January 19th, 2018

2018-18 School Year Enrollment!

JPTA families, now’s the time to let friends and family members know that we are accepting lottery/enrollment applications for next year.  If your child is already enrolled, you don’t need to do anything beyond letting us know that your child is returning; you don’t have to do the lottery again!

 Lottery Form Deadline: March 7th at 4:00pm.

Returning next year?  Please make sure you fill out the return form and get it in to reserve your space for next year!  If you did not see or get the form, please pick it up in the front office.  Most of you have already done this; this is simply a reminder!

Siblings?  If you have a sibling to a currently enrolled student whom you wish to enroll, you MUST submit a lottery enrollment form for next year.  While your child will have preference over children without siblings in the school, this form is required!

For Lottery and Enrollment Info, Click Here! (on our website under “Connect”)



Thanks to the many who helped with this event, we reached the $10,000 matching amount so that the grand total was over $20,000.  The final push came from the PAC (Parent Advisory Committee).  Fantastic work, JPTA Community!


 Playground Update

As you may have noticed, the track has been completed and we’re inching forward.  Thanks to the JPTA Foundation we have the funding in place to proceed with the irrigation and grass installation. This will be the largest and most obvious phase in our project.  Our hope is that we can do this around our spring break, depending on availability of the landscape contractor.  After this, the last push will be some vegetation and the installation of play structure(s).  While we already have some of this funding, we’ll chip away at this as the time arrives.


Barnes & Noble Book Fair

Thanks again to our amazing community, this effort raised $2200, some of which the PAC donated toward the Move-a-Thon efforts, thus meeting the $10,000 match.  This was a great community effort and put our school out in the public in a positive light.  Great work!


Check for Lice

We have had some instances of lice since returning to school.  Please take the time to check your child and let us know if you find any of those critters.  There’s many misconceptions out there and ANYONE can get lice.  Reportedly, lice are more apt to occur in clean hair than dirty.  Don’t tell your child, he may never take a bath again!  If we have an outbreak in a classroom, we usually check the rest of those students to mitigate spreading.  Checking periodically at home is of huge assistance.


Flu Season

Lastly for this update, please be mindful that flu is present in New Mexico.  Linked below is information from the state for reference.  Remind your family members to wash their hands frequently and cover their cough and sneeze with the inside of their elbow, not their hands. 

 flu_guide_parents_sp.pdf  a-flu-guide-for-parents.pdf 

December 15, 2017

Check out page 11 of the Las Cruces Bulletin!! (Clip above)


Winter Break Schedule (Out on the 19th, return on January 8th)

Winter break is rapidly approaching and the excitement for many our students heightens by the day!  We’ve had many events, fieldtrips and activities.  As a quick reminder, next Monday and Tuesday are the last two days before break.  Students will return on January 8th.


Amazon pays J. Paul Taylor Academy!

Shop on Amazon, please consider clicking on this link so that a percentage of your purchase comes back to the school as a dividend.  Click Here: https://www.amazon.com/?ie=UTF8&encoding=utfb&tag=jpautayaca-20


Holiday Caroling Event!

Thursday, December 21st, those interested should join in a Neighborhood Caroling event.  Please see above flyer.



We have received a little more toward the move-a-thon.  We are very close to $9,500 as of today and and just $500 shy of the full matching amount.  Grandparents drop off a $500 check just this morning.  If you are able, please consider donating before school gets out and you can potentially claim this on this year’s tax deductions.  Remember that every dolor you donate is matched 100% by the JPTA Foundation! Thank you to all who have participated!!


Tis the Season!

From now until Winter Break, we will be collecting non-perishable items that we can donate to the Community of Hope.  They also tend to have a high need for items that can be used for pets.  This organization has many outreach projects so please consider how you may be able to help.  Each classroom will have a donation box setup by early next week!


