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No weather delays, closures during APS remote learning

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Keep the mittens in the drawer and the sleds in the shed. There will be no snow day for Timmy while he learns from home.

With a strong storm system expected to blast the city at the start of the week, Albuquerque Public Schools announced Friday that there will not be delays or closures for weather while kids learn remotely.

Except for students with special needs who come on to campus for small groups, classes will be expected to start on time.

But the district will be flexible if internet access is affected by a storm. If that happens, students are “encouraged” to do work that doesn’t require the internet and check in with their teacher once power is up.

APS has extended remote learning through at least the end of December.

VIRUS CASES UP IN APS: Recently, APS has had its highest weekly totals of COVID-19 cases since the start of the school year.

According to the district’s online charts, there were 54 cases this week at 12 sites:

• 30 students who were learning remotely;

• Eight staff members working remotely;

• Six students who were at schools;

• Nine staff working at school; and

• One non-school staff.

There were 32 cases during the week that started on Oct. 12. Previous weeks since August have drawn totals between one and 14 cases.

And it’s not just APS. Statewide, there have been record-breaking spikes in coronavirus cases.

More data can be found at APS.edu.

GET CERTIFIED, TEACHERS: Scholarships are available for teachers looking to get National Board Certification.

The Legislature set aside $500,000 for scholarships next year, according to a news release. The scholarships aim to cover the National Board Certification costs.

The state Public Education Department has started taking applications, which have to be submitted before Jan. 15.

To qualify, teachers have to be a New Mexico resident, be at Level 2 or higher, be currently teaching in a public school in state and provide a reference letter from the principal with their application. An evaluation committee reviews applications in the order they were received.

“The certification program sets national standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do across four components: content knowledge; differentiation in instruction; teaching practices and working environment; and effective and reflective practitioner,” the PED said in a news release.

PED GETS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH GRANT: The PED was awarded a $10 million grant over five years from the U.S. Department of Education’s School-Based Mental Health Grant program to boost the number of school-based behavioral health specialists.

PED says the goal is to add 400 of these specialists to the workforce over the five years.

The department will work with universities to recruit and incentivize students and graduates in the behavioral health field to work in areas that need more resources.

Using a formula that takes such things as average family income and student suicide rates into account, districts and charter schools will be identified for the support.

Rural and Native American communities are being targeted.

Shelby Perea: sperea@abqjournal.com

 

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