ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In one week, students will start the school year at Albuquerque Public Schools. Although for now, the next few weeks will be online learning, everyone is going to have to navigate through this new normal.

“As teachers, we’re so used to seeing those kids face to face, first day, that excitement the school is buzzing and everyone is coming in,” said APS resource teacher Tia Christmas. Because of the pandemic, the first day, and the first few weeks will take place at home, distanced learning. It’s something teachers and staff never thought they would have to prepare for, but now, they are.

“We’re anxious about little ones you know K through 2, 3 on a computer for a long period of time so we’re working on having them going back and forth between participating in a lesson online and then do work offline,” said Christmas. “So that it will be easier on the families and easier on the kids so they’re not glued to a screen all the time.”

Christmas said teachers and staff have been using online workshops to get ready to teach their classes virtually but she said their biggest task will be keeping students engaged when the district moves to a hybrid model, where students alternate one week at home and one week at school.

“The anxiety of not knowing what we’re going to have to do next it kind of weighs on us but today was a full day of training for everyone to figure out what they’re supposed to be doing,” said Christmas.

Although this is a lot of change for students and teachers, Christmas said there is a silver lining with distance learning. “We had a lot more communication with the families because the teachers were doing a lot of one on one meetings with the kids,” said Christmas.

APS wants to remind parents to enroll their kids if they haven’t yet. Enrollment in the district is down by about 600 students.

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