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APS considering opening an online K-12 school

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Public Schools is looking into launching a virtual K-12 school, in part because of anxieties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district announced Thursday that it would gauge community interest in the idea and is planning to send a survey to families in the next few days.

The proposed school would build off the district’s existing online high school, eCADEMY, and would combine online schooling with face-to-face instruction, known as blended learning.

“It would offer a comprehensive curriculum, a teacher/student ratio comparable to traditional classrooms, district-provided technology for each enrolled student, and school/home partnerships to ensure student success,” the district wrote in an announcement.

The aim would be to open the school for the fall – a tight turnaround as school is slated to start Aug. 12.

“We are applying many of the processes we used when starting BlendED at eCademy. The experience of starting a new blended learning school uniquely equips us to move quickly to respond,” Deborah Elder, executive director of the district’s Office of Innovation, said in a statement to the Journal.

She said APS would likely use existing personnel for the online school.

“Some APS students and their families enjoyed online learning this spring, despite the trying circumstances. Others have indicated that they aren’t comfortable going back to a traditional school setting until the coronavirus is contained or a vaccine is approved,” the district wrote. “As a result, Albuquerque Public Schools is looking into offering a full-time, online learning option for interested students in all grades this coming school year.”

The district said the intent is to make this a permanent option.

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