NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – With the state reopening in just under a week and summer break cruising by, many families are wondering what school will look like in the fall. School districts are anxiously awaiting updated guidelines from the New Mexico Public Education Department. While Santa Fe Public Schools is expecting to still have COVID-19 protocols in place, it’s also expecting a little more normalcy.
“I think school will definitely look a lot more like normal just because of the sheer volume of students that will be back,” said Dr. Veronica Garcia, Superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools. With some staff declining the vaccine and fewer than a third of kids 12-17 getting the vaccine, Dr. Garcia said she guesses masks may still be required.
Dr. Garcia said social distancing was tough to adhere to during hybrid and that will be even more difficult with more students back if the guidelines aren’t eased. There is a vaccine event tomorrow for 12-15 year-olds in Santa Fe, and the district hopes kids take advantage of it.
“We recognize it’s a personal choice and we recognize that parents will weigh in on that decision for their children and we honor and respect that. We also believe that the data thus far appears to be that these vaccinations are making a difference. They’re saving lives,” said Dr. Garcia.
The Public Education Department said it is meeting with superintendents on Monday to discuss what school will look like in the fall and that includes questions like if students will wear masks or if guidelines depend on a school’s vaccination status. The PED said it plans to submit its updated proposed guidelines to the Governor’s Office for approval on Wednesday.
As of right now, the Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for kids 12-17 years old. The vaccine may not be approved for children two to 12 until late this year.