Two NM school districts move students to e-learning amid rise in illnesses

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two New Mexico school districts are moving some or all students to remote learning as they end the first full week of December.

All students in the Las Vegas City Schools district were moved to remote learning for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. They say this is due to an increase in staff and students being absent due to respiratory illnesses, such as flu, RSV and COVID.

“At the junior high, we did have a total of I believe it was 18 staff members out, and 14 of them were certified teachers. So in with the other schools having staff out it pretty much left us without any subs to cover,” said Henry Montano, assistant superintendent of Portales School District.

Crews will work to deep clean the schools during the three-day break. Then, when in-person learning resumes Monday, masks will be required on buses and highly suggested within the schools.

Breakfast and lunch will still be delivered via bus routes in the city during the break. After-school programs will be available remotely Wednesday and Thursday.

Procedures for remote learning and breakfast & lunch at Las Vegas City Schools

Meanwhile, Portales Junior High will be closed for in-person learning for three days. The school district says all students will receive a packet that they’ll need to complete and turn in to their first-period teacher when in-person learning resumes Monday.

“I’ve been in the business for 26 years, and, and at first, I wasn’t much of a technology guy, you know. But I’ve seen things evolve, as they evolve, we’re definitely grateful that we do have this option,” said Montano. 

Any questions for the Portales Junior High School can be directed to their office at 575-356-7045.