Barnes & Noble Book Fair (January 19th and 20th)

Please consider helping as we host a book fair. Ms. Carol from the library has made a JPTA wish list for the library that will be at the book fair. There will be a list available and/or some of the books will be at the JPTA table if you would like to purchase one for the school.

You can sign up here!  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084dadaa28a7f58-jpta6


December 1st, 2017

 W I N T E R   C O N C E R T (4TH – 8TH GRADE)

December 12th at 6:30, 4th through 8th grade orchestra groups will present at a winter concert.  The event will be held next door at Alma d’Arte.  $5 admission for adults and all proceeds will offset any event costs and contribute to our music program.

Many families have asked about the prospect of doing a K-8 winter program.  As Mr. Villabona is still very new, it was simply too much for this year.  We will consider this in the future!


Toys for Tots

If you don’t feel you have the means to acquire gifts for your child or children this holiday season, Toys for Tots may be able to help.  Last year, we had a couple families utilize the program to help brighten their children’s holiday season.

If you feel you need assistance, let me know.  Please email (eric.ahner@jpaultayloracademy.org) or call me.  I will be the only one who knows and will work with you to maintain this confidentiality.



If you have not turned in your donation/pledge, please do so ASAP so that we can wrap this up!

So far, we have raised a little less than $8000 from our families.  This exceeds last year, but falls short of our $10,000 goal.  Also, this amount reflects two donors from one family that raised $3,400.  Remember, every dolor that you donate is matched by our foundation! If we end at the current amount, that’s a total of $16,000 toward the playground project. Nice work JPTA community!


Tis the Season!

From now until Winter Break, we will be collecting non-perishable items that we can donate to the Community of Hope.  They also tend to have a high need for items that can be used for pets.  This organization has many outreach projects so please consider how you may be able to help.  Each classroom will have a donation box setup by early next week!

November 27th, 2017

 The M O V E – A – T H O N   is  A L M O S T   H E R E!

We are hoping that we can average $50 per family this year!  Did your child talk to family over the break to seek their support in the 2017 Move-a-Thon? 

The JPTA Foundation has agreed to offer a matching challenge up to $10,000!  If we can accomplish this average of $50 per family, we will raise over $20,000 toward the playground project! 

See the attached form if your child lost his or her form.


Phoenix Awards

While you were giving thanks, I hope you thought about our JPTA community! Give some thought to those who have done great things for our students and school, and make a nomination for the JPTA Phoenix Awards. The Phoenix Awards are a way for us to recognize people who go above and beyond to make JPTA a wonderful place to learn.

Please nominate an outstanding teacher, staff person, elementary student, middle school student, and/or volunteer for the second quarter PHOENIX AWARDS by December 4.  

Nomination forms are available in the front office and at the link below. Turn nomination forms in to the wooden box in the front office. We're thankful for our amazing community!


October 27th, 2017

Weekly Update for October 27th, 2017



See the info at the top of this page!

In the spirit of making sure all JPTA families can participate in the Fall Carnival, some activity booth tickets have been kindly donated to the school. If your family could benefit from these tickets please email Mr. Ahner (eric.ahner@jpaultayloracademy.org).  

In trade for these tickets please consider donating a bit of your time to help at the carnival.

To make the night a success we will need quite a few volunteers to help out the night of the carnival and for donations of candy/prizes and booth supplies.

You can sign up at:



Halloween Costumes

Next Tuesday, the students who wish to dress up for Halloween will have a chance for a costume showcase.  At the end of the day, students will display their costumes by parading a lap around Pioneer Park.  We plan to invite neighbors to witness another JPTA event.  Feel free to join us!

 Time: 2:00 – 2:40

 Costume Rules:

  • No covering faces (paint or masks…)
  • No weapons (even fake ones that look real)
  • No clowns (a few phobias and past antics with clowns, sorry!) 

