Public Education Dept. visiting schools to check reentry preparations


NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The state-approved hybrid learning for many schools across New Mexico may start in districts after Labor Day. As that date inches closer, the Public Education Department is making sure schools are prepared to bring students back.

PED is visiting public and charter schools across the state to check reentry preparations. Recently, it visited Enchanted Hills Elementary School in Rio Rancho. The Rio Rancho Public Schools’ Superintendent talked about the visit at a school board meeting on Monday night.

“He had lots of questions about their plans and how they plan to operate and had a chance to see how the school was set up, how it was set up for social distancing, what the cafeteria looked like,” Dr. Sue Cleveland said.

At some visits, PED Cabinet Secretary, Ryan Stewart, gets to talk with students who are doing remote learning now. He also is seeing the preparations schools have for students’ reentry, like how far desks are spaced apart. During a visit to ACES Technical Charter School, Stewart was able to talk with some students learning virtually and asked to see the school’s PPE supply.

So far, PED said it is ‘impressed’ with the preparations schools have in place, specifically noting adequate PPE, spaces set aside for students who test positive for COVID-19, temperature check equipment, one-way designations/arrows in hallways to discourage stopping/lingering, and the space between desks in classrooms.

PED has visited five schools so far and said it has not encountered any major problems or concerns in reentry preparations. The goal is to visit as many schools as possible throughout the semester.

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