CCSD welcomes back students

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SHIPROCK, N.M.- In-person learning has resumed in Shiprock.

The Central Consolidated School District welcomed back some middle school and high school students in February.

"There is an A, B cohort. There is one cohort Monday and Tuesday," said Rebecca Benedict, principal at Kirtland Central. "One set of students come and then the building is closed. Nobody comes into the building on Wednesdays. They do a big disinfecting of the building. Then the other cohort comes together on Thursday and Fridays."

Parents and students were given the choice to stay remote or go back for hybrid learning.

Teachers say they are still adjusting. Regardless of their choice to return, classes look much different.

"In other years, we’ve been able to get kids to share helmets, gloves, stuff like that," said wielding teacher, Lane Gallaher. "Obviously, this year we cannot do that, so everybody’s got their own helmet, their own set of gloves, their own jackets."

Middle and high school students have been learning remotely since March.

"The district has spent a lot of time following the guidelines of the Navajo Nation toolkit and the New Mexico Public Education Department’s toolkit," said CCSD Superintendent Daniel Benavidez. "Just a lot of time and effort has gone into with our maintenance workers to try to make sure we figure this out 6-feet distance, make sure we don’t go above the threshold"

Benavidez said about 80% of district staff have been vaccinated.