Dulce Independent Schools

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    But you can’t make them drink!  Education is much like this old truthful saying. Teachers, administrators, educational assistants, and parents can lead students to knowledge, but we can’t make them think! 

    It is known that humans all develop at different rates; physically, mentally, and developmentally. Yet our schools are set up by chronological age and not developmental age.

    Parents with more than one child see these developmental differences quickly and treat them differently to meet their needs.

    Now the fun begins! Forty kindergarteners show up to school the first day. Many of which are at different development stages. The task for the teacher is to  sort them out somehow, try to catch up those that are behind, and motivate those that are ahead so by the end of a 180 day school year, they are on the same level.

    Does this sound like a plan for success to you? 

    It takes all of working together to educate our kids to be successful!

    So, what can we do as parents/teachers/administrators?

    Read to your student every night, this not only increases their vocabulary but creates a bond between you and your child. After reading a few pages, ask them questions about what they understood. This helps with critical thinking and being able to express their thoughts.

    Set an example by reading yourself! Find a topic that interest you and learn all you can about it, then share with your kids.

    Show an interest in what your kids are doing, reading, and learning. Ask open ended questions so they can’t answer with a shrug or “umph”.

    It is true about leading a horse to water but like leading a student, they will eventually become thirsty and drink….kids are thirsty as well so water them often!



    District Mission:

    Our district will educate, nurture and strengthen all our children to be productive, contributing members of society.

    District Vision:

    Dulce Graduates will be self-directed, capable, responsible, life-long learners, who maintain their cultural identities and creative individualism.




    Welcome to Dulce Independent Schools, Heart of the Jicarilla Apache Nation! Dulce Independent School District No. 21 is a New Mexico Public School District that is located in Dulce, New Mexico on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation.  It serves students Pre-K through 12th Grade students.  It is Home to the Dulce Elementary Warriors and the Dulce Middle and High School Hawks. If you have any questions, please visit our department tabs for further information.  Thank you. 





Superintendent Updates

  • January 11, 2020 Update

    Posted by Milton Archuleta on 1/11/2021

    Good morning everyone;

     As you know, we have several groups of school employees in quarantine for possible exposure to the COVID 19 virus.  We are following protocols set by the NMDOH, CDC and DISD to eliminate any further spread of this most contagious virus. 

     While these steps are having an impact on our services such as food prep, delivery, and maintenance issues we are still meeting the educational needs of our students. We will work hard to get these services restored as quickly and safely as we can. We ask that you continue to strictly follow all of the preventive measures to stop the spread. 

     New Mexico has included educators in the second round of the vaccinations plan. To register for vaccination, visit cvvaccine.nmhealth.org and NMDOH will notify registrants when the vaccine is available. NMDOH also announced this week a DOH hotline that offers support for questions surrounding vaccine registration. New Mexicans who have questions or need support with the registration process can dial 1-855-600-3453, press option 0 for vaccine questions, and then option 4 for tech support.


    Experts expect another serge of COVID cases following the holidays, so this may get worse before it gets better. It is not a time to panic or overreact but to follow all of the guidelines that has proven to be effective in preventing additional spread.

     This pandemic has certainly raised our anxiety and fears as never before. We are anxious about our families, ourselves, and our community. I firmly believe we will get through this if we take care of each other in any way we can by checking on each other, talking to our children to relieve their worries and explain the importance of following all of the guidelines to prevent further spread of this virus. 

     If you need to get in touch with school personnel, please call as most of us are working remotely but have access to phones, email, and social media outlets. We are working hard to keep our many services working smoothly and appreciate your patience and prayers as we navigate through these challenging times. 

     Please stay safe so we when all of this slows down, we can get back to some sense of normalcy as quickly as possible. 

     Warm regards,

     Dr. Jim Hattabaugh


    Dulce Independent School District

    Dulce, NM 87528




    Comments (-1)
  • Announcement

    Posted by Dr. Jim Hattabaugh on 11/10/2020

    Good Afternoon Everyone:


    As you may know by now, the Jicarilla Apache Nation will go into lockdown beginning Monday, November 16, 2020 until Sunday, November 29, 2020.

    They are still developing plans and requirements which they will adopt on Thursday, November 12.


    Here is what we know at this  time.

    1. Access to and from the reservation will be strictly enforced during this time.
    2. Two days each week may be designated for one person per family may leave to buy food and necessities.
    3. The local story on Hawk Drive will have limited hours of operation.


