Welcome to Mandela International Magnet School Home of the Lions
A message from our Principal Learner, Mr. Randy Grillo
Dear Mandela Community,
It’s hard to believe that June and July have passed and we are now just days away from our return to classes. I hope you have had some meaningful experiences with your children, and we look forward to welcoming them back to our school, challenging them, and learning with them.
Below are a number of items and dates that you should be aware, and that you may want to mark your calendar.
First Day Of School: Tuesday, August 13th, is the first day of the new school year. Our doors will open at 8:00 and classes will begin promptly at 8:45 and end at 3:40. All students should plan to start their day by picking up their schedules in the gym and then proceeding to the cafeteria to wait for the first bell. We will follow a regular Tuesday schedule with Plática in the morning and a longer Plática in the afternoon.
Student Drop Off: Please be aware that the parking lot closest to Agua Fria is for staff parking only. We remind you that if you are coming from Agua Fria, go all the way down to the roundabout and drop your child off at the curb. Assigned parking spots (Principal, Secretary, Nurse, Counselor, etc.), and the handicap parking are for those listed on the sign. Please respect the signs and drop your children in the designated spots.
Parking Policy: All driving Mandela students must purchase parking permits in order to park in the student parking lot. To be eligible for a permit, students must prove eligibility with a valid driver’s license and current auto insurance. Permits valid for one semester may be purchased for $30.00. Permits valid for a full academic year may be purchased for a discounted rate of $50.00. Permits are available in the Mandela main office. Students are expected to arrive to their classes on time and parking privileges will be revoked at 10 tardies.
Plática: Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, students will spend the first 30 minutes of the day in their assigned Plática or advisory group. The intent of this time is that students and teachers connect, listen and share about what it means to be a student at Mandela, how to develop more fully in the Learner Profile Traits, and ensures that each student has one adult that knows them well. Attendance and punctuality in plática is imperative to its success. More information about Pláticas can be found in the Community Handbook, which will go home the first week of school.
Early Release: We will once again hold early release on Tuesdays in order to accommodate teacher collaboration time. Bussers will leave at 2:20 and the rest of our students will be dismissed at 2:30. The first early release day will be August 20th. All students will be eligible for early release during the month of August. More early release details will be sent out during the first week of school.
New Staff: We welcome six new teachers to our school who bring a wealth of experiences locally and beyond. Andrea Lozano will be teaching DP Spanish. Originally from Mexico City, Ms. Lozano brings many years of weaving the arts and languages together. María Gonzales will be teaching 8th and 9th Grade Spanish. Originally from Santa Fe, she has taught Spanish the better part of the last two decades at Durango High School and has a gift for rapping in Spanish. Drew Weaver will be teaching 7th Grade Individuals and Societies and 9th Grade Language and Literature. He is also an avid soccer fan and excellent coach. Sairey Pickering comes to us from the International Academy in Michigan. She will be teaching 7th, 10th, and 12th grade Language and Literature. She describes herself as someone who “loves to nerd out on books.” Megan Auer has been teaching at the Santa Fe Girls’ School but will now be our 8th grade science and 9th grade math teacher. She spends much of her free time off the grid and close to nature. Dave Forester comes to us from the LANL Foundation. He is teaching 10th grade Individuals and Societies and will also be part-time Dean of Students. This is Dave’s 12th year teaching and his student first philosophy won him a Santa Fe Teachers Who Inspire award in 2009.
Also of note, Jessie Gac will continue teaching math, but will also move in the Diploma Program Coordinator role. Kaisa Svard will continue teaching 7th grade Language and Literature, but will coordinate our Personal Project, Service Learning and CAS programs.
Calendar: August 8th - Oaxaca Program meeting for 11th and 12th grade parents, 5PM August 9th - New Students/Parent Orientation - Drop-in sessions will be held at 11:00, 12:00 & 1:00. No need to RSVP August 13th - First Day of School (8:45-3:40) August 20th - First Day for Early Release (Students released at 2:30) August 22/23 - Diploma Program Overnight for all 11th and 12th grades August 26th - 12th Grade Art Trip August 29th - Back to School Night from 5:30-7:30
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