New building delays return to in-person learning for an Albuquerque charter school

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Students at an Albuquerque charter school have been out of the classroom for weeks but not due to COVID-19.

The new location for Cien Aguas International Charter School still has movers coming in and out of the school with desks and chairs for students who will soon formally christen the new building.

The building is just a stone’s throw away from their old location, near Yale and Gibson, but no teaching has happened there yet.

"We were supposed to come in today but inspectors weren’t able to finish the inspections yesterday," Cien Agua International School Director Casey Benavidez said.

Parents have expressed concerns with this situation, even alerting, "This is 3 weeks without school… Kids do not have computers so there is no instruction… Is this a legitimate school?"

"We have 424 students so we really want a lot more room to have them for COVID safety," Benavidez said.

Benavidez said they were supposed to move to the new location back in August but things kept getting dragged out. He said the school was on a lease extension for the old building until Nov. 15, when students were sent home to learn remotely with the option to take a laptop home.

"We’re trying to make up for those hours that were missed with in-person teaching," Benavidez said. "We’re probably going to add on a few minutes every day to our school calendar and then add some extra days to make sure they get what they need."

The school hopes to have all of the inspections completed this week. They are hoping to get back in the classroom by Dec. 3.