Getting elementary students back onto Albuquerque Public Schools campuses – and other schools across the state – is contingent upon public health thresholds being met. But it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.
The latest information from the state Department of Health shows that nearly all counties in the state are in the strictest category, “red.” For businesses to open with the least amount of restrictions and additional schools to open with a hybrid of in-person and online school, that color needs to change to green – meaning a county meets statistical targets on test positivity rates and new daily cases.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller told a news conference that he doesn’t expect things to change in the “foreseeable future for several months.”
“Unfortunately, we’re in a period of high restriction but for good reason. And I think we do know, at least, we’re probably going to be in this for several months, if not all the way through to the summer,” he said. He added later that the area could be looking at some six months to get out of the “red” category.
Guidance from the state Public Education Department, which was updated recently, outlines that schools can’t start hybrid unless the county they are located in meets PED and DOH health criteria. PED spokeswoman Judy Robinson confirmed to the Journal on Wednesday that no new schools or districts are eligible for hybrid reentry right now because none meet that health criteria.
Also, APS officials presented an updated reentry plan just a few weeks ago that emphasized schools wouldn’t start the reopening process until Bernalillo County has been “green” for at least two weeks.
APS ATTENDS TO ATTENDANCE: Teachers are now reporting attendance daily for each class or period versus weekly. During remote learning, attending class could mean being online during a lesson as well as doing work individually.
“Elementary school students need to participate in at least 51% of their daily virtual class to be considered ‘present.’ Middle and high school students need to participate in at least 51% of each virtual class period to be considered ‘present,’ ” a district announcement said.
Also during this unique school year, APS is discouraging having K-8 students repeat a grade if the reasoning is solely due to the pandemic. But if parents are pushing for retention, then the school will work with them, according to Amelia Milazzo, the executive director of curriculum and instruction.
GUARD HELPS WITH FINANCIAL LITERACY: The Army National Guard is providing a financial literacy curriculum to 279 high schools across the nation, including eight schools in New Mexico, according to a news release.
The schools are: Clovis High; Centennial High in Las Cruces; Cleveland High in Rio Rancho; Volcano Vista High and Albuquerque High; Santa Fe High; Los Alamos High; and Alamogordo High.
The release said Ramsey Solutions’ “Foundations in Personal Finance” teaches kids about saving, spending and donating money.
Shelby Perea: firstname.lastname@example.org