Santa Fe Public Schools will return to remote learning next week

SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe Public Schools will return to remote learning on Tuesday, Jan. 18 for one week.

According to the superintendent, in-person learning is set to resume Monday, Jan. 24 if conditions improve.

"We are seeing a significant spike in COVID cases in our community and in our schools," SFPS Superintendent Hilario "Larry" Chavez said. "Student and staff health and safety are our greatest priorities and now is the time to take a pause to allow cases to settle. With this notice, we hope families will be able to plan appropriately. We are committed to open communication about the need to move to remote learning based on COVID and the changing conditions of the pandemic. We are doing so with as much notice as possible. I pledge to continue to do this and to update the community as quickly and frequently as possible."

Chavez said many staff members – teachers, bus drivers, custodial staff and nutrition workers – are quarantining so the district cannot currently ensure the safe operation of schools.

"Additionally, we cannot continue to meet the state’s contact tracing requirements given such large numbers of positive cases," Chavez said. "This has been an additional requirement of districts during the pandemic. Also, our state provider cannot currently meet the demand for surveillance testing for staff and Test to Stay for students. Many parents have opted for their children to participate in Test to Stay, but the state’s provider has been unable to consistently provide testing."

SFPS ended last week with 361 COVID-19 cases among students and staff – the highest number of cases reported in one week for the district.