On Thursday, March 17, 2022, the NM Department of Education, during a roundtable discussion with local reporters, presented graduation rates data for the state, highlighting Farmington Municipal Schools for being one of the districts that continued an upward trend in graduation rates, which is a strong indicator of the health of a school system and significant considering the last 18 months of the pandemic.
Every year, the Farmington community celebrates the hundreds of students who earned a high school diploma and in numbers that have increased every year in our district. The 2021 graduation rate data reveals that more FMS students than ever before walked across the stage on graduation day, continuing an upward trend for the fifth consecutive year — including students with disabilities, a group that has also grown in our district, and English Language Learners. Since 2010, FMS four-year graduation rates have risen by fifteen percent.
Farmington Municipals Schools attributes these results to our students working hard, and the fact that FMS has strong systems all-around — focused on social-emotional learning, access to technology, and data monitoring to name just a few. FMS also has strong support systems for teachers and staff — including coaching, professional development, and clear communication.
“We have a lot of heroes in our communities that have made this possible. Our families became first teachers. Our students owned their education. Families across the city guided us through some dark times in the last two years. Our teachers are also incredible heroes, who reinvented themselves and quickly to online teach and provide a great education to students,” said Superintendent Dr. Eugene Schmidt.
“I would like to highlight the teamwork of teachers. Teachers do so much to help students and they stepped up during the pandemic to collaborate, share ideas, identify students that needed group or individual support, and continued to innovate during the pandemic and after coming back to in-person learning. We continue to focus on a school culture that provides the best education to our students, communicates with students and families, and reconnects with our school communities to have a solid curriculum for all students,” said Piedra Vista High School Principal Kelly Thur.
“It’s reassuring that even amid the pandemic’s second year, New Mexico’s overall graduation rate held steady, and some groups saw improvement,” Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus said. “We’re grateful to students, families and educators for the hard work it took to achieve that. Over the next year, we will be working on focused strategies with the goal of improving graduation rates and other student achievement metrics in math and English Language Arts.”
Enduring Understandings: Grad rates from 2017-2021
- 2021: 78.7%
- 2020: 77.4%
- 2019: 79.8%
- 2018: 74.70%
- 2017: 66.2%
* Since 2010, FMS four-year graduation rates have risen by 15%
Enduring Understandings: How did FMS improve grad rates?
- Instructional coaching leads to teacher and employee connectedness, and can serve as an adult-level Early Warning System.
- Independent Learning Mondays / Early Release: FMS values the PLC process with TIME and SUPPORT; honors teacher professionalism.
- Our responsibility to be sensitive, understanding and aware of the community experience has never been higher; we must seek input and respond.
- Priority standards aren’t just for pandemics! They are for teacher-developed, formative assessments as well.
- Prove / Improve: Monitoring artifacts and evidence against clear performance standards is a district responsibility. Data calendar that is aligned across schools and departments informs what is reported to the Board of Education as part of a strategic plan.
- Continued Commitment to Safe, Supportive environments and effective remote instruction.
- Returned to in-person learning as quickly as possible.
- Investments in support staff (social workers, nurses, youth advisors, etc.)
Clovis led the state’s 10 largest districts with the biggest year-over-year improvement: The district’s 2021 graduation rate of 77.9% is 7.5 points higher than the year before. Farmington increased 1.3 points to 78.7% and Albuquerque (the state’s largest district) increased 1.1 points to 75.7%.
Farmington Municipal Schools At A Glance
The District has more than 11,000 students enrolled and employs over 1,500 staff, including 711 teachers.
- 7th largest school district in New Mexico (2021-22) with 11,182 students
- 23 languages served
- 2 National Blue Ribbon Schools
- 85% of district funds went directly to schools and classrooms
- 96% of federal funds went directly to schools and classrooms
For more information about Farmington Municipal Schools, click here.