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Expect all schooling to be conducted virtually, at least for the first nine weeks.
The Santa Fe school board has approved a plan that would offer remote instruction to all of the district’s students for at least the first nine weeks of school.
Under the plan, which was approved July 16, school would resume Aug. 20 in an all-virtual environment. When infection transmission rates fall below 1.05, the district plans to start bringing students back in a pilot hybrid model, which would involve a small pupil-to-teacher ratio that would increase 20 percent at a time.
If and when a hybrid model begins, the district says it will “do our best” to accommodate families and teachers who wish to continue virtual instruction, according to a statement detailing the plan.
The plan reflects an agreement between Santa Fe Public Schools and the Santa Fe chapter of the National Education Association and must now be approved by the state Public Education Department.
The plan comes on the heels of rising rates of coronavirus infections across the state and in Santa Fe, as well as conflicting reports and uncertainty surrounding transmission rates for children and a nationwide debate over the safety of reopening schools as U.S. infections surge.
That uncertainty was reflected in a survey sent out earlier in the summer to Santa Fe parents, older students and teachers asking them to rank their preference for full re-entry, fully virtual instruction or a hybrid approach. The results found parents were equally divided among the three options, while half of faculty and staff preferred remote instruction and nearly half of respondents in grades 4 through 12 preferred full re-entry.
By Kristen Cox Roby. Photos from SFPS "Re-entry Planning Overview 2020-2021"