PED: Schools in New Mexico Tentatively Scheduled to Begin August 10th, 2020

K-5 Plus, an enrichment program for elementary-aged children, and the Extended Learning Time Program (ELTP) are on hiatus this summer to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The K-5 Plus and ELTP were scheduled to continue this summer in LCPS. The announcement was made by the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) late Tuesday evening.

“This was difficult news to receive, but not completely unexpected, considering the situation we have been in since mid-March,” said Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Trujillo. “As a district, we understand how vital these programs are to the success of our students, but their health comes first.”

According to Trujillo, both programs are expected to be offered in the summer of 2021, and LCPS will apply for program funding.

Getting Back Into Schools in 2020

Officials with NMPED are also creating a school re-entry task force with various stakeholders. Las Cruces Public Schools announced the formation of a similar task force that will develop re-entry plans for the Fall 2020 semester specifically for LCPS

On May 28, 2020, the New Mexico Activities Association will announce guidelines for high school summer athletic activities. Coaches will be in contact with prospective athletes with additional information when it becomes available. 

At this time, school in Las Cruces is scheduled to begin on August 10, 2020. 

CDC Guidelines for School Reopenings

The CDC today put out new guidelines for reopening schools nationally, and they have some major changes suggested for daily habits of students and staff.

Including reopening tools for decisions making administrative staff, how schools should consider operating under reopenings, and according to their website, these are the top of mind things to keep in mind for schools moving forward.

Guiding Principles to Keep in Mind

The more people a student or staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in school settings as follows:

  • Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.
  • More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., hybrid virtual and in-person class structures or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).
  • Highest Risk: Full-sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities.

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