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Officials to visit schools as some prepare to reopen

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico schools that are opening up to elementary students will be getting some visitors.

The state Public Education Department’s top officials and fire marshals will be making the rounds.

Marshals were slated to go to all 20 districts and the charter schools that are welcoming students back for some in-person learning. They will be looking out for such things as building capacity, air flow and social distancing logistics, but won’t be giving out citations.

The PED also announced deputy secretaries will visit districts with 100 students or fewer. These small districts could be allowed to bring back middle and high school students in small groups through the hybrid model if they are cleared by PED.

PED Secretary Ryan Stewart has been touring schools since he returned to New Mexico from working remotely in Philadelphia.

In August, Governor Bent Elementary School in Northeast Albuquerque was among the stops, where he heard from educators about teaching online.

FREE MEALS TO CONTINUE: Students in New Mexico are on track to get free meals through December.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced schools can serve free meals to all children through the end of the calendar year, or until the money runs out. The federal agency extended the meal program due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing an earlier decision.

The state’s largest school district, Albuquerque Public Schools, announced it is providing grab-and-go meals for anyone 18 and younger thanks to the extension.

Families no longer have to get a ticket to get the meals in the district.

The latest APS meal site locations and hours can be found at

While families are online, they can also check out read-alouds of children’s books on APS’ YouTube channel – done through a partnership between APS and the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

NM TEACHERS WIN AWARDS: Two New Mexico teachers got a prestigious national nod for their work in STEM.

Melody Hagaman, computer science teacher at Centennial High School in Las Cruces Public Schools, and Jessica Esquibel, math teacher at Taft Middle School in Albuquerque Public Schools, were named 2019 awardees of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

“Award recipients receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., for events and professional development sessions, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation that may be used at the winner’s discretion,” PED wrote in a news release.

Shelby Perea:


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