Santa Fe schools prepare for hybrid in-person learning - Albuquerque Journal

Santa Fe schools prepare for hybrid in-person learning

Santa Fe Public Schools are readying a return to a volunteer hybrid model on Feb. 22. For some students, it’ll be their first time in a classroom since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a switch to remote learning in March.

But many teachers, parents and community members say they’re unhappy with the plan. Some said they want a return to entirely in-person learning while others worried the hybrid model put the health of teachers and students at risk.

District officials broke down the plan for return at the Santa Fe School Board meeting Monday night. The plan would allow elementary and secondary students to take part in a combination of online and in-person classes on a volunteer basis beginning Feb. 22. Students selected to return will have in-person classes two days a week. Exactly how many kids can return will depend on how many teachers and staff volunteer to return as well.

Unlike other districts currently mulling in-person or hybrid learning, such as Albuquerque, the Santa Fe board doesn’t need to approve the hybrid learning model, because it approved a similar model in October.

The district’s last attempt at hybrid learning was canceled two weeks after it launched due to rising COVID-19 numbers at the time, although the district has maintained it is safe for students to attend.

In written public comments, many parents focused on the negative impact distance learning was having on their students and said a wider return to in-person learning was necessary.

One parent wrote that they moved their children to an out-of-state school where full in-person learning is available.

“Our public schools have failed my children, but also failed me as a parent,” the parent wrote.

For some teachers, though, the risk isn’t worth it.

Multiple teachers voiced their concerns during public comment about the district’s plans via written statements.

“Hearing all about the trips and socializing my students are doing… makes the prospect of being in a small classroom with my students feel very unsafe,” first-grade teacher Jennifer Warren wrote.

District data shows 278 teachers and staff have volunteered to return, with Santa Fe High School having the most at 54, as of Monday.

But most other schools have far fewer volunteers. Around 40% of Santa Fe schools had five volunteers or less, many in some of the city’s lowest socio-economic areas, limiting the number of students that can return part-time. Two schools, Salazar and Tesuque Elementary, have zero volunteers.

More than 300 teachers will be medically exempt from returning to in-person classes for the rest of the year, while most still haven’t received any vaccines for COVID-19.

The district will prioritize certain students to return to the classroom, such as those lacking internet access and seniors not on track for graduation.

Superintendent Veronica Garcia told the Journal the number of volunteers changes every day and the district is working to maximize the number of students who can return, mainly by exploring various learning models.

Learning models at each school site will be announced starting Tuesday.

“I understand the hesitancy with people, with the variants and no vaccine,” Garcia said. “I also believe, though, that our buildings are safe.”

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Santa Fe schools prepare for hybrid in-person learning

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Man charged in connection with fatal shooting of girlfriend
ABQnews Seeker
After the death of his 18-year-old ... After the death of his 18-year-old girlfriend in a Saturday-night shooting, Carlos Gonzalez, 24, was charged with 2nd degree murder.
Biz Bits: Albuquerque Business Journal
ABQnews Seeker
Biz Bits: Albuquerque Business Journal Biz Bits: Albuquerque Business Journal
Business Column: In financial matters, government role has upside ...
ABQnews Seeker
Politics is directly intersecting with the ... Politics is directly intersecting with the economy — macro, micro, public and personal — in a not-so-rare standoff in Washington, D.C.
University of Wisconsin project seeks closure for New Mexico ...
ABQnews Seeker
Raoul Zavala was not supposed to ... Raoul Zavala was not supposed to be on the plane that day. ...
A Craigslist ad led these locals to start a ...
ABQnews Seeker
Food is Free Albuquerque will begin ... Food is Free Albuquerque will begin its Farm and Orchard Gleaning Project in June
'Then you heard the next volley': Red River residents ...
ABQnews Seeker
Locals said they noticed on Thursday ... Locals said they noticed on Thursday and Friday that Bandidos and other motorcycle clubs were flaunting their colors throughout town during the rally. Bandidos, ...
Experts urge caution for recreation on the Rio Grande. ...
ABQnews Seeker
In Corrales, fire and police officials ... In Corrales, fire and police officials have done 29 rescues of people and dogs stranded on the river between Siphon Beach and Alameda — ...
Who are the Bandidos? What we know about the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Here's what we know about the ... Here's what we know about the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.
Rick Wright: First visit to Unser Racing Museum on ...
ABQnews Seeker
Until Friday, some 18 years after ... Until Friday, some 18 years after it opened and three days before its permanent closing, I'd never visited Albuquerque's Unser Racing Museum. Now, I ...