School districts highlight learn-at-home models

 

April 1, 2020



School districts across eastern New Mexico have worked over the last few days on learn-at-home models, following a Public Education Department decision to close schools for the remainder of the school year.

The following includes highlights of communications sent to parents of students at Clovis and Portales schools.

Clovis schools

The district is distributing Chromebooks to district students this week, with details at:

clovis-schools.org

The goal is to resume instruction by April 8 at the latest.

• All school facilities are closed for the remainder of the school year, and students should not come to school sites unless they are picking up meals.

• The Public Education Department will not issue teacher evaluation reports for the school year.

• Students will not be required to complete state or federal assessments.

• Graduating seniors are still required to complete at least 24 credits of required and elective course work, but the 1,080-hour minimum attendance requirement has been waived.

• Graduation, prom and other special events will not be held because they do not fall in line with current public health orders. However, “celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 is a high priority for Clovis Municipal Schools,” and the district is looking at options to celebrate senior achievements when public health orders are eased.


Portales schools

Superintendent Johnnie Cain said teachers have been asked to contact families for all students in the district to determine what technology each student can use to access instruction. Additionally, teachers are expected to have at least weekly contact with all of their students going forward. Anybody who has not yet been contacted is asked to call 575-763-7000 no later than Thursday to make sure contact information is current.

The primary method of delivery for instruction will be online. Families without internet access are encouraged to contact Yucca Telecom, which is offering 60 days of free service as long as the home is accessible to their service lines.

• Students who do not have a device capable of receiving email or video content may check out a Chromebook from the district. Parents are required to sign a contract outlining proper usage and eventual return of the Chromebook.

• Only core classes will be required — reading and math for grades K-4 and reading/English, math and science for grades K-12. Teachers in elective classes where students are failing will provide additional instruction and make-up time for students. The district will also work to continue skill development for theater, band, choir and media arts.


• Summer school is still scheduled to begin June 1 for junior high and high school students as a method for credit recovery or for students who might fall behind during the distance learning period. A summer school will also be offered for elementary schools beginning July 6.

• Cain noted there will be “tough decisions” if facilities can’t be reopened by the May 22 graduation date. “It is my intent that should the congregation ban last into June, then we will schedule a graduation in June or July or even December if it comes to that. I fully intend to ensure there is a graduation ceremony for those who want to attend, even if we have to put it off several months.”

• There are no athletic events or other extracurricular activities. Maypole and various fine arts events will be provided time in June to present if the students involved desire to participate. “Basically,” Cain said, “we will be postponing everything we must and not canceling until that becomes the only option.”

 
 

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