Santa Fe Public Schools’ plan for returning to school in the fall is due to be submitted to the state Public Education Department on July 15. But what it will look like likely hinges on responses from parent and student surveys as well as the current state of the coronavirus outbreak in New Mexico.
On June 20, the state education department issued its official recommendations for re-entry, outlining a hybrid approach that would limit the number of students in school buildings and alternate in-person instruction with remote learning. The state’s goal is to return all schools to a full schedule as soon as it can be safely done, the department said.
But the state also outlined three possibilities for a return, depending on public health conditions: fully remote, hybrid and full re-entry.
Santa Fe Schools Superintendent Veronica C. García sent out surveys in June to parents and older students asking them to rank those three choices. On June 30, she outlined the options during a school board meeting. She also added two possible hybrid alternatives: one, a mix of remote-only and fully-in-person depending on each family’s needs and concerns; and another, prioritizing in-person learning for students in pre-K through third grade and those with special needs, while offering a hybrid program for older students, possibly through a lottery system.
García has emphasized she wants to be flexible in designing a plan that will accommodate everyone from families with health concerns to families for whom childcare is essential.
“I recognize that re-entry and what it means for your family and your children are serious considerations for you,” she said in a July 3 letter to families. I know that many of you are very concerned about sending your children back to school, while others have to go to work and have childcare considerations and need their children in school as much as possible, and additional factors that are unique to each family.”
To see the state’s guidelines, García’s school board presentation and letters to families and staff, visit sfps.info.
By Kristen Cox Roby. Photo by Claudette Sutton.