The Hatch Valley Public Schools district covers an area of 1,125 square miles and is the 42nd largest district in land area of the 89 school districts in New Mexico. HVPS is located in Doña Ana County in the south-central area of the state. Bordering Districts include Las Cruces, Deming, Truth or Consequences, Tularosa, and Alamogordo. The district’s schools are all located in the village of Hatch, except one elementary school, which is located in the community of Garfield, which is approximately 9.4 miles north of Hatch on State Highway 187 (also known as the historic El Camino Real).
The Hatch Valley Public School District (HVPSD) is comprised of five schools:
- Garfield Elementary
- Hatch Elementary
- Rio Grande Elementary
- Hatch Valley Middle School
- Hatch Valley High School
Located 40 miles north of Las Cruces, within Doña Ana County, the Village of Hatch lies across 3.5 square miles of land and consists of 1673 residents as of the 2000 census. Of the 538 households, 44% had children under 18 living in them.
- Hispanic: 79.2%
- White Non-Hispanic: 18.8%
- Two or more ethnicities: 2.4%
- American Indian: 1.6%
Fed by the Rio Grande, Hatch is primarily a farming village known for its red and green chile peppers as well as onions, cotton, alfalfa, cabbage, and other crops. Other industries include metal fabrication and machining.
Called “The Chile Capital of the World,” Hatch’s annual festival in honor of the vegetable has accommodated up to 30,000 tourists. Similarly, as seen on The Village of Hatch Official Website, local leaders and residents display a high degree of optimism for job growth with the imminent arrival of Spaceport America in neighboring Sierra County. Hatch Mayor Judd Nordyke is quoted in Dec. 17’s Space Review as stating simply, “What we’re looking for is jobs.”
Still, poverty rates remain high in Hatch. The estimated median household income in 2005 was $21,100. Unemployment rates are near 16% and rising. Median annual income is only $13,999 while approximately 23% of Hatch residents live below the poverty level.
HVPSD Student Population
2006-2007 data gathered by Data Collection and Information Systems, New Mexico Public Education Department, supplies the following information on the HVPSD student population, grades K-12:
- Students enrolled: 1408
- English Language Learners: 527
- Students ages 4-17 living in poverty: 634 (45%)
- “Anglo”: 10%
- “Hispanic”: 90%
- Dropout rate grades 9-12: 9.7% (4.9% for the state)
(Inclusive of schools serving any grades, 4-8)
Percentages NOT meeting AYP in Math and Reading
Hatch Valley Public Schools, AYP 08-09
TOTALS: 3 SCHOOLS INCLUSIVE OF GRADES 4-8
- MATH NOT MET: 3 (100%)
- READING NOT MET: 3 (100%)
See also: District Report Cards
The Flood of 2006
Heavy rains caused a breach in an arroyo on August 15, 2006, causing flood waters to rise waist-deep in the already struggling village of Hatch. Damage to nearly 500 commercial and residential buildings, including many historic buildings, left some 200 families homeless.
Business and community leaders have since formed H.A.R.T., the Hatch Area Recovery Team, which is “the designated, long-term recovery committee in the Hatch Area” to help rebuild homes and provide basic necessities. Damage has been estimated at $20-million dollars.
More information about the flood as well as photos are available from the official Village of Hatch website.