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

Portales schools communicates in-person plans


Last updated 1/30/2021 at 2:41pm

PORTALES — Portales Municipal Schools has sent a communication to parents regarding its return to in-person learning beginning Feb. 9.

The hybrid model will include three different groups of students — one that attends school in person Tuesdays and Wednesdays and learns remotely Thursdays and Fridays, one that attends school in person Thursdays and Fridays and learns remotely Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and a third group that learns remotely the entire week.

The district has initially put students with last names A-L in the Tuesday/Wednesday group and students with last names M-Z in the Thursday/Friday group. Any family that would like to switch between the two groups, most likely to eliminate a schedule conflict, is advised to contact their school principal.

Any families that would like to move their children into the online-only group are asked to contact their school’s principal or counselor.

“I believe that children will be safe at school,” Superintendent Johnnie Cain wrote. “Every school has worked hard to create plans that will mitigate the chances of the spread of the disease. However, we cannot guarantee that someone will not be exposed to COVID-19. If a case does occur in a school, all parents of students in that school will be notified by e-mail and School Messenger in a timely manner. If your child is a close contact with someone positive for COVID-19, you will be called directly with information about next steps.”

Various COVID-safe practices include:

• Temperature checks upon arrival. Any students showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home, and cannot return without a negative test or a 14-day quarantine.

Any student who is on a quarantine, due to symptoms or close contact status, will not be counted absent so long as they log onto remote learning platforms and submit assignments.

• Classrooms arranged to maintain 6-foot social distancing, with students given paths to ensure the same flow in hallways.

• Restroom and passing period protocols that will be explained to the students upon their return.

• A requirement of face coverings. Every school will have cotton and disposable masks on hand should a student forget or soil a mask, and the district will also distribute one two-layer school logo mask to each student.

• The district is asking bus traffic to be kept to a minimum, with students sitting one to a seat or with siblings if possible. Social distancing should be maintained at bus stops. Families are asked to notify schools if they have moved and haven’t changed their address with the school. Buses will make stops based on address information in the system as of Feb. 8.

Regarding athletics and activities, athletics will not begin until Feb. 22 other than current 4:1 group activities. Many organizations will be able to meet within their respective cohorts. Band and choir may meet during the day in school, but are until further notice not allowed to sing or play wind instruments.


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