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School Practices

Audio: Overcoming Challenges to Close the Achievement Gap

Principal Phyllis Maestas

Overcoming Challenges to Close the Achievement Gap. Like many schools, educators at Ladera Del Norte Elementary school were committed to supporting the success of all students, but they needed to strategically overcome a number of challenges in their mission to close achievement gaps.

Ladera Del Norte also prioritizes community involvement in student learning, especially in support of celebrating students’ heritage and culture. Maestas recommends that schools working to close achievement gaps “embrace the individuality of every child”, and use their unique strengths as the starting place to help them thrive.

In this audio profile, Principal Phyllis Maestas explains how they improved their use of PLC time, which was “the first big step to closing the achievement gap”. Over time, teachers became more skilled in quickly identifying and meeting student needs. Now, even students themselves “know what they’re supposed to learn and how they’re going to get there.”

To listen to the full podcast, scroll down. You can download the transcript here.

Ladera Crafts
Members of Ladera’s local Native American community teach children about traditional crafts.
Ladera Dancers
Ladera students enjoy learning traditional dances from members of the school’s Hispanic community.

School Information

Ladere Del Norte Elementary School

Mrs. Phyllis Maestas

Principal at time of Nomination

308 E. 35th Street
Farmington, NM 87401-9309
(505) 599-8605
Student Demographics 2019
Number of students K-5566
Students eligible for subsidized meals31%
Students receiving special ed services15%
African American students1%
White students47%
American Indian or Alaska Native students20%
Asian students1%
Hispanic or Latino students25%
Two or more races6%
Student mobility rate22%