New Mexico school districts weigh decision to send students, staff back to the classroom

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — School districts across the state are making the tough decision about whether to send students back to the classroom for hybrid learning this week.

In Roswell, the school board unanimously approved moving into the hybrid model Tuesday night. The reentry proposal put the start date sometime in February, however the exact date is dependent on a number of factors like onsite visits.

“I do want to call on our families and staff. As a board, we did our best to support this opportunity for your kids to return to school. We now need your help to follow the guidelines to make sure our schools don’t close, so that is our big ask of you tonight,” said a Roswell school board member.

The Los Lunas school board opted to stay remote for the time being.

“I have a motion by Mr. Steven Otero to remain in remote learning until the board meeting on March 23, with the exception of the CEL classes, which are currently in progress,” said Bryan Smith, president of the Los Lunas Board of Education.

Los Lunas school board members voted 4 to 1 on the motion to stay remote, but board member David Vickers voted against it.

“We have an obligation to the students and families, the parents of this district. That is our obligation—to provide for their needs. We are simply giving them another option. We are not making them go back to school,” Vickers said.

Due to the school board’s decision to stay remote, Los Lunas schools will not be able to participate in NMAA fall sports. Districts that opt for the hybrid model will be allowed to reintroduce sports starting Feb. 22

KOB 4 asked NMAA is students would be able to transfer to other schools if their district opts out of hybrid learning. The NMAA sent a statement that read in part, “The current NMAA bylaws will now allow individual transfers without penalty. A discussion with athletic directors and the NMAA Board of Directors regarding this topic will take place in the coming weeks.”

Schools that opt out of fall sports in the revised NMAA schedule will still be able to jump back on board for the spring and other future activities.