ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools district leaders held a remote news conference on Thursday, February 4 to discuss the decision to table school reentry until February 17.
APS Board of Education President Dr. David Peercy, Interim Superintendent Scott Elder, and other members of APS leadership participated in the discussion. The decision to delay the vote was made by the board on Wednesday night and highlighted feedback and input from local families about in-person learning leading up to the vote.
“We’re saying hey here’s some thoughts and some questions, we’ve had questions from community members, we want to make sure you’ve heard these and have had an opportunity to take a look at that and make sure we’re on the right path,” said Peercy.
During Thursday morning’s press conference, Peercy said up until a week ago they had a plan in place for returning to school in a hybrid format, but he says they’ve been forced to reevaluate that plan. He says one of the concerns is whether they’ll have enough teachers willing to come back voluntarily.
Elder says one of their main priorities moving forward is to work with the schools to find out which staff is willing to return in person, he says the results could yield more disappointments. “I need to remind you that by even coming back was not coming back like normal, I hope people understand that. Kids coming back at best were going to get two days a week, they would still be doing the majority of their work online,” said Elder.
KRQE News 13 asked Elder if his hands were tied by the board when it comes to bringing students back, he said it’s his job to work with the board in making the best decision for the community, and right now there’s a lot of disagreement about what’s right.
Peercy says there is also some concern about going back to school since teachers have not been vaccinated. He says the board has been told if the vaccine was made available, teachers would be more willing to return.