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RRPS surveys parents on 2020-21 learning-method options

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Still not out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rio Rancho Public Schools is considering a few options as it plans the reopening of schools in the fall.

These possibilities include looking at modifying operations to include possible health screenings, availability of face coverings, accommodations for the most vulnerable, heightened cleaning measures and social distancing guidelines such staggered schedules, blended learning configurations and continued online learning from home.

A task force will work throughout the summer to address these areas and more, and will continue to communicate with families throughout the planning process. Some parents are eager to have their children return to school, while others are concerned about the continued spread of COVID-19.

In hopes of gauging the community’s thoughts, RRPS sent out a parent survey in English and Spanish, which may be found at rrps.net.

After parents checked the boxes for the schools and grades their kids attend, they were asked to state their preference for the 2020-21 school year. They had three choices and the ability to state another option, and explain their choice.

The three choices were:

  • Traditional school (in classroom) — Keeping in mind the district will most likely need to consider other options in order to meet social distancing requirements;
  • Combination of traditional and distance learning (online) — Some learning would happen at school and other learning at home via an online format such as Google Classroom and/or Edgenuity; or
  • 100 percent online — All learning would happen away from the school.

Melissa Perez, RRPS’s communications manager, said, “RRPS wanted to gauge how parents felt, in order to assist in guiding us as we develop plans for next year. This is just one tool/set of information we will use to guide us as our teams determine what the next school year will look like. Results are still being collected and plans are being developed now. We hope to have plans to the school board in late June.”

As of press time Friday, though, Perez told the Observer, “I checked in with the team this morning and unfortunately the survey hasn’t closed yet. We are still making phone calls to some families that do not have internet access or who need assistance to fill out the survey.

“We hope to have those completed early (this) week.”

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