APS answers questions about Distance Learning during coronavirus

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Kids are home from school for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, parents have become the teacher. KRQE Anchor David Romero asked Albuquerque Public Schools’ Communications Director Monica Armenta some additional questions about distance learning.

Q: Is there a possibility that APS could be providing materials like school books if parents don’t have access to the internet?

A: No. We are not advocating issuing any more paper packets or learning packets and that’s for the next two weeks. That has to do with the fact that we are said to be in the peak right now of the coronavirus a pandemic so the next two weeks we’re not advocating that happen we do want to remind everyone that early on we handed out more than 14,000 learning packets for grades K-5. We issued workbooks and reading books to some students. We distributed more than 5,000 supply to kids that were handed out at the grab and go locations. But at this time we have shut down the print shop so it would be impossible to actually be able to make any more copies or put those packets together.

Q: Will there be any money used to purchase more Chromebooks? 

A:  It’s unclear right now how some of that federal reimbursement for it is going to work but I think it’s a pretty good bet that APS will, of course, go for any available options for reimbursement that the government presents. That’s going to take a while and that probably would not happen before the end of this school year. We are still in the process of distributing those 18,000 Chromebooks and what will happen then is once we’re done with high school students, we will go to work with middle school and elementary school students.

Q: What’s going to happen with the June SAT tests for the 11th graders? What is the scheduling for that? 

A: It’s unclear if the SAT will actually happen in June or if it will be rescheduled. But Juniors generally don’t start planning for their essay SAT until the fall semester of their Senior year. Right now college and career counselors are working with with Seniors to make sure that they get their applications in for FAFSA. If anyone has questions issues they can always reach out to their college and career counselors on campus, but it doesn’t look like the June SAT test that was scheduled is going happen.

Question from a parent: How do I teach Advanced Placement, special education and some inclusive special education to kids?

A: Advanced Placement – There is a wonderful website called collegeboard.org and on there you will find resources online, class offerings and information about upcoming tests at your school that you can follow. We also suggest that students who are enrolled in Advanced Placement classes keep in touch with their AP teachers.

Special Education – Special Education is a huge area so what will happen is in this situation if there needs to be a modification to an IEP we will need to do that in a distance setting. Parents of students with special needs need to work directly with special education teachers.

Q: Whatโ€™s going to happen if my child needs to take summer school?

A: School will happen online this summer for high school students only and those courses are aimed more at course recovery than remediation. The district of course acknowledges that there has been an interruption in instruction time and will try to address that as we move into the new school year. Right now I can tell you that administrators and principals and teachers are all working together to try and figure out what wasn’t covered in the last you know two months of the school year and what different design plans they could put in place for next school year to sort of close that gap were instruction ended.

Q:  How will dual credit students continue getting approval for classes at the college level for summer and fall sessions?

A: APS will not offer dual credit this summer and we’re now waiting to hear word from our other dual credit partners for some guidance in that area.

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