Created: March 30, 2020 12:02 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — State officials announced public schools will be shifting to a learn-at-home model after a three-week shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"We know we still haven't reached the peak of this,” said Public Education Secretary Ryan Stewart.
Stewart was right. On Friday, the governor’s office announced 55 new cases of the deadly disease.
Meantime, local nonprofit NewMexicoKidsCAN, which advocates for better education, said every student will need some kind of computer and access to the internet.
“Every student needs a device and access to internet. That is the first thing every district leader should be working on,” said KidsCAN’s executive director Amanda Aragon.
“But almost immediately after that, if not at the same time, they need to figure out how they're going to get their students access to high-quality learning opportunities for the interim,” she added.
Aragon urged districts to not “reinvent the wheel.”
For example, Scholastic is offering free content to use at home.
Aragon said districts will have to move quick so families and teachers have time to prepare.
"What we need from them right now is really swift, direct action that is clear for our parents and our students that keeps them learning because we can't afford to not have kids learning from now until August,” Aragon said.
“I just don't think we'd be able to recover from that,” she added.
Albuquerque Public Schools said they would begin “distance learning” on April 13.
A spokesperson with the district said they’re working on getting their seniors Chromebooks so they can graduate on time.
The governor previously ordered all public schools closed for three weeks, March 16 through April 3, but warned at the time that an extension could be needed.
That decision came Friday with a new executive order that extends the closing through the end of the school year which ends in May.
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