Albuquerque teachers union shares concerns about APS ‘tentative’ hybrid schedule

Education

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Teachers Federation is sharing its concerns with the possible proposal for Albuquerque Public Schools’ hybrid schedule. APS did not confirm the proposed hybrid dates with KRQE. However, according to this proclamation released by the union, kids could be back in the classroom as soon as February 22.

According to ATF, the proposed schedule is being shared with the Board of Education at a meeting Wednesday morning. The union said the proposed schedule is “riddled with disruptions.” “It’s tentative at this point. But, our point in putting a schedule in there was to say that we’re worried about the consistency for everybody’s education,” Ellen Bernstein, President of ATF, said.

According to the proclamation, the proposed schedule has teachers returning to the classroom to teach remotely or four days during the week of February 16-19. Then, hybrid learning would start for about 25% of the class at a time from February 22 to March 5. Educators and students would begin the 50% model in hybrid mode for 2 weeks from March 8-17. There would be no classes the following two days due to parent-teacher conferences.

“Once we phase-in, we’re getting to parent-teacher conferences in March. Then we’ve got Spring Break in March. Then what if people travel during Spring Break,” Bernstein said. The union is also expressing concern about rushing to get back into the classroom.

“We’re hopeful that if we just wait a little while longer and make it voluntary then we will all be able to get some vaccines between now and then. And make sure more people are comfortable and safe as they come into their school,” Bernstein said. She also wants parents to know hybrid learning may look more like remote learning, just in a classroom, as a way to avoid teachers needing to make two lesson plans for those in school and those at home.

“One of the things that APS has said could take care of that is that, if I have 10 kids in my classroom and I have 15 kids at home, we’re learning the same thing. So, we’re continuing the pace of our teaching and learning but that means I’m still teaching to a computer with 10 kids in the room looking at their computer and 15 kids at home looking at their computer,” she explained.

While Bernstein said some teachers are ready to go back into the classroom now, she said most are worried. She wants the school board to know the union’s stance: wait until Bernalillo County is in the green level of risk or until teachers can get vaccinated.

“What the teachers have been saying to me is ‘green or vaccine’ whichever comes first. That will help us feel safe going back,” she said. Bernstein will not be speaking at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday but did say she emailed board members the proclamation.

ATF is also reaching out to the state to urge them to decouple hybrid learning and sports. The state has said sports can only start after hybrid learning. ATF wants outdoor sports to be an option now, and not contingent on hybrid learning in case districts phase in hybrid learning later in the year.

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