Phased Return Option: Some Students Report for Class Monday Additional Grades Return March 1, Majority Remain Online


After the Las Cruces Public Schools Board of Education voted on Feb. 2 for moreface-to-face learning opportunities for LCPS students, the district superintendent and leadership unveiled a plan Tuesday night that allows some students to return as early as Monday, February 22.

High school students who opted to return to their school buildings in hybrid will attend class in person two days a week, according to the plan. Students are divided into two cohorts, according to their last name. According to information presented to the board, about 17 percent of high school students chose Option C, which was a commitment to be in school two days a week. Most students chose Option A, which was to remain online in the spring semester. Students in Option B chose to remain online with limited face-to-face tutoring opportunities.

Dr. Karen Trujillo, LCPS superintendent, assured the board that extensive COVID-19 safety practices will be observed at all times, including temperature checks each morning for students and staff. According to Trujillo, the first phase of students to return on Feb. 22 will be followed by another opportunity for students to return to the building once more teachers are vaccinated and available to return. Under this plan, students are eligible to participate in NMAA-sanctioned activities.

“School will not look like what students remember,” said Trujillo. “Students will not change classes, but instead will remain in the same classroom for the duration of the day with face-to-face academic support.” As an example, Trujillo presented a daily schedule:


8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Students arrive by bus (8:30) or between 9:00 and 9:30 (drivers, drop-off) and report for wellness/temperature checks and breakfast pickup. Students will then report to their assigned cohort classroom.

9 to 10 a.m.

Students receive academic support with assigned teacher/staff.

10 to 1 a.m.

Students attend class online.


Students pick up lunch and remain in cohorts outside or in a COVID-safe environment.

1 to 2 p.m.

Students report back to the classroom for afternoon classes.

3 to 3:30 p.m.

Academic support is available.




Elementary and middle school students will be phased in starting March 1 according to those students who need additional learning or social/emotional support. At the middle school level, that equates to just over 700 students who will also attend school in cohorts. Approximately 1,800 elementary students will return March 1 for small group, in-person learning.

According to Trujillo, that determination was made based on the availability of staff who were comfortable returning to the classroom. When polled, the majority of educators preferred to return to the classroom once they were fully vaccinated.

During Tuesday’s meeting, LCPS staff gave updates on the status of air filtration systems, available PPE for each building and addressed transportation needs.

The next regular meeting of the LCPS Board of Education will be on Tuesday, March 16 at 4 p.m. Meetings can be viewed at