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Success Maker Award recipient Sylvia Calderon stands with APS Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton, left, and Tate and Marleigh Branch during Monday’s school board meeting. (Teresa Lemon – Daily Press)

The Artesia Public Schools Board of Education approved Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Student Services John Ross Null’s revisions to the APS Dress Code Policy Monday during its regularly-scheduled meeting.

The changes to the district’s dress code include:

• The hemline for dresses, skirts and shorts must be of sufficient length to reach mid-thigh or longer, and dresses and skirts cannot have a slit above mid-thigh.

• Pants or jeans that are distressed, torn, or have holes cannot show bare skin or underwear above mid-thigh.

• Shirts with open shoulders must meet the two-inch strap requirement between the neck and open shoulder.

• Shirts or blouses must be one complete piece in the front, back and sides (i.e., no cut-outs, rips, tears).

• No bras, bralettes, or bra straps may be visible.

• Within the section of the policy concerning inappropriate wording or pictures being prohibited on clothing, the definition of inappropriate was expanded to include pictures, emblems, writings, colors, and styles of clothing that are sexual in nature or promote racism or violence.

• Spandex-type material, yoga pants, or leggings are prohibited when worn as outer clothing. An outer garment (shirt, sweater, dress, skirt, shorts, etc.) must cover spandex, yoga material, or leggings, and the outer garment must meet the length requirements of a hemline for dresses, skirts and shorts as stated above.

• Nose rings and spiked jewelry are prohibited. Piercings other than in the ears are not allowed, with the exception that students may have one small, flat, “speck” nose stud.

• Facial hair is not allowed, and any stubble or “5 o’clock shadow” must pass the “business card test.” The “business card test” consists of a business card run across the facial hair with no hair visible on the card at any time. Sideburns may not extend below the ear lobe.

These changes in policy are applicable to both boys and girls, and following lengthy discussion among board members, APS principals and vice principals present, and Artesia High School Student Council President Maegan Lemon, the board left the term “mid-thigh” as written, with the actual definition to be determined by Null and the principals and vice principals.

In other business Monday, APS Board President Lowell Irby recommended to the board that they approve Superintendent Dr. Crit Caton’s 2018-19 school year contract. Caton’s current salary is $145,005. Irby recommended Caton receive a 2.5-percent increase in pay, which was approved.

Caton also reported to the board that the installation of the new main court at Bulldog Pit will be completed April 28. The new floor features a Bulldog head logo at center court and script “A’s” in the east and west lanes.

Sylvia Urban-Calderon was named the Tate Branch Auto Group Success Maker for the month of March and was presented with flowers, a plaque, and a check by award sponsor Tate Branch and his daughter, Marleigh.

Calderon is a preschool teacher at Grand Heights Early Childhood Center and was nominated for the award by a parent, who wrote, “Thank you for welcoming my son to your class with open arms. Every day he comes home and tells me how much he loves school. You are an excellent teacher and we are thankful for you. You are amazing. I honestly can’t thank you enough.”

“Not only does (Calderon) do a phenomenal job but she loves her kids,” said Grand Heights principal Mitzi McCaleb. “We’re super proud of her and happy that she won this award.”

“This is overwhelming,” said Calderon.

Calderon plans to donate the $500 she was awarded to the Abby Calderon Memorial Scholarship her family sponsors in honor of her daughter.

The board also received a presentation from the 24/7 New Mexico Project, which offers free support for individual schools and school districts by analyzing the district’s tobacco policy, providing signage, and implementing school-based events to raise awareness of the policy.

The 24/7 Project is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health, which will be working with the district to upgrade signage and policy.

Null received approval to adopt the 2018-19 AHS graduation requirements and course description booklet, and to apply for the annual IDEA-B Grant.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Thad Phipps received the board’s approval to accept a $24,402.50 bid from Sparks Office Supply for three copy machines for Zia Intermediate, Park Junior High and Yeso Elementary schools; to accept a $97,083.23 bid from GWC for asbestos abatement and demolition work at Yucca Elementary, the work being necessary to replace the HVAC systems in the building; to accept a $112,491 bid from Engie Services to replace the antiquated camera system at Grand Heights; and a $24,848.60 bid from Security USA to purchase and install six video intercom control (“buzz-in”) systems at Grand Heights, Roselawn Yeso, Yucca, Zia and Park.

Caton reported the retirements of Tracy Allen, kindergarten teacher, Grand Heights; Paul Kirkwood, history teacher, AHS; Cynthia Starkey, kindergarten teacher, Grand Heights; and Felicia Velasquez, kindergarten teacher, Grand Heights.

Caton also announced the resignations of Yanet Montelongo, school counselor, AHS; Samantha Morin, special education instructional assistant, Hermosa Elementary; and Karime Zubia, Spanish teacher, AHS.

All retirements and resignations are effective at the end of the school year.

The APS will hold their staff service awards luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 20, in the Bulldog Training Center.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the school board will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, May 14, in the Lowell M. Irby Board Room at the Administration Building.