The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Kevin Wilson
Editor 

Schools to continue on hybrid or remote learning

 

November 15, 2020



While New Mexico’s newest public health order means many businesses will be closed and those that remain open will do so under extreme conditions, nothing changes at public schools.

School districts that have been operating in hybrid mode, a combination of virtual and in-person instruction, have been cleared to remain in those modes. However, schools in remote learning mode will stay there for the foreseeable future. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham did note that school districts could make their own decisions to move from hybrid to remote learning.

Clovis Municipal Schools Superintendent Renee Russ said hybrid learning will continue at elementary schools, but notes the district may have to move to remote learning for two-week periods if positive cases and quarantine requirements cause staff shortages. That is already the case at Mesa Elementary School.

Portales Municipal Schools Superintendent Johnnie Cain said the upcoming week will see the district continue with small group instruction in grades Pre-K through 2 and special education in all grades. After the Thanksgiving break, there will be no in-person instruction for the remainder of 2020. The district will provide a week’s worth of to-go meals to students Friday prior to the Thanksgiving break and Dec. 18 prior to the Christmas break.

Both districts are continuing to work on improving online platforms for families, and both Russ and Cain said the best thing the public could do to help them would be to follow COVID-safe practices.

“Also,” Russ said, “doing whatever is possible to keep students of all levels attending for all scheduled learning is extraordinarily important. In the first few months of this pandemic, our teachers did everything they could to be available almost around the clock to support students and their families. It has become increasingly difficult for our teachers to try and manage instruction at all hours of the day and night, so the more we can bring regularity to daily schedules, the better it will be for students and teachers alike. Students benefit from routine and consistency, and so we encourage parents to partner with us to bring as much consistency to every school day as we possibly can.”

Cain said he understands people may not agree with the public health orders, but “it is probably time to take them seriously.

“Hopefully, if people will follow the order, soon the disease in Roosevelt County can be mitigated and everyone will be able to get back to business as usual by the first of next year and our schools can open again.”

In higher education, Clovis Community College will be closed to the public with all academic classes transitioning to remote format. Campus services will remain available via phone, email and clovis.edu. The college can be contacted at 575-769-4969.

 
 

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