

Thank you!
Nurse Jennie

posted: October 30, 2014

News: School Lunch Program

Beginning October 1, TTCS students who may be eligible but have not renewed their free or reduced food program applications will be charged full price.

Please contact Lucy King in the TTCS kitchen if your child ends up being charged and you believe you would qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Our meals at TTCS are provided by the Federal School Food Program. The services at TTCS this year are provided by Santa Fe Public Schools.
Sign up for Free and Reduced Price Food Programs
Families must apply and qualify each year.  If you have qualified for free and reduced meals in previous years, you must reapply and qualify by October 1, 2014.
  
IF YOU ARE NEW TO TTCS: you must fill out an application form as soon as possible. These forms are available in the business office at TTCS.

Forms to apply will be available at the "Gathering of the Pack": August 13th at 4:00 PM. Look for the table marked "Food Program"

PRICES for meals 2014-2015
Breakfast: free or $0.30 reduced or $1.00 Full price
Lunch:       free or $0.40 reduced or $2.10 Full price



New Activities for Students

Science Fair is only 17 weeks away!!

It's not too early to start thinking about science fair projects.

Science Fair will take place on Friday, January 30. All grades are invited to enter. The best inquiry-based projects will be displayed in the Library for district judging. All others, including demonstrations, can be entered in the Cafeteria for TTCS judging.

September is not too early to begin talking about projects -- get kids thinking about what they might want to investigate!

Feel free to talk to Mr. Davis or go to Room D9 to look at the resources he has to kick-start ideas.

Posted: September 19, 2014

Coyote Chorus begins on September 23

Members of the Coyote Chorus will meet 

for the first time on Tuesday, September 23.

Rehearsals in the Music Room, C1, from 3:00- 4:00 pm


Daily Announcements

Have you ever wondered what a charter school is? How we are different? Why?
This is an excellent website to answer most of your questions.

What is a charter school?
http://www.vox.com/cards/charter-schools/what-is-a-charter-school

REMINDER 
Contact Mary, in the front office, if your contact information has changed: 505-986-4000. Students should be in the cafeteria by 7:45 am. School begins in the classroom at 7:50 am. We have had several parents arrive late to pick up their children from after-care. Beginning on
Monday, August 26, 2013, parents arriving late will automatically be charged $1 per minute past 5:30 pm. We will use the displayed time on our staff ’s cell phones as the official time (not the clocks on the school walls). If you arrive late, staff will show you the time on their cell phones and record it on the sign-out sheet. Thank you for your cooperation.


Important Information

Dear Council Members & TTCS Staff,

The State Public Education Department has released our school grade for the 2013 - 2014 school year. I am extremely pleased to announce that TTCS has received an "A" -- up from the previous year's grade of "D." This represents an incredible effort and hard work at every level of TTCS. Governance Council members, administration, and staff have all done an amazing job of focusing on improving the schools grade -- while NEVER forgetting that our no. 1 priority is preparing students academically and socially for lifelong success.

I want to thank the TTCS staff for your hard work, dedication, and commitment to the students of TTCS.

I want to thank Dr. Griffin, whose leadership in his first year at TTCS played a crucial role in our success.

I want to thank the Governance Council members for having the vision of a successful TTCS, while providing the responsible stewardship that has been critical to the school's success.

I want to congratulate all of you on this impressive achievement. While we still have work to do, this is the time for us to celebrate.

Well done!

Sincerely,

Floyd J. Trujillo, President
TTCS Governance Council


Press release from the TTCS Governance Council, July 18, 2014

Turquoise Trail Charter School to Apply for State Authorization

At its regular monthly meeting on Thursday July 17, the Turquoise Trail Charter School Governance Council voted unanimously to become a state charter school. The school chose to apply for its fifth five-year charter with the New Mexico Public Education Commission. The school’s charter authorizer for the past 20 years has been Santa Fe Public Schools.
     Turquoise Trail is the oldest charter school in New Mexico, and one of the largest charter schools in the state, with 525 students in Pre-K through 6th grade. The school is located on Highway 14, south of the Santa Fe city limits.
     The Governance Council, which acts as the decision-making authority for the school, released the following statement: “After several years of discussion and analysis, and following a strategic planning process, the Turquoise Trail Charter School Governance Council, acting on behalf of the school community, has concluded that the school is now ready to become an independent charter school."

Link here to read the entire press release:

http://www.turquoisetrailcharterschool.org/www/TTCES/site/hosting/Press releases/Press release_07.18.2014.docx


Turquoise Trail Charter School – Charter Renewal

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1)  What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school which is independent of a school district.  Charter schools have their own Governing Board (or Governance Council) which is responsible for setting school policies, creating and maintaining the school’s budget, and hiring and evaluating the Head Administrator of the school.

2)  How long has Turquoise Trail been a charter school?
Turquoise Trail was granted its first charter in 1994.  It is currently the oldest charter school in New Mexico.

3)  What does the “Change in Authorizer” mean?
By law, charter schools must renew their charters every 5 years.  TTCS has always been chartered through the SFPS district.  However, at the July meeting the TTCS Governance Council voted to renew its charter through the New Mexico Public Education Commission (PEC).  While this will change the process for TTCS in terms of reporting (progress reports, financial reports etc. will be sent to NM PED instead of SFPS), we anticipate little (if any) change to the day to day operations of TTCS.

Commission-authorized schools are often called “state chartered schools.”

4)  When will this change go into effect?
TTCS will submit its' application to the NM PED in October of 2014.  PED will make its decision on renewing the charter in January of 2015.  This new charter will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

5)  Will there be any changes for the current school year (2014 – 1015)?
No.  The current charter is in place until June 30, 2015.

6)  Is there an effect on admission to the school?
No. We have always been required to admit our students through a lottery that is held each spring. None of the policies or procedures now in place for the lottery will change.

