Datil Ele­men­tary: A School in Progress

Catron Courier - - Front Page - by Ricky T. Chavez-Lead Teacher

Datil Ele­men­tary School is a rather unique school, which in my opin­ion is a school that is not far re­moved from the school(s) of yester year. I first started teach­ing at Datil Ele­men­tary in the Fall of 1984, right af­ter the Hal­loween car­ni­val. I taught here for about three years and then moved about for some time, while teach­ing in other school dis­tricts, honing in on my pro­fes­sion.

Back then, there was an en­roll­ment of about 35 stu­dents with three full time teach­ers, a cook, cus­to­dian, and a school sec­re­tary. Yes, Datil was a thriv­ing ru­ral ranch­ing com­mu­nity with many fam­i­lies that were long time res­i­dence whose fam­i­lies had been in this area for gen­er­a­tions, and still are to this day. Then, along came the re­set­tle­ment of many new fam­i­lies who have chose to now re­side in the Datil area and have helped in keep­ing the school tradi- tion and spirit alive.

Yet, com­pared to to­day’s en­roll­ment of 13 stu­dents, two teach­ers, and a split time cook/cus­to­dial po­si­tion, Datil still re­mains “a school in progress.” What not with keep­ing the stu­dents of this four room school house ac­tive, mo­ti­vated and in keep­ing cur­rent with to­day’s ed­u­ca­tional chal­lenges. Datil stu­dents, par­ents, and the com­mu­nity, in gen­eral, are to be com­mended in keep­ing this small school alive with the “tra­di­tion, spirit and pride” that this school has al­ways held in high re­gards.

I am very “Proud” to mention that although small, those stu­dents of our small ru­ral school are to be com­mended for their hard work and ef­forts they have put into this “Great” school. The stu­dents of Datil Ele­men­tary were able to rise to the chal­lenge of the newly in­stilled state PARRC test­ing as­sess­ment, which rates our stu­dents and schools through­out the state of New Mex­ico. Datil Ele­men­tary Coy­otes were able to take our school from a C rat­ing to a B rat­ing for the 2015-16 school years!

Although this is a grand ac­com­plish­ment, it is the be­lief of our staff here at Datil Ele­men­tary that our stu­dents are “more than a score”. In say­ing this, my in­ten­tions are that learn­ing still has to be in­stilled with fun and not just the day to day rigor of learn­ing with­out the “Art of Teach­ing “be­ing brought to th­ese stu­dents and made to be en­joy­able for them.

Thus, this year, we the staff have brought back an en­thu­si­asm for learn­ing within our school. With and through the sup­port of our ad­min­is­tra­tion, we now have an Art class taught once a week by a true art teacher, Ms. Marilynn Lyons. We have also brought back into our learn­ing cur­ricu­lums project based cur­ricu­lums, which al­low stu­dents some hands on ac­tiv­i­ties that make learn­ing fun and more mean­ing­ful. One such class is a Sci­ence lab, held ev­ery Tues­day, with ac­tual sci­ence ex­per­i­ments that the stu­dents per­form and keep a writ­ten Sci­ence jour­nal.

We are proud of the stu­dents here at Datil Ele­men­tary and they are all to be com­mended for their hard work and ef­forts in earn­ing a state B rat­ing for our school. Now the ef­forts are to keep that B, and work to earn an A!

Teach­ing is not a lost ART, but the re­gard for it is a lost tra­di­tion!— Jac­ques Bar­zon

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