    What this means for Dulce Schools:

    1. If you live in Dulce, you may want to stock up on necessities before Monday.
    2. Classes will continue as they have been this semester.
    3. All teachers will operate remotely.
    4. Some essential workers may get a pass into the reservation if they live outside of the reservation (not sure yet).
    5. We will continue to serve meals as we have been. The hours/days/place may be adjusted but we will announce any changes on our social media outlets and robo calls.
    6. We will continue to work with the Nation to keep everyone as safe as possible.
    7. All school buildings will be closed as much as possible with essential employees will be allowed into the schools. Call your principal for advice.
    8. Please take time in your classes to reassure the students and encourage all safety measures.
    9. As soon as I find out more details, I will send it out to everyone.
    10. Stay safe and follow all precautions.



    Dr. Jim Hattabaugh


    Dulce Independent School District

    Dulce, NM 87528

    (575) 759-2925


    Comments (-1)
  • Winter Weather

    Posted by Dr. Jim Hattabaugh on 10/26/2020

    Dear Parents and Students;

    As winter weather gets here, we must prepare for what we will do. It is a bit easier this year as we are all in distance learning so classes will go on as usual.

    So sorry students, there will not be any snow days this year. I feel a bit like Santa cancelling Christmas. Both as a student and educator, I really looked forward to snow days. I guess, we will just have to settle for small breaks outside and the weekends to play in the snow.

    We still need to prepare for those things that happen in the winter.

    • If you have issues with connectivity, please contact your principal so we can work something out to make sure you can connect with your teacher.
    • If your power goes out, well, I guess you are in the dark?
    • Instruction will go on as planned. It is so important to you and all of us that we continue to meet our obligations and expectations for learning.
    • Improving learning for all students is what we are charged with in our district. For that reason, we need to touch base and provide opportunities every day regardless of the weather outside.

    Let the learning continue every day for our students because we care about your progress and success. Keep on Learning!

    Dr. Hattabaugh,


    Comments (-1)
  • Decisions

    Posted by Dr. Jim Hattabaugh on 9/23/2020

    Return to the Classroom or Not? That is the question.

    The DISD School Board at my recommendation, voted to remain in on-line learning and cancel all athletics/activities until January 2021. This is a challenging decision in many ways.

    Remaining on-line, places a burden on all stakeholders.  Parents are asked to take more of a hands-on role in educating their children, it asks students to isolate when all they want to do is socialize and visit with friends, it asks teachers to use a medium of instruction that few were trained for, it places a burden on our delivery system and those that make it work.

    We all agree that face to face learning is the best way to educate our students. With this in mind, we must weigh the benefits versus the risks involved. The risks are apparent to all of us. We are in a pandemic with COVID 19 that has shown to have a harsher effect on Native Americans and Latino populations than for others. Is risking the lives of our children and community members worth the risk?

    We have all observed the inconsistencies at all levels on how to deal with this pandemic. For instance, while we could re-open our schools at the K-5 level with restrictions, DISD along with many other schools in New Mexico, chose not to go down this path for the safety of our community.

    With all of these considerations in mind and concerns about the overall health of everyone, it is not an easy decision. But after weighing all the possibilities, ramifications and what we know about this disease, it was clear that the safety of all concerned was the right decision.

    Please continue to work closely with your students and teachers as we all continue to learn what is the best way to reach and educate our students!


    Dr. Jim Hattabaugh,



    Comments (-1)
  • Food Services in DISD

    Posted by Dr. Jim Hattabaugh on 9/3/2020 8:00:00 AM

    Greetings Everyone!

    I hope you are all healthy and enjoying this beautiful September day!

    All of us at DISD miss all of you and hope we can resume our on campus teaching sooner than later.

    I just finished a wonderful lunch/breakfast feast from our Ms. Christina at Food Service that goes out to many of you. The Frito Pie was really good (one of my favorites), banana nut bread that would give my wife’s a run for its money, juice, animal crackers (do vegans eat these?) I tried but could not eat it all then found out it was both breakfast and lunch! I am so full and will save the crackers for a snack later today!

    Do you know that we get exactly $3.26 to fix a meal for you? From this money we must pay salaries, benefits, facilities, containers and the food. I find that amazing that Christina does so much with so little.

    Back in my day, the school cooks could and would fix anything they wanted. Now there are so many restrictions on what we can serve than it makes my head hurt. We have to consider, fat content, sugar content, calories, food groups….just to mention a few.

    I know that in a perfect world with restrictions of costs and what we can serve we would have buffalo, elk, deer steaks every day with some fish thrown in! But we must go by the rules and guidelines from the state and federal mandates.

    I hope you enjoyed the meal today as much as I did and if so, you might give a shout-out to those wonderful folks that prepare and bring it to you!

    Bon Appetit

    Dr. Jim Hattabaugh,


    Comments (-1)