7)  Is there an effect on employment at the school?
No. Our staff and faculty are already employed independently by Turquoise Trail and no one’s status will change because of the change in authorizer.

8)  How do Commission-authorized charter schools differ from district-authorized charter schools?

  • Funding is received directly through from the state and does not pass through the school district.
  • Applications for special programs such as Pre-K and Title I (assistance to economically disadvantaged schools) are made directly to the Public Education Department and are not written by the school district.
  • Funding is expected to be greater for certain special programs.
  • The Public Education Commission has a staff charged with monitoring the progress of state chartered schools. This staff also provides technical assistance and support for state chartered schools.
  • Generally, state chartered schools outperform other schools around the state in academic measures.
  • Because state chartered schools are independent of school districts, they must meet higher standards for competent governance and administration.

9)  What other benefits does the school anticipate from this change?
As schools of choice, identity is important to charter schools. We want our school community to recognize our independence and our freedom to define our own mission, set our own goals and promote our own high standards. It can be difficult for the public to appreciate our independence when we are perceived as a district school. Re-chartering through the PEC is just another in a series of steps we have taken since 1994 to solidify our position as an independent school.


Other Events

Dear TTCS community:
Our entire community should celebrate the NM School Grade Report Card A recognition of our school and the extraordinary efforts everyone made last school year to improve our school grade -- especially our students, and their teachers. Make no mistake, everyone at TTCS played an important role in our significant improvement.

The 2014 School Grade Reports are now available publicly on the PED website:
 
 
If you see a map on this website, look for the "list view" button.


NEW TEACHERS at TTCS for 2014-15

Staffing update for Turquoise Trail Charter School

Several new teachers have been hired since the start of the school year. Please welcome them to the TTCS family!

Molly Maze joins us as a first grade teacher. She was formerly at Agua Fria Elementary (SFPS), where she taught first and second grades for eight years. Before that, she taught third grade at an international school in Costa Rica -- and she goes back every summer with her family, including her husband, who is from Costa Rica, and two daughters. She speaks Spanish fluently. Molly originally hails from Taos, but she went to college at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she received a bachelor's degree in sociology. Her hobbies include travel, skiing, and hiking.

Elisabeth Keller is our new Reading Interventionist, coming to TTCS with about 22 years of teaching experience. She's originally from the Bay Area of California, but she first came to Santa Fe as a student at St. John's College. She went back to California for a while, but she has been a permanent resident of Santa Fe for 19 years. Her previous job was at La Tierra Montessori Charter School, for a time she was the education director at the Children's Museum, and she has taught at the Tesuque Pueblo School. Her hobbies include hiking, cooking, reading, and ping-pong.

Kathy Hillock has transitioned to a part-time job working out of the Reading Room, with multiple duties, including fifth-grade Reading Interventionist and supervising the school's SAT process. She will also be part of the after-school tech "coaching" program, beginning this fall.

Paul Ortiz is on temporary assignment in the fifth grade through the Winter Break while interviews continue for a permanent replacement teacher for the fifth grade team. He's studying to become a school administrator, and he will return to full-time studies in the spring semester.

Dan Borton has taken on additional duties, and he will now be available in the computer labs for real-time support. He continues to assist Laine Patterson, our IT guru, keeping the school's computers in good form, in addition to his position as Band Director twice a week.

Posted: November 11, 2014


We are very pleased to announce that we have hired the following new teachers for the 2014-2015 school year:

BAND
Dan Borton, a well-respected professional woodwind player and teacher, back in Santa Fe after a few years in Texas, will begin to teach 5th- and 6th-grade band this coming year. Band will be a "pull out" class again on Wednesdays and Fridays. We have reconditioned many flutes and clarinets and hope to have many students join the band this year.  Important note: Char Rothschild will continue to be our music teacher, teaching M-Th this coming year.

Pre-K

Beth Murray
(Former TTCS PK teacher) - morning Pre-K session
Carolann Gutierrez
- afternoon Pre-K session - Many years experience in SFPS as a teacher, district administrator and charter school leader.
Nancilee D'Angelico will continue to teach both morning and afternoon sections.

1st Grade
Shawna Griffin - comes from Ramirez Thomas Elementary in Santa Fe.

3rd Grade
Debbie Hart - Debbie was one of our librarians last year and has held many other teaching positions at TTCS.

5th Grade
Kathy Hillock - Kathy was a student teacher last year in 5th grade at TTCS. 

Special Education

Linda Tucker -  Linda comes to us from Wood Gormley Elementary in Santa Fe.

ESL Bilingual
Karen Weigle has joined our Bilingual staff and will be teaching 3 days per week, K-6.  By profession she is an industrial engineer. Originally from Honduras, she has lived in Santa Fe for 5 years. She worked at Agua Fria Elementary for the past 2 years.


TTCS Policies

As of February 2014, Turquoise Trail Charter School has adopted the attached policy regarding NEW STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND SUMMER SCHOOL.
Policy%20333-NewStudentAssessment.pdf

The Howler -- El Aullado

Find current issues of The Howler/El Aullado on the "School Resources" pull-down menu

Upcoming Events

Mon, Dec 22 - Fri, Jan 2
Winter Break
 No school
Monday, January 5
DIBELS Testing
Grades K-3
DRA Testing
Grades K-6
School Lottery - enrollment begins today
Lottery drawing will be held on March 3, 2015
Tuesday, January 6
DIBELS Testing
Grades K-3
DRA Testing
Grades K-6

Weather

Today, 12/28/2014
High: 28 Low: 7
Partly cloudy
1% chance of precipitation.
Tomorrow, 12/29/2014
High: 33 Low: 16
Mostly clear
3% chance of precipitation.