Parents struggle with continuing kids’ education at home amid coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools is the largest school district in the state with more than 80,000 students. With schools closed due to coronavirus, those students are stuck at home.

When it comes to continuing their education, the district is telling parents that they are on their own.

APS said its primary concern right now is to abide by the Department of Health and CDC’s recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus. Some parents said they would like more direction from the district on how to educate their children at home.

Kelly Harrell said she is giving it all she has got but she is not cut out for this. “I am not trained in homeschooling,” Harrell said. “A lot of us parents are not that well-suited to do it.”

Parents statewide are home with their children. “We have nothing really structured,” parent D’ette Kellner said. “It is kind of just flying by the seat of my pants.

Parents are trying to keep students on track while school is out for three weeks. “It’s very boring,” La Cueva High student Kenley Frey said. “I have been trying to find a lot of ways to be productive.”

However, parents said they have little guidance on what exactly their kids should be doing. “What I would love to see is some kind of curriculum and plan for people to be able to access,” Harrell said.

New Mexico’s Public Education Department said there is no requirement for districts to require learning during this time and children are not expected to complete schoolwork.

“Some kids will fall behind so how will that be handled,” Harrell asked. While PED said there is also no requirement for teachers to send out material, some local districts are stepping up.

The Deming superintendent started a Facebook live series reading books, encouraging families to discuss the story together. At Belen Family School, teachers are having a drive-thru where parents can pick up lesson plans.

“Today, we met with about 80 percent of our parents and students to deliver various ways of lesson plans and methods for them to help their students at home because we are not going to forget the kids,” principal of alternative schools Mary Batista said.

Some APS teachers are sending out information to parents and there is a list of resources on the district’s website.

“It is overwhelming,” Kellner said. “There are lots of outlets to find resources which is great but it is just overwhelming to pick and choose.” Some parents like Harrell said they would like to see something more structured moving forward.

“There has got to be some guidance,” Harrell said. “We are just waiting for it.” PED said learning is not being required during this time due to equity and access concerns, as not everyone has internet.

Officials said students will pick back up where they left off when school returns in three weeks, but they said this is all subject to change if schools are canceled beyond the three weeks.

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New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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