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Las Cruces Public Schools to remain online for fall semester

LAS CRUCES — Las Cruces Public Schools board members voted to continue online learning for the rest of the semester during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

LCPS Superintendent Karen Trujillo presented a proposal to continue online instruction with the exception of face-to-face instruction for small groups of students in special education and “At-Promise youth” which includes new English learners, homeless students, migrant students, foster students, students who are not engaged and students struggling in the online environment and are at risk of failure.

The board voted unanimously to remain remote until Dec. 18 or longer based on state and local advisory, as proposed by Trujillo.

Schools in New Mexico have been online only since March, when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a public health emergency to combat the spread of the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus, which is responsible for COVID-19.

“The only way to be safe is to practice safety, and there is no guarantee,” school board Vice President Maria Flores said before voting. “Opening too soon will jeopardize our hopes for spring.”

The board also voted on the phasing in of special education and At-Promise students to in-person learning in small groups and board President Terrie Dallman was the only member to vote against the plan due to concern for the health of staff and students.