October 20, 2017

Tardies and Unexcused Absences

Tardies and unexcused absences are pretty high.  Please be on time!  Arriving late is hard on the teachers and students by slows down morning instruction and interrupting routine.  While we fully understand that there are many elements thwarting timely arrival, please give it your best effort!

If you child is out, please provide the school with a doctor’s note or written reason for the absence.  If you are expecting your student to be out of school, please send me an email requesting the absence be excused and communicate the details to the teachers in advance.                                                

Unfortunately, our database system does a better job of taking tardies and absences in than offering comprehensive reports out.  We are working on generating reports that we can send out. 


JPTA Playground

The contractors should be on site early next week to begin the installation of the walking / jogging track.  We anticipate about two to three weeks.  After that, sod and a watering system.  We have the funds to install the track and most of the irrigation.  Fundraising efforts will focus on grass!  The PE classes will be practicing creativity with less space than normal; lots of trips to the nearby parks!  A special thanks to the JPTA Foundation for their continual support to our school.  They have donated the money to install the track!

October 13th, 2017


Las Cruces Fire Department

Special thanks to the Las Cruces Fire Department!  The Department helped us run a new flagpole line.  Of course, we had to take advantage of a picture opportunity while the firefighters were visiting.  The Kinder class loved the it!


JPTA Playground

Hopefully in the next two weeks, we will begin the installation of the walking/jobbing track.  After this phase, we will install water lines in preparation for grass.  We have the funding for the track and irrigation and will begin to fundraise for the turf and landscaping soon! 



Families come join us for a Fall Carnival on Saturday, October 28th from 5:00-8:00 pm at JPTA. The Carnival will be a fun celebration of spooky things and not-so-spooky things for all JPTA students and families. PAC will be selling tickets and running booths as a fundraiser for the classrooms and PAC. There will be pizza, snacks and drinks for purchase, so come prepared to make it a full night of fun!

To make the night a success we will need quite a few volunteers to help out the night of the carnival and for donations of candy/prizes and booth supplies.

You can sign up at:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084dadaa28a7f58-jpta4


Parent / Teacher Conferences

Parents, thanks for your high participation in this fall’s parent and teacher conferences.  While I think the new format worked better for elementary school teachers and parents, the middle school had limited meeting times to meet with each content area teacher.  We’ll try to revise this format for the middle school for the spring conferences.  If you have comments about conferences, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email.


JPTA Holiday Bazaar 2017 - Saturday, November 18th from 10am - 2pm 

JPTA families we are looking for unique artists, craftsmen, craftswomen and local business owners within our school community that would like to promote themselves during our Holiday Bazaar 2017. We are giving JPTA families first choice on purchasing booth space at the event starting at $25 per booth before we offer spaces to the public. This is the perfect opportunity for those that love to create but are reluctant to participate in larger fairs. 

Contact Theresa Basaldua or Jennifer Rogers for any questions or to get registered to reserve your space: theresabasaldua@gmail.com  or  rogersjr80@gmail.com 


2nd Quarter


I hope fall break has been great for everyone!  I have a couple pieces of information for you:



Teachers have submitted grades. We won’t do music grades until the end of the first semester as we’ve had multiple music teachers the first quarter.  Please access grades by logging into Parent Vue: http://lcps.k12.nm.us/tag/parentvue/

If you don’t have login credentials, please check with our front desk Monday or after.  You can also send an email to info@jpaultayloracademy.org and we’ll prep the paper with your username and password.  Unfortunately, you need to pick the paper up in person.



Tuesday, October 3rd is picture day. This date, being so close to return after fall break, has come upon us quickly.  We’ll try to get a reminder out Monday, but, ready or not…

 Click Here to Download More Info! 

Dieciseis de Septiembre

September 5th, 2017

Phoenix Awards

Please nominate an outstanding teacher, staff person, student, and/or volunteer for the First Quarter Phoenix Awards by this coming Monday August 28. Forms are available in the front office, and forms and instructions are also on the JPTA website (link below). Let's recognize those who go above and beyond to make our school a wonderful place to learn!

