APS kicks off first day of in-person learning

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Public Schools welcomed back thousands of students across the metro area for the first day of in-person learning Monday.

While things looked a little different inside schools, many students were still excited to return.

"This is awesome. I mean, it’s good to see the students again. I mean, it’s really good,” said APS Superintendent Scott Elder.

Superintendent Elder was at Cleveland Middle School to welcome back students for the first time in over a year.

"I think this week we’ll really focus on building routines and helping the students and staff get comfortable. Trying to figure out how to manage the students at home at the same time as we have the students on campus,” he said.

Inside the schools there’s new signage reminding students to remain socially distanced, temporary barriers, and hand sanitizer.

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In the classroom, teachers are tasked with balancing in-person instruction for students on Chromebooks as well as students who have decided to stay remote.

The district does not yet know how many students are coming back. This first week is a grace period for families to decide which option is best for their student.

"I think it will vary from school to school. We’ll have some schools as high as 90%, we’ll have some schools maybe around 40%,” Elder said.

At West Mesa High School, officials are only expecting 25% of students to return.

"But, it’s an individual choice and so the different communities will handle it differently,” Elder said. “What I think will happen is that, as this goes well, you’ll see more people coming back."

Some classrooms were left without internet Monday due to a glitch. Reliable Wi-Fi is still an issue, one that APS said they’re troubleshooting. A spokesperson for APS said they don’t know what is causing the problem yet.

"You have the right as a parent to make the decision you think is best for your child, and we respect that and will work with you the best we can. At some point, we hope you will send your kid in,” Elder said.