Updated: August 19, 2020 10:44 PM
Created: August 19, 2020 09:33 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Albuquerque Public Schools Board voted 6-1 Wednesday night to extend virtual learning through the first semester. In-person learning for most students will now have to wait until at least January. However, the district will make an exception for students with special needs.
The virtual meeting lasted about five hours. Parents and teachers seemed split about how to move forward.
"Albuquerque high school's online school policy has classes meeting only 90 minutes per week," said Heidi Pitts, a parent. "That's about one-third of the in-person classroom time as they got last year."
Pitts said online learning in inadequate and not substantial.
Kari Healey, a special needs teacher at Carlos Rey Elementary School, raised other concerns.
"Our families should be given the right to choose to send their students back to school using proper safety procedures," she said. "We are doing a disservice to our students with special needs, where remote learning is not appropriate."
However, others do not feel like it's safe to return to the classroom.
"It's unsafe to teach in-person, hybrid or otherwise, for the foreseeable future," said Kim Fisher, teacher at Albuquerque High School. "Given our school's antiquated ventilation system, not the fault of our maintenance staff, it is impossible for students and staff to remain safe under the hybrid model."
APS Survey Results
56.3% say they're "very uncomfortable" with kids returning to school buildings
61.4% say it's an “unnecessary risk”
Transferring to a school that’s learning in-person:
29.2% thinking about it
10.3% have done it already
Switching to homeschooling:
34.2% thinking about it
11.7% have already switched
*59,000 people surveyed, more than a 25% responded
COVID-19 Cases in Schools
APS reported that there are four positive cases of COVID-19 cases at schools:
East San Jose Elementary - 2 cases
Hawthorne Elementary - 1 case
Hayes Middle School - 1 case
The three schools are closed and are being cleaned.
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