I have taught at other schools in the district and overall,I think our district is a great one. I landed at Aspen after volunteering to transfer from another elementary school due to numbers (I've taught at two other schools) and have been happiest at Aspen. The staff is a cohesive one, and all work tirelessly to implement a top-notch education. Complaints from staff are due to NM PED constraints/requirements, but not from Aspen itself. I think that's largely due to Principal Kathryn Vandenkieboom, who bases every decision on what's best for kids, not what the political trend is at the time. I'm very happy here and will be teaching at Aspen until my retirement!
We have truly enjoyed having our student at Aspen. The principal, teachers and staff were very welcoming when we moved here three years ago. We had came from another good school district so our expectations were high and we have not been disappointed. Highly recommend Aspen to anyone. M Smith
Aspen is an amazing group of professionals dedicated to providing a rigorous, challenging academic environment. It is a caring, safe place where parents, teachers, and students work together to achieve student success. The staff is continually striving to seek new,cutting edge strategies to improve instruction and empower students in their own learning. I have never worked in a more fun, encouraging, yet challenging school in the more than 15 years I've been a teacher.!
I disagree strongly with the post below (June 26, 2012). Aspen remains an outstanding school with an excellent staff. While specialty subjects are important (art, music, etc.), it is the classroom teachers that make the difference at a school, and in this regard Aspen remains strong. I feel this school is the only school in the district that truly has a community feel. All the teachers know all the children, as they see them growing up, and "moving up the hallway" as they advance through the system. Transitions naturally occur within a school, it is happens all the time, and though Aspen was challenged by the loss of several well-loved teachers, it was/is neither a reflection of the quality and morale at Aspen, nor has it affected the quality of my children's eduction. I moved own children from Barranca to be at this school and I am so glad I did.
Outstanding art, music, band, library and gifted teachers all left Aspen midyear this year (most of them transferred within the district), and students were stuck with sub after sub after sub; projects were started only to be abandoned by replacements. Shame on the district administration for allowing this to happen. Shame on the principal for failing to communicate with parents and students. And shame on parents for their indifference or defense of the transfers as career moves. There is little sense of community at this school privacy is guarded like a badge and new and out-of-district students are given the cold shoulder by their peers. As long as the district's only goal is to teach to the tests, students will keep getting good test scores. However, some of us want and expect vision and leadership that engages and inspires the students, broadens their perspective and supports character and community building from a district that is touted as one of the best in the state.
Aspen is so much better than Barranca. I moved to get my kids into Aspen. We had nothing but stress at Barranca, with exception to the preschool program, and a few instructors. At Aspen we are treated with dignity by most of the staff, and my children want to go. They are down to earth and concerned about the well being of their students and seem much more inviting when it comes to involving the parent(s) in the educational process.