More New Mexico schools commit to in-person school in fall

SANTA FE (AP) — More New Mexico schools are committing to offering full-time, in-person learning this fall, with some virtual learning options.

Schools confirming their commitment to widespread in-person learning over the last several weeks include districts that were the most hesitant to reopen, including Albuquerque and Santa Fe. That signals that parents across the state can expect to send their kids through school doors in the fall.

“There may be a few schools — and they’re still working on this — that offer some online element. But the reality is the majority of that will be picked up at eCADEMY,” said Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Scott Elder. The district’s online only district school is named eCADEMY.

In a letter to parents last week, Santa Fe school officials said classes will be in-person only starting next fall. However, students can register for online school with Desert Sage Academy.

The announcements came as school districts sort out enrollment for the fall. State education officials have taken a hands-off approach after a year of strict pandemic restrictions loosened in the middle of the spring semester.

Since the widespread reopening of New Mexico’s public schools in early April, a few schools have had to shut their doors because of COVID-19 outbreaks, while over 800 schools have kept the virus in check within their facilities or have been in communities that managed to do so.

Schools and nonprofit groups in New Mexico are still making preparations for summer programs.

In June, the state Public Education Department is expected to update its COVID-19 guidance for public schools based on state health department guidelines.