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Parents split on best way to reopen Santa Fe schools this fall

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – About half of Santa Fe Public Schools’ staff would like to see the school year open under a fully remote learning model, while a plurality of students would rather attend classes in person. And parents were almost evenly split as to whether schools should open remotely, with kids in class or under a hybrid model that would include elements of both.

Those are the results of a survey conducted by SFPS and released as part of a joint statement from Superintendent Veronica García and union president Grace Mayer on Monday.

The announcement says that a “jointly developed proposal” about the re-entry into the 2020-2021 school year will be presented at Thursday’s school board meeting.

The statement says that it is agreed that the best place for students to learn is in a school setting. “Equally as important is the need to balance the desire to return to school with ensuring the safety and health of all concerned. Health and safety will be at the forefront of all recommendations and decision making,” the statement said.

The district says 74% of staff, 46% of parents and 26% of students in grades 4-12 participated in the survey. Fifty-one percent of faculty and staff favored the remote model, while 32% preferred a hybrid model and 17% supported full re-entry.

Forty-five percent of students said their first preference was returning to the classroom right away, while 32% favored a hybrid model and 23% wanted a fully remote school opening.

Parents were split pretty evenly, with 34% supporting full re-entry, 34% favoring the hybrid model, and 32% preferring a remote re-entry.

The school district maintains that it will be prepared for anything on Aug. 17 when classes are scheduled to start.

“We are confident that SFPS is ready and able to respond to the changing pandemic conditions in our county,” the statement said.

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