FARMINGTON — As students and faculty return from Thanksgiving break, area school districts are preparing for this year's annual state school board convention this weekend in Albuquerque.

Starting Friday morning at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Albuquerque, the New Mexico School Board Association will be hosting its annual convention with the objective of providing information to school board members and administrators from around the state.

With a mixture of speakers, general and breakout sessions, the convention provides an opportunity for board members to continue required training for their positions.

Association business like electing officers, receiving committee reports and adopting the NMSBA's 2013 Legislative program also will take place.

Bloomfield School District Board of Education President Jim Conyers said the convention provides a good avenue for discussion about matters occurring in the state legislature relating to education and handling day-to-day school business like policy, procedures and legal matters.

"Usually, we come back with ideas and meet with the administration and ask them, "What are we doing in this area and how are we addressing this?'" Conyers said.

Covering a wide variety of topics like administration, board membership, facility management and community relations, the breakout sessions on Saturday morning help the board members receive training for professional development required to hold their seats.


Conyers said the training also helps when agenda items come up for approval by the board members.

"If something comes up before the board, we know what questions to ask and be sure things are done correctly," Conyers said. "(It) Helps us be more knowledgeable about the business that comes before the board and make better decisions."

Farmington Municipal Schools Superintendent Janel Ryan said she enjoys the occasion to spend time her fellow board members outside of the board room.

"I think it's a good opportunity to learn as a board and superintendent," Ryan said. "I don't see them unless it's at a meeting and we have a set agenda. Hearing their personal opinion is important to me."

Another important action taking place is the adoption of the legislative platform for the NMSBA, in which important topics are brought up in order to provide some traction towards action in the next state legislative session.

"I know this is a concern of every school district but we've not had enough money for raises for teachers or anyone really, for the last four years," Ryan said.

For Ryan, the convention provides an opportunity to voice concerns about funding and other issues along with other school districts which might be in the same boat.

"We look at what is presented to the legislature and the issues we might have with something like federal reimbursements," Ryan said. "Maybe timely reimbursements is an issue in your district and you can talk with the Secretary of Education for the state about it."