Rio Rancho Public Schools to implement enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols
RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Rio Rancho Public Schools will be implementing enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols starting on Monday, Jan. 24.
Until further notice, the following new protocols will be implemented:
- Visitors will no longer be allowed on campus
- No large group gatherings (No assemblies, no staff meetings, no large events, including the High School Science Expo, CTE Career Fair, IHS Open House, and elementary/middle school music recruiting trips.)
- These and other events may be canceled, postponed or moved to virtual
- Recess times and spaces will be staggered and separated
- Masking rules will be strictly enforced at events with spectators. Those who do not comply with proper mask-wearing will be removed from the facility
Those enhancements are in addition to the existing safety protocols:
- Universal masking indoors
- Masks are available for individuals who may need them
- Isolation room used to separate COVID positive and potentially positive individuals from others
- Appropriate PPE is available for staff
- Staff surveillance testing program
- Student surveillance testing program
- Enhanced air filtration and HVAC in school facilities
- Staff and students trained on safe transitions
- Seating charts for all classes
- Seating charts for all school buses
- Students and staff have access to hand-washing stations and/or hand sanitizer
- Students facing one way in classroom seating
- Visual cues to encourage social distancing
- Regular deep cleaning/disinfecting of facilities and buses
"We feel that, at this time, the addition of these enhanced COVID-19 safety protocols will allow us to provide a safer environment for our students and staff while continuing to provide in-person learning," RRPS officials said in a release sent to families. "We are hopeful that this newest variant of COVID-19 will peak in our community soon, leading to a decline in cases which would allow us to eventually loosen safety restrictions. "
On Tuesday, 400 RRPS staff members across the district were not able to come into work, which is 16% of all staff (a number that does include vacancies that aren’t because of COVID). At Rio Rancho High School alone, 321 students were absent Thursday, which is 13% of the student population.
RRPS hasn’t gone virtual this school year. The district has managed to stay in person since August.
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