 K-3 Student Form 

 4-8 Students, Staff, Volunteers Form 

Diecisèis de Septiembre – Check out the flyer!

On September 14th, JPTA students will be celebrating our regional Mexican culture.  Students will showcase some of what they are learning as part of our Spanish Language Acquisition Program.  The event will be from 5:30 to 7:00 and the PAC will be hosting an enchilada dinner as a fundraiser. 

RSVP your enchiladas today or tomorrow ( enchilada dinner.pdf ).

The Body

My State!

2nd Grade Project

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Project Based Learning

Walking down the hall on Friday, I was inspired by the work seen on the walls, particularly outside the 4th grade classroom.  That class has been working on physiology and there were large class designed posters with bodies drawn onto butcher block paper.  Drawn on each body were different organs displaying systems of the human body.

 I was on my way to the 2nd grade classroom as I had received an invitation from the class to visit their projects on U. S. states.  Upon entering the classroom, I bear witness of a second grader with a giant block of cheese on his head.  While there was much to see, the cheese head was unavoidable.  Carter was displaying Wisconsin and each student had done a cleaver job of representing their state.  Each student stood next to his or her project, talking about key components of their state.

Having seen the students intensely focused on drawing the human bodies in 4th grade during the course of the week and the excitement in the 2nd grade students as they proudly presented their states as mini experts, it was evident that project based learning was inspiring learning opportunities for our students.  Great work!


John Paul Taylor’s 97th Birthday

On September 24th, J. Paul Taylor will turn 97 years old.  Oh, the wisdom!  We will have the honor of celebrating his birthday, presenting him cards, song and eating cupcakes for celebration.  Monday or Tuesday, your child might ask you to bake/acquire cupcakes to bring to school on Thursday morning to help us celebrate Mr. Taylor’s birthday. We are truly honored to have our school named after this individual who has spent a lifetime as an educator and pursing social justice for many.


Games Night

On Friday, August 11, the Parent Advisory Council hosted a games night at the school.  It was widely attended and many students were captured having a great time.  PAC, nice work and thank you all very much for creating a safe and fun event for our students and families outside of the regular school hours.  We can’t wait for future events.



On Monday, we will take advantage of the significant astronomical event as a learning opportunity.  Each student will have a chance to observe the eclipse.  We’ve acquired over 100 glasses for our student to wear so that they can safely observe this rare event.  Make sure you ask your kids what they learned about the eclipse!


Open House

On Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:00pm, you will have an opportunity to visit teachers.  I will give a short presentation at 5:30 followed by an open opportunity to stop by your child’s (or children’s) classroom for a short visit with the teacher.  We hope you stop by!


Barns & Noble Book Fair

And, to end the week with a touch of additional great news, the school raised $1,315.75.  Special thanks to the many teachers, students and parents who helped with the Barns & Noble Book Fair event.  Special thanks to Ms. Stevens for her time and organization!

Family Fun Night!

August 11, 2017

Tonight!  -- JPTA Family Game Night (5:30-7:30pm)

Looking for a way to have fun with your family and get to know the JPTA community?

Join us for pizza, chips, desserts, drinks, and GAMES!

Head to the cafeteria, then explore and play games throughout the building.

Food available for purchase from 5:30 - 6:30. Games until 7:30!

Hosted by JPTA PAC.


Music for 4th thru 8th Grade

If you have arranging for your own instrument, disregard the following!

Tomorrow I’ll travel to Albuquerque to pick up instruments; students will have them on Monday.  If you’ve not yet paid, please try to do so by early next week.  In the meantime, for those who have let us know, we will pick up your instrument.  Students will not be able to take their instruments out of the building until accounts are paid. 

