ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More than two weeks after Albuquerque Public School students were allowed back in the classroom, APS is now sharing how many students are choosing to return to in-person learning. APS released attendance numbers for the week of April 12 through April 16, it’s nearly a 50-50 split with about half of students choosing to remain virtual.
“It’s the great school debate, it’s something no one agrees on,” said APS Spokesperson, Monica Armenta. “Everyone has a different view about whether we should be in person or virtual,” Armenta said.
The numbers APS released are based on attendance taken manually by teachers who have to mark down each student who is in the classroom, and each student who is remote. Elementary schools are seeing the biggest return. According to the breakdown, Hubert Humphrey Elementary School, near Academy and Eubank, is reporting 100-percent of their student population is in the classroom.
Middle schools and high schools, however, are seeing more students remain virtual, only 18-percent of students at West Mesa High School, are back on campus. Armenta says there’s no clear reason for the big fluctuation in numbers, but in some instances, finances play a role.
“We do know schools where we have higher poverty rates that it is a greater risk for those families to go back in person,” said Armenta.
Since the state’s official school reopening on April 5, the New Mexico Public Education Department says statewide, just one school has been forced to close temporarily because of COVID-19 cases. That’s Eldorado High School. It’s now off the Rapid Response Watchlist and will reopen next Tuesday. A handful of other schools have voluntarily switched back to remote learning because of positive tests or exposure concerns.