NMPED secretary says resumption of in-person learning has helped with student motivation

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New Mexico Public Education Sec. Dr. Ryan Stewart visited schools Thursday.

"I think we heard from many that the opportunity to come back in-person makes such a difference for their motivation, for their focus and support they’re able to receive," Stewart said.

The schools implemented new COVID-19 safe practices to allow for in-person learning to resume. Schools are now subject to increased cleaning, new signage, social distancing and mandatory mask use.

Students appear to be adapting to the changes.

"It’s been pretty much the same rules like we’re out in public," said Cielo Soto, a senior at Atrisco Heritage Academy. "Keep your social distance, wear a mask. So it’s pretty easy to adapt to it.”

The state reports that approximately 317,000 are enrolled in public schools, and about half of them returned for in-person learning.

Even with the vaccine rollout and surveillance testing, the state says it does not currently plan on changing its policy to temporarily shut down schools that have four or more Rapid Responses in a 14-day period.