Points to consider:

  • We need the full year’s payment up front (this is the down side of renting thru the school). My form is still a little confusing, but we’ll improve in the future.
  • I made an error when I added the gross receipt tax to the monthly amount. I did not update the 10 and 12 month costs.
  • Viola and Violins will need shoulder pads. Our music teacher has recommended sponge pads which are $5 each. We’re picking up extra so you can get one from the school if needed.

Students needing instruments:  Click here for the rental form (also attached in email). 


Dear Parents,


This letter is J. Paul Taylor Academy’s formal notification to you that we plan to use a long-term substitute teacher for music. This occurs when a teacher without the necessary license is in a classroom for over 4 weeks.  We have had two short-term subs and Mr. Villabona will be starting the first part of September.  After 4 weeks in the classroom without his music teacher’s license, he will be considered a long-term substitute teacher. 

Mr. Villabona has his Master’s in music from Penn State. I consider us very fortunate to acquire such an accomplished teacher, as was Mr. Arreola.  Mr. Villabona will be a licensed substitute teacher and plans to seek his music license with the Public Education Department.  Depending on timing, his music license may not be intact prior to being classified as a “long-term substitute teacher.”

Please contact me with any questions regarding this issue.



Eric B. Ahner

Executive Director

August 4th, 2017

Important information for the week of August 7th through the 11th.


Monday, we will have our music substitute teacher who will bridge our time from now until our full-time teacher arrives back in the country.  Ms. Erin Espinosa has taught many of our students’ lessons and will be here on Monday.  Bring your instruments!

Students needing instruments:  Click here for the rental form (also attached in email).  JPTA has been working with Robertson and Son’s to create a school-based rental program. Please see the form to determine if you wish to use us or find your own renter.


School Calendar (Click Here for link to Updated PDF Calendar)

Please note that we will have two parent/teacher conference this year in place of four.  We hope to increase attendance by providing two full days where you can meet with us.  Thursday meetings will start mid-morning and go later into the day and Friday meetings will essentially follow the regular school day for meeting times.  More details as we approach our first P/T conferences on October 12th and 13th.


From Our Parent Advisory Council:

Parents, please join us for our next PAC meeting - Wednesday, August 9th at 6:00pm in the JPTA Media Center.


JPTA Family Game Night, August 11th, 5:30-7:30pm

Looking for a way to have fun with your family and get to know the JPTA community?

Join us for pizza, chips, desserts, drinks, and GAMES!

Head to the cafeteria, then explore and play games throughout the building.

Food available for purchase from 5:30 - 6:30. Games until 7:30!

Hosted by JPTA PAC.


July 28th, 2017

 Music Program

Beginning August 7th, we will have Ms. Erin Espinosa substitute teach until Mr. Villabona arrives as our full-time teacher.  While this has been an area of challenge, I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m very relieved that both instructors are strong with string instruments, allowing us to continue our orchestra program.

Students needing instruments:  I will make it a priority to get a pricing/information packet together this weekend to help those of you who need instruments know how to proceed.  We plan to us Robertson and Sons in Albuquerque.  If you wish to rent on your own, you certainly can do so.  The rental entities that I know of require a credit check and bill monthly.  The school will not require a credit check; however, we will require the full year payment up front to avoid unexpected costs.


Drop off and pick up

I must say that drop off and pick up times are going much more smoothly this year.  Thanks for all who have changed their practices either through the procedures or via a conversation with staff.  The two areas we still need a little more work:

  • Please use the drop off lane; don’t drop off in front of the school in the morning!
  • When picking up your walker, please park and wait south of Court Ave. A few parents are waiting next to Alma de Arte which is much better than in front of the school, but this tends to creep closer and closer to the school!


Barns and Noble

Need books?  This weekend, the school is hosting an event at the Barnes and Noble at the Mesilla Valley Mall on Saturday and Sunday.  We hope you will stop by and stock up on reading material for yourself, your kids or for future gifts! …just a thought.  Either my wife or I will be reading a Dr. Seuss book to younger kids at 11:00am on Saturday.

Facebook Link: <<click here>>


Opening of School Tomorrow!

JPTA Families,

 Welcome back, and for those new to our community, welcome to J. Paul Taylor Academy!  I think we have a really good thing happening here and we’re excited to kick off our 7th year as a public charter school serving students in Las Cruces.


As a welcome, some of our parents are doing a meet and greet, “Coffee Talk @ Drop.” This event will run from 7:15 until 8:15.  So, if you wish to learn more about the school, ask questions from other parents…, this would be a great opportunity to do so.  You can see this on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jpaultayloracademy/photos/gm.1706503822986039/1462844457092514/?type=3&theater

In the event you arrive early for Coffee Talk, please keep your child with you until 7:30, at which time you may bring them into the building.  We have no staff on duty before 7:30am!!, but I’ll be around to say hello.

As this event will challenge parking for the morning, please park in the half of the lot nearest Alma d’ Arte, along the road SOUTH of our school or on Armijo (along the fence of the playground that is essentially the back of the school).


Drop Off

Drop off and pick up is an operation!  Expect things to be a little more hectic the first few days and please be patient.

Because we don’t have a bus system, we have A LOT of activity during these times.  To help with this, it’s extremely important to follow our protocol for pick up and drop off.  I’ve attached our procedures and I ask that you read them, even if you feel pretty familiar with these.  In the meantime, here are some key elements for tomorrow’s drop off:

  • Drop off NO EARLIER than 7:30am. Aim for 7:30 to 7:50ish on the north side of the building in the drop off lane. The “first bell” rings at 7:55am at which time students get into class lines in the playground area to get ready to go into their classrooms.
  • Only the car at the top of the drop off lane who is with the staffer can have their kid exit the vehicle FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE VEHICLE.
  • No passing on the inside left of the drop off lane; wait for the car in front to exit. We’ve had near misses with kids getting out from the left side of the vehicle and also with cars pulling out nearly colliding with the passing vehicle.


New Staff

Hopefully over the next few days, you will have an opportunity to meet these fine new additions to our school community!

Stephanie Sweet-Art

Jamie Sells-PE

Angie Alday-Kitchen

Mayra Diaz-Education Assistant

Janet Palmer-Education Assistant



For returning families, you may have noted a missing program staffer above.  We are in the process of hiring a new music teacher, but we are experiencing challenges in doing so.  We have an extremely talented individual from Venezuela who we are interested in, and who is interested in JPTA. Unfortunately, his visa is not active until September.  We are looking for ways to expedite the process and will keep you posted on this progress.



Eric Ahner

Executive Director

May 19, 2017

Remember that all updates and much more info is available on our website!

Mr. Ahner’s Updates



Here we are with one week of school remaining. It’s so hard to believe that it’s May and the year is coming to a close. It’s been a good year and I am very grateful to be a part of the J. Paul Taylor Community. Thanks for being a part of our community; we have a great school!


Library Books

Please send any library books back to school by Wednesday to help us retrieve as many books as possible in a timely fashion.  Check with your child to see if he or she currently hold any books to be returned. 



We have about 20 yearbooks left. If you are interested, please purchase one from the front office for $20.


NMSU Summer Opportunity for Students

Students in grades 3-8 have an opportunity to apply for the NMSU Summer Think Tank. See brochure.

Link to Think Tank Brochure


Lunch payments

Please help us out by ensuring your lunch account is paid and current. We will send the final statements on Monday, May 29th.


JAAM Fest Update

Wow, what a great event. This year the JAAM Fest raised just shy of $12,000. A sincere thank you to everyone who helped to execute the event and to the many who participated. This will help us in supporting many of our special programs and activities, especially our arts program.


Link to Next Year’s Calendar

The 2017-18 school calendar is available online for those interested in downloading and posting on your frig. Do parents still do that?

PDF Calendar Link

Google